Laura Gibbs

Research Paper: Students Rating the Quality Matters Rubric

Blog Post created by Laura Gibbs on May 14, 2017

A friend of mine at Google+ just shared this article, and I think he may also be here at Canvas Community ... Doug Holton ... yes, there he is! Anyway, I thought this was a really interesting research project, asking students themselves to rate the Quality Matters Rubric components based on what they value most highly. Specifically, the study was looking for differences among students new to online courses and those who had more online course experience, but of course that "number of courses" is just one way to differentiate among students, and a main theme of the study is: 


Students in the same course are not homogeneous as some faculty believe.


The more I learn about my students and have opportunities to interact with them, the more aware I am of their individual perspectives, goals, needs, anxieties, etc. etc. etc. That's one of the things I like best about teaching online: I really do get to interact with the students one-on-one more than in a classroom setting, and I can also design my classes to flexibly respond to that wide range of individuality, more than I ever could in the classroom.


Anyway, here it the paper online: 


The Impact of Previous Online Course Experience on Students’ Perceptions of Quality
Emily Hixon and Casimir Barczyk
Purdue University Calumet
Penny Ralston-Berg
Penn State World Campus
Janet Buckenmeyer
Armstrong State University
The purpose of this paper is to explore whether experienced online students (who have completed seven
or more online courses) perceive the quality of their courses differently than novice online students (who
have completed three or fewer online courses) or students with an intermediate level of online course
experience (those who have completed four to six online courses). Overall, 3,160 online students
completed a survey which asked them to indicate the extent to which statements derived from the Quality
Matters rubric contributed to student success. The results indicate that students rated some items
differently based on their previous online course experience. Novice online learners felt that having
netiquette guidelines clearly stated was more important than experienced online learners. Experienced
learners rated several items as being more important than novice and/or intermediate online learners,
including items related to self-introductions, appropriateness of assessments, relevance and quality of
instructional materials, clarity of requirements for interaction, ease of navigation, and availability of
required technologies. The implications of these findings for course designers and instructors are