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Quality Assurance & Course Readiness – Instructional Design, Technology, and Support

Quality Assurance Checklists & Course Readiness Report

To ensure that all course content is updated and QAed well before students are granted access, we recommend that faculty begin coordinating materials for their course as soon as they are notified that the shell has been prepared and content has been copied over. Alternatively, if a faculty member would like to prepare their site for a future semester sooner than the course shells will be created, the CST can be asked to create a separate space to copy their course content to and allow them to begin working on their content revisions at any time.  

While the QA process is an informal one coordinated between faculty and their course support person using the Syllabus and Course Site checklists, the Course Readiness Report is a formal documentation of the major term start deadlines and whether they were met for each course.

Major Course Deadlines AY 2021-2022

More information about the major course readiness deadlines can be found on the Reviewing and Submitting Course Materials page. The chart seen below shows all major deadlines and how much time there is between those deadlines and the opening of the course. It is important to keep in mind that the later something is sent to the CST, the more likely it is to be queued behind several other course updates, which may put it in jeopardy of opening late if changes cannot be made and QAed in time for the course open deadline.

Major Course Deadlines AY 2020-2021

Tasks & Responsibilities

While faculty and their course support person are expected to meet and coordinate how they will work together to complete the necessary tasks for course readiness and term start, there are some tasks and responsibilities that are specific to either faculty or course support. The breakdown of tasks below should be used for guidance when having conversations about how to prepare for term start.

Textbooks & e-Reserves

Course SupportFaculty

Desk Copies CST may offer guidance on how to contact a publisher, but is not responsible for any aspect of this task.

Desk Copies

Faculty are expected to request their own desk copies from publishers, either electronic or hard copy. If they are unable to secure a free copy, they will need to purchase the text and then submit a request for reimbursement.

Textbooks & Required Materials

CST will reach out to faculty no later than 2 weeks before textbooks are due to the bookstore to remind faculty of the upcoming due date and request information.

Once book orders are received, CST will fill out and submit the textbook order form to the Matthews Bookstore.

Textbooks & Required Materials

Faculty are responsible for looking ahead to anticipate future textbook due dates and ensure they are prepared to meet the deadlines by having textbooks decided as early as possible, reviewing publisher information for new editions of current texts, and making the CST aware of any 3rd party applications or software they plan to adopt and implement. 

It is encouraged to review the textbooks listed on the Matthews Bookstore website to ensure accurate information has been posted. 

If there are other Required Materials, such as a 3rd party course technology or some other type of resource that students will need to purchase access to, this should be submitted with textbook information and there should be a plan for how students will be notified of these additional expenses.

Reminder: Textbook due dates are set in accordance with federal regulations, and should be considered hard deadlines.

e-ReservesCST will reach out to faculty no later than 2 weeks before e-Reserves are due to the library to remind faculty of the upcoming due date and request information.Once e-Reserve updates or copy requests are received, CST will either email the SON Librarian with the information or submit it via the e-Reserve Request Form. If requests are made to remove any e-Reserves that have been copied over from a previous semester and are no longer necessary, CST will also send these to the SON Librarian.The week before students get access to the course site, CST should confirm that the e-Reserves area is open and has content in it. 

e-ReservesAll faculty should be familiar with the course reserve policies, and understand the copyright implications of posting unauthorized materials in their course.They are expected to research and choose materials they would like to use in their upcoming courses in the weeks before they are contacted by CST to submit their materials. All e-Reserves for the entire course should be submitted by the initial due date. There should not be submissions made after students get access to the course.If a request is made to copy materials from a previous semester, faculty must review that list of materials for anything that is no longer needed and send a request to their course support to have any unused materials removed from the list.Reminder: The e-Reserve due dates are set in accordance with library requirements and should be considered hard deadlines. Additionally, updates to e-Reserve materials should not be submitted after the course begins.

Syllabus Updates and Revisions

Course SupportFaculty

Template & Formatting CST will send the faculty the most recent version of the syllabus from the last semester the course ran.If there have been any updates to the syllabus template since the previous semester, the CST will transfer the contents from the most recent syllabus on to the new template before sending to the faculty.

CST is responsible for ensuring formatting is consistent, and that headings are appropriately applied throughout.

Template & FormattingIf faculty wish to begin updating a syllabus before being contacted by the CST, it is recommended that they let their course support know they are beginning work early and ask them to confirm that the version they plan to edit is the most recent version.When faculty are sent the syllabus by the CST, it will be the most recent version and will be on the most up to date template. Any edits made should be made to the syllabus should be made to the version that was received from the CST.

