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Quality Matters News

Free Seminar from Quality Matters! Principles and Best Practices for Using Visuals in Course Design Wednesday, November 10, 2021 — 1:00 p.m. ET

Learn more about how visual design can enhance online learning during our next Online Learning Webinar! Join Todd Douglas from CourseArc and Dr. Bethany Simunich from QM to:

  • Explore basic graphic design principles, components and considerations
  • Discover ideas for incorporating visuals into the design of your online course
  • Receive a downloadable resource — the Bridge to Quality Course Design Guide — that walks you through all facets of designing a quality online course

This week’s “Spotlight on Digital Learning Leaders”

“Spotlight on Digital Learning Leaders” across the UNC System! This week we focus on the work of Kim Stevenson, Ed.D., Director, Distance Education, Elizabeth City State University. You can view the three-minute video here.

One of the things that makes our University so special is that we have so many great people. This definitely applies to the area of digital learning. But, given how spread out we are across the state, for example, it’s over 460 miles between Western Carolina University and Elizabeth City State University, this sometimes makes it difficult for us to share and to collaborate.

While we do many things to virtually close this distance – and share amongst each other – like our weekly newsletter, workshops and monthly webinars, we decided to add another resource…one that spotlights the work of some very special people.

So, we are asking our colleagues across the system three questions:

  1. What is your role?
  2. How did you come to this role?
  3. Give us an example where you effectively used technology to solve a teaching problem of practice?

These videos are intended to be short – only about three minutes – so we hope you will regularly take time to listen into these conversations.

Finally, if you are listening to this, YOU probably have some interesting examples to share yourself. Please reach out to me if there is a chance you might be willing to share in a future episode of “Spotlight on Digital Learning Leaders.”

Thank you, Jim


News from around the UNC System


Getting to Know Quality Matters

Have you wondered how Quality Matters (QM) started? Quality Matters began with a small group of colleagues in the MarylandOnline, Inc. (MOL) consortium who were trying to solve a common problem among the consortium member institutions: “How do we measure and guarantee the quality of a course?” This question was especially important as institutions began to create a system where they could share available seats in their online courses with other institutions. They needed a way to ensure course quality — that courses would be equivalent — for their students, regardless of where the course originated. In 2003 MOL outlined how the Quality Matters program could create a scalable process for course quality assurance, and applied for a Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) grant from the U.S. Department of Education. (Learn more about QM here…)

About UNC System QM Council

The UNC System QM Council is an organization of QM representatives from UNC institutions that is supported by the UNC System Office. The QM Council’s objective is to guide participating UNC institutions and faculty through successful implementation and maintenance of online, hybrid and remote courses and programs. The co-chairs of the QM Council are Dr. Racheal Brooks (NCCU) and Dr. Enoch Park (Charlotte). For updates from the QM Council, you may subscribe to the weekly DLI newsletter from the UNC System Office here.

Upcoming QM Event: QM ConnectLX Virtual Conference

Interested in learning more about Quality Matters and connecting with individuals with similar interests? Attend the QM ConnectLX virtual conference on November 3 – 5, 2021. Full conference ($350) and one-day registration ($150) options are available: Click this link to learn more and to register.


Appalachian State University is seeking an Instructional Technology Consultant. Evaluation of applications begins Nov. 4th. Additional information, including application instructions, can be found in the position posting.

Introducing the 2022 UNC System Faculty Fellows!

UNC System Academic Affairs, and the Office of Digital Learning, is pleased to announce the selection of the 2022 UNC System Faculty Fellows.

2022 UNC Faculty Fellows

The Fellows occupy a critical role in helping to identify, and then address, System-wide needs in moving toward a more digital teaching and learning environment in support of student success. Working closely with key stakeholders across the UNC System, they explore new pedagogical strategies and technologies to support not only distance and remote learning but also hybrid and in-person learning environments.

Although you will get an opportunity to interact with them in the Designing Effective Online Courses workshop starting next Monday, they officially begin their Fellowship in January 2022.

Welcome Drs. Oliver, Lou and Hubbard to the Digital Learning Team!

DLI Webinar Series 2022!

Due to the upcoming holidays, the webinar series is on a short sabbatical and will return on January 28, 2022! See you there!

Fourth Friday of every month at 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. To join the webinar on the scheduled date and time:

  • Use this Zoom link:
  • Or call (669) 900-6833 and use meeting ID 9182886693#
Or Click Here to Join DLI Webinar

Right to the Point Video Series

To view these videos, visit our “Right to the Point” Video Series webpage.

The UNC DLI “Right to the Point” instructional videos are short…usually two minutes, but rarely more than five, and are narrowly focused on a single education problem of practice and their technological and pedagogical solutions. The videos are designed to give educators access to prescriptive guidance created by other faculty members that address issues, or opportunities, that may confront them in digital education. Given their brevity, they do not require a significant commitment of time by educators but instead, can be consumed whenever a few spare moments are available and the faculty member wants some help in improving their digital teaching capabilities.

