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Internet Learning

Internet Learning

Abstract

The Quality Matters (QM)™ rubric presents a set of research-based standards on which to judge the quality of online courses. The authors of this study investigated how students’ perceptions of online course quality compare to those put forth in the QM rubric. Participants in this study n = 3,160 included students currently taking an online college-level course were invited to rate the importance of each QM standard restated from the student perspective. Students’ ratings of each item were compared to the ranking of each item received by QM (3-Essential, 2-Very Important, or 1-Important). The student rating for each item was at least 1.0 indicating that students do value the QM criteria as important to their success in an online course. Items related to having clear instructions for getting started in the course and ease of navigation were rated highly by both QM and students. However, students did not value items related to the importance of interacting with peers and the instructor at the same high level indicated in the QM rubric. Other findings related to practical differences between student and QM ratings of rubric items are discussed.

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