COVID Transitions – MindWires Consulting

COVID Transitions – MindWires Consulting

Episode 15B: Rubric’s Cube – the QM Interview

August 26, 2020

Earlier this month Phil asked a question on Twitter about what he perceived as a rising pushback to the growing usage of faculty training based on the Quality Matters Course Design Rubric. That question led to a rich discussion – both pro and con – on the usage of the QM rubric in the attempt to improve online teaching in Fall 2020. The QM staff requested that we help with an alternate forum for them to address some of the issues raised online.

This is the second in a special series of podcast episodes on an important topic as we try to migrate from emergency remote teaching to purposely-designed quality online education.

* 15A: Introduction of topic* 15B: Interview with Bethany Simunich and Brendy Boyd from Quality Matters* 15C: Interviews with Stephanie Moore and Jesse Stommel


Phil: Welcome to a special episode of COVID Transitions. I’m Phil Hill, and recently we had an interesting Twitter conversation, or as interesting as you can get on Twitter, that involved Quality Matters and the usage of the rubric and how schools are using it to try to transition from emergency remote learning to online education, to put back into things that we know how to do in online education and improve quality. And it was a fascinating conversation, but it was on Twitter, which is very limited. We have Brenda and Bethany from Quality Matters, and they’ve agreed to join us so we can have more of an extended conversation and get to these important topics. But give give people more chance to discuss things in depth. So I’m with Brenda Boyd, senior academic director of program services at Quality Matters, and Bethany Simunich, director of research and innovation [00:01:00] at Quality Matters. It’s great to have you both here. And Brenda, welcome to the show.

Brenda: Thanks, Phil. It’s great to be here. We’re glad that we have this opportunity to have this conversation and to talk a little bit about some of the things that we saw and some of the arguments that are being made and how we were thinking. Well, some of those things are misconceptions. And so we’d really appreciate the opportunity to clear some of those things up today.

Phil: Great. And also, Bethany, welcome, and glad to have you here, as well as our first – you and I were discussing – our first external interviews as part of this podcast, but welcome.

Bethany: Yes. Yes. Thank you so much for having us. And as I mentioned to you before we begin, it’s very hard to have good conversations on Twitter. So I appreciate you giving us this opportunity to hopefully start a better conversation and to really bring some some new ideas into Quality Matters, and the discussion surrounding them.

Phil: And [00:02:00] this will be interesting, we’re going multimodal, switching from Twitter and moving to podcast, then having a blog post attached to it to jump in. As I said, a lot of the trigger for this conversation came from Twitter. Basically I was asking the question, ‘I’m starting to see a lot of pushback and commentary on the usage of Quality Matters in terms of schools trying to do quality assurance or manage the transition from emergency remote teaching to online teaching.’ And we just got a plethora of responses back, both positive and negative. But it raised some subjects that we wanted to get deeper into. Were you guys surprised with the general feedback of the discussion and on the rubric and course redesign process? And there seemed to be a lot of emotions involved.