Projects, Programs, and Policies to Support Online Learning
ADVOCACY FOR ONLINE EDUCATION
One of MOL’s three primary roles is advocacy in support of online education. Advocacy takes the form of MOL participation in statewide or national initiatives, and it also includes MOL engagement with a consortium, state, or national policies relevant to online learning. This section provides information on current initiatives in which MOL is active as well as policy positions adopted by the MOL Board of Directors.
Remote proctoring is a method of maintaining academic integrity, designed as a deterrent to cheating in an online exam. Because there are various levels of sophistication in remote proctoring methods, faculty review remains a vital part of the remote proctoring process.
The Seat Bank
One of MarylandOnline’s earliest and continuing programs, the Seat Bank, allows member institutions to share seats in online courses. The program uses an adoption rather than a transfer process that allows institutions to “own” the adopted course, making the process easy and transparent for students.
- Allows low-enrollment courses to be filled with students from other colleges.
- It gives students more options for completion by giving them access to courses that may not be available at their home institutions (or courses that are available but full).
- Provides a simplified process that saves students the trouble of transferring courses.
Since 2017, the MarylandOnline Leadership Institute (MOLLI) has served both emerging and mid-career distance education leaders and practitioners in Maryland, providing them the opportunity to enhance their leadership skills, develop a professional network, and apply their knowledge to benefit the colleges and universities in the state. Today, the growing cohort of MOLLI alumni constitutes a valuable resource for the principles and practices of excellence in e-learning, a resource never more in demand than now.
MarylandOnline was built on common interests and collaboration, and one of the most valuable assets of the organization is the ability of Board representatives and others at the member institutions to share information and best practices in online learning. The goal of the DOLLI project is to create an easy-to-use, searchable database of general online information, guidelines, and best practices that include MOL schools and may eventually expand to other Maryland schools and possibly beyond. The build of the database began in 2017, and the several tables of information and best practices needed to complete the database are expected to be finalized in the first half of 2021.
For more information, contact DOLLI Director Diana Zilberman at email@example.com. The project team welcomes hearing from those interested in having their institutions participate in the next phase of DOLLI.
The Quality Matters (QM) Program
Launched in 2003 by MarylandOnline with a grant from the USDE Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE), Quality Matters (QM) is today an international organization recognized as a leader in quality assurance for online education.
QM's mission is to promote and improve the quality of online education and student learning nationally and internationally through:
- Development of current, research-supported, and practice-based quality standards and appropriate evaluation tools and procedures.
- Recognition of expertise in online education quality assurance and evaluation.
- Fostering a culture of continuous improvement by integrating QM standards and processes into organizational plans to improve the quality of online education.
- Providing professional development in the use of rubrics, tools, and practices to improve the quality of online education.
- Peer review and certification of quality in online education.
QM provides a rubric of standards and a peer review process for certification of course design for higher education, K-12, continuing and professional education, and educational publishers, as well as program-level review for higher education, an online teaching certificate, and an array of professional development offerings. QM has grown steadily since the grant period and now has over 1,500 member institutions and organizations, as well as individual subscribers, in the U.S. and abroad.