To view these videos, visit our “Right to the Point” Video Series webpage.

New videos will be back soon! Check the website often! 

Digital Learning Newsletters!

See below for past editions of our weekly DLI Newsletter!

DLI Newsletter October 15, 2021

DLI Newsletter October 8, 2021

DLI Newsletter October 1, 2021

DLI Newsletter September 23, 2021

DLI Newsletter September 17, 2021

DLI Newsletter September 10, 2021

DLI Newsletter September 3, 2021

DLI Newsletter August 27, 2021

DLI Newsletter August 20, 2021

DLI Newsletter August 13, 2021

DLI Newsletter August 6, 2021

DLI Newsletter July 30, 2021

DLI Newsletter July 23, 2021

DLI Newsletter July 16, 2021

DLI Newsletter July 9, 2021

DLI Newsletter July 2, 2021

DLI Newsletter June 25, 2021

DLI Newsletter June 18, 2021

DLI Newsletter June 11, 2021

DLI Newsletter June 4, 2021

DLI Newsletter May 28, 2021

DLI Newsletter May 21, 2021

DLI Newsletter May 14, 2021

DLI Newsletter May 7, 2021

DLI Newsletter April 30, 2021

DLI Newsletter April 23, 2021

DLI Newsletter April 16, 2021

DLI Newsletter April 9, 2021

DLI Newsletter March 26, 2021

DLI Newsletter March 19, 2021

DLI Newsletter March 12, 2021

DLI Newsletter March 5, 2021

DLI Newsletter February 26, 2021

DLI Newsletter February 19, 2021

DLI Newsletter February 12, 2021

DLI Newsletter February 5, 2021

DLI Newsletter January 29, 2021

DLI Newsletter January 2021

DLI Newsletter November 2020












Call for UNC System QM Reviewers

Dear UNC System QM Reviewers,
I hope that each of you and your loved ones are all doing well!
Now that the fall semester is in full swing for our campuses, one of our System schools has a special request. As part of Fayetteville State University’s commitment to returning to high-quality online and hybrid instruction, their provost has secured funding and requested that the range of courses being offered online this fall undergo an unofficial/”internal” QM review. As such, FSU’s QM Coordinator, Dr. Bonnie Grohe, has requested the support of the UNC System QM Certified Master Reviewers and Peer Reviewers to internally review approximately 150 courses. FSU’s expectations for these reviews are as follows:
    • Initiative duration: Mid September 2020 – Mid January 2021
    • Course Review “Team”: 1 QM Certified Master Reviewer or Peer Reviewer per course
    • Online courses must incorporate all essential Specific Review Standards and earn a minimum score of 85/100 points to meet internal review expectations
    • QM Reviewers will provide 2 hours of direct consultation with faculty per course to support course enhancements/modifications
    • Stipend: $500 per course reviewed and supported
    • Reviewer Interest Form:

If you are interested in participating in this initiative, please complete the Call for Quality Matters (QM) Reviewers form listed above by Friday, September 4, 2020 at 5:00pm. Note that every reviewer helps, and there is no minimum to the number of courses you can review to assist FSU with this cause. An in-depth onboarding session will be provided within the next two weeks on a date to be determined for all individuals who respond to the interest form.

Thank you in advance for your consideration of this time-sensitive request. We truly appreciate all that you do for your campuses and all of our colleagues and students throughout the UNC System!
Warmest regards,

Racheal, Enoch, and Bonnie

Access to Course Collections Now Available for All UNC System Faculty!

Beginning July 1, UNC System faculty have access to open educational resources, texts, videos, slides, course plans, curriculum maps, teaching guides, assignments, assessments, and more to enrich the quality of their online offerings across ten high-demand courses: Introductory Financial Accounting, Anatomy & Physiology 1, General Biology, Calculus 1, Chemistry 1, Chemistry 2, Macroeconomics, Microeconomics, Organic Chemistry 1, and Introductory Statistics.

To get a feel for what disciplinary experts have included in these open, curated, disciplinary-specific teaching resources, OR TO USE THEM NOW IN YOUR OWN COURSE PLANNING, access the portal page here:

Over the past five weeks more than 70 UNC System faculty members, librarians, and instructional designers have worked to locate, curate, and organize extensive sets of rigorous digital instructional resources. Working as part of ten distinct cross-institutional course teams, the groups have developed course collections that are designed to complement and enhance existing introductory course plans. The aim of this initiative is to provide faculty members across the UNC System with expanded resources to support hybrid and online instruction. Each collection of curated resources may be adopted in whole or in part to supplement an instructor’s existing course plans and materials. The resources are not intended as a stand-alone course, but rather to supplement existing course plans.

Access the portal page here

COVID-19 Free Learning Tech, Mobile/Internet Access Services, and OER

In response to Higher education’s increased need to access learning technology, open educational resources (OER), and access services (e.g. wireless, internet) due to the COVID-19 outbreak, many corporations and service providers are offering free or significantly discounted pricing for educators and students as they transition to remote education. EDUCAUSE, working with higher education institutions across the United States and abroad, maintains an exhaustive list of these offerings.