No changes should be made in text font, size, color, or similar attributes. Italics, bolding, and underlining can be used for emphasis, but any other types of formatting will be removed by the CST in order to remain in compliance with ADA standards.

Standards ComplianceCST will review the syllabus to ensure it aligns with standards (table headings, policy information, etc.); if needed, the Syllabus Checklist can facilitate this review.

Any changes made in order to comply with standards will be communicated to faculty to ensure future consistency and provide context for changes.
Standards Compliance

Faculty are expected to adhere to the existing syllabus structure and setup. Changes should not be made to table headings, course schedule structure, etc. It is recommended that faculty use the Syllabus Checklist to facilitate a review that will help to ensure their syllabus is compliant.

Finalizing Syllabi When all edits have been made, the CST will be responsible for converting the syllabus to PDF and posting it in the classroom.When the course begins, the CST will add a copy of the finalized syllabus to the Approved Syllabi folder.If substantial edits are made to the syllabus after it has been finalized, CST Supervisor will escalate to the Program Director and Vice Dean for review.Any revised syllabi that are posted to the classroom are also added by CST to the Approved Syllabi folder.

Finalizing Syllabi Faculty are expected to submit finalized syllabi to their course support by/before the announced deadline. A finalized syllabus should adhere to the standards outlined in the Syllabus Checklist.If significant updates are made to a syllabus after it has been finalized and the due date has passed, faculty will need to provide an explanation for the revisions to the Program Director and/or Vice Dean.Faculty should not post their own PDF version of the syllabus to the course at any time, as this is a CST responsibility. If a faculty member makes an update to the syllabus and needs it posted to the course, it should be sent to course support so that they can post it in the classroom and update the finalized version in their own records and in Approved Syllabi on the R Drive.

Content Updates and Revisions

Course SupportFaculty

Course Shells & Copying CST will notify the course faculty when the Course Shell has been created and can be copied in to. They will also ask the faculty to let them know where to copy from.Once the faculty confirm where to copy from, course support will copy the content and confirm that this task has been completed.

Course Shells & Copying If faculty wish to begin updating course content well in advance of the course shells being ready, they must send a request to the CST in order to have a separate space created/coordinated for this.The faculty will need to confirm with the CST where they would like content copied from, and should begin reviewing course content as soon as they receive confirmation from their course support that the copy has been completed.

Syllabus Alignment CST will compare the finalized syllabus & course schedule to the existing course content and make revisions as needed or as instructed by faculty (if additional instructions have been provided). This includes updates to Module titles, adjusting availability and due dates, and updating assignment/assessment information.Any discrepancies or misalignments between content within the syllabus or between the syllabus and the course site will be escalated to the course faculty for clarification before major adjustments or updates are made.

Content Updates While only the first two modules of content are currently required for the course to open, it is recommended that faculty prepare to have all course content ready before the course opens to students.All updates to assignment language, rubrics, required readings, etc. should be sent to course support several weeks before the course is meant to open to students. The majority of these items should be included in the finalized syllabus, but anything not included in that document should be submitted around the same time that the syllabus is.

Standards Compliance CST will review the course site to ensure it aligns with standards (template is appropriately applied, all content is up-to-date and formatted properly, assignment links and web links are all functioning properly, etc.); if needed, the Course Checklist can facilitate this review.

Standards Compliance It is recommended that faculty use the Course Checklist to facilitate a review that will help to ensure their course site is compliant.


Syllabus & Course Site Checklist

The Syllabus Checklist and Course Checklist are provided as a guide to help faculty and course support ensure that the course syllabus and course site as well as related course materials all meet SON standards. It is important to note that while these checklists are meant to apply across courses and programs, there are likely to be some courses that are coordinated and setup slightly differently, due to specific needs for the track or program that they belong to. If you have any questions or concerns about the checklist or whether your Syllabus and course site are compliant, please check with the CST to provide feedback or solicit input.

Course Readiness Report

The Course Readiness Report is provided to leadership after due dates for major course readiness deadlines have passed, so that they can be aware of any missed deadlines and provide support and guidance to faculty with getting materials together as needed so that the preparation of the course is not delayed. For any of the major due dates that are missed for any courses, the Program Director, Vice Dean, and/or Associated Dean for Teaching and Learning will be notified. Ultimately the goal is to ensure that all major course deadlines are met, and that courses open on time and without need for revisions or significant adjustment of course content.