We encourage you to review the three tabs included in this list, Technology, OER, and Access Service Offerings. The DLI staff access and contribute to this growing list to enhance its usability and accuracy. If you would like to add an organization, please email with a link to the relevant web page for higher education institutions to contact the organization.

We hope that bringing awareness to this resource helps you to more efficiently identify potential technologies, OER, and access services in support of your transition to remotely learning due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Be well,



John Falchi, M.S.

Director, Special Projects

UNC System Office

Invitation: DLI Webinar, May 22, 2020 at 11:30 AM

UNC System Digital Learning Webinar

May 22, 2020, 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM


Phone: (646) 558-8656   ID: 943 706 306

 11:00 AM – 11:10 AM

Welcome and Overview

James Garner Ptaszynski, Ph.D.

Vice President, Digital Learning

UNC System Office

 11:10 AM – 11:30 AM


Jennifer Cutts

Director, Curriculum and Innovation

Kenan-Flagler Business School

UNC Chapel Hill

In this session, Jennifer Cutts will share Kenan-Flagler Business School’s experiences in transitioning to virtual teaching in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Jennifer will highlight a workshop strategy that was implemented to expedite faculty orientation to teaching in Zoom as well as faculty feedback on what worked well, challenges, and what could still be improved. Additionally, she will share the many lessons learned that will be applied to the Summer and Fall terms to enhance faculty and student experiences in the “newish” norm. Finally, Jennifer will share the business school’s efforts to create digital content in a virtual working environment and how they are partnering with faculty to prepare for a variety of possible teaching scenarios in the fall.

Jennifer Cutts is the director of Curriculum and Innovation for UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School. Jennifer specializes in faculty community, curriculum development, and the creation of an innovative, centralized center for excellence that serves multiple degree programs and focuses on digital presence in learning environments and promoting communities of learning for faculty. Jennifer has over 20 years of online learning and higher education experience. She has been a leader with two top distance education consulting companies, Bisk Education and Embanet-Compass Knowledge Group (now Pearson-Embanet). Jennifer is a doctoral student in the Leadership and Learning in Organizations Ed.D. program at Vanderbilt University and holds an MBA from Regis University and a Bachelor’s in Communications from the University of South Florida.

11:30 AM – 11:50 AM

Connecting the Dots: Leveraging Connectivism to Support Competency Based Learning

This session will explore how connectivism, connective teaching methods, and data-driven decision-making support learners in achieving proficiency in industry related competencies through personalized adaptive learning. Speakers will offer tangible tools and innovative strategies for educators to bridge the divide between connectivism theory and competency-focused skills development. The UNCW team will discuss how this educational model enables learners to chart a personalized course toward competency attainment by leveraging divergent, diverse, and distinctive experiences while acquiring professional skills, knowledge, networks, and certifications.

Sheri Conklin, Ed.D.

Assistant Professor

 UNC Wilmington

Dr. Sheri Conklin has extensive experience in online course design and best practices for online delivery. As a former instructional designer, she focused on professional development for faculty and staff teaching online. She has also engaged in multiple research projects to contribute to the growing body of knowledge surrounding online course design and delivery. Sheri has been teaching online for more than 12 years and focuses on problem-based learning, applied learning, and integrating community-based service learning in the online course environment. Her research interests include online course design, instructor social presence, service learning, and cooperative learning.

Eric L. Richardson, Ph.D., MPH, MBA, PHR, SHRM-CP, CHHR, ACHE

Program Coordinator, Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA)

Assistant Professor, School of Health and Applied Human Sciences

 UNC Wilmington

Dr. Eric L. Richardson brings to UNCW extraordinary experience with market analyses, program/course design, and implementation of new academic programs and specializations. He has documented proficiency delivering results related to applied learning, accreditation initiatives, and regulatory analyses. He is a 2018 Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME) Fellow and a higher education leader with more than 14 years’ experience teaching and developing curriculum for traditional and online learning environments focused on applied learning. His research interests focus on healthcare, job satisfaction, turnover, retention, and commitment.

Nikki Strawn, M.S.

Instructional Designer

UNC Wilmington

Nikki Strawn is a public educator with more than 12 years’ experience in teaching and designing instruction for traditional and online learning. Her focus areas in online teaching include faculty professional development, Universal Design for Learning, gamification, interactive video, authentic assessments, and online student engagement strategies. Nikki is a certified Quality Matters Peer Reviewer and a member of the Online Learning Consortium. Using her knowledge and skills of technology tools combined with her learner-centered and systematic approach to instructional design, Nikki brings engaging course design and quality online teaching methods to enhance student learning outcomes and learner satisfaction.


Questions Comments and Suggestions?

Questions related to the monthly webinar? Want to suggest or present on a topic during a future webinar?  If so, please email the UNC digital learning team at

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