Quality Matters Recognizes Dr. Carl Pacini

OLITS is very pleased to announce that Dr. Carl Pacini, of the USFSP Kate Tiedemann College of Business, has received Quality Matters certification for his online course, Forensic Accounting and the Legal Environment (ACG 6688). This course was awarded certification on March 26, 2019.

His graduate course is offered as part of the USFSP Master of Business Administration and Master of Accountancy programs. In this course, his students are introduced to aspects of the law that are essential to forensic accountants involved in fraud investigations, litigation support services, expert witness, business valuation, and other forensic accounting services.

Dr. Pacini worked collaboratively with Carol Fisher, the Instructional Designer for the college’s MBA program, and OLITS in preparation for the QM Review process. His course is now listed on the QM database of certified courses and will also be recognized in the Florida Virtual Campus public course catalog as a “High Quality” course.

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Pacini!

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David Brodosi
Online Learning and Instructional Technology Services
University Of South Florida St. Petersburg
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NSF-sponsored Workshop on Digitally-Mediated Team Learning

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is sponsoring 50 Travel Stipends to a synthesis and design workshop for researchers, educators, and practitioners who are advancing technology-enhanced team learning within STEM disciplines:

  • During the two-and-a-half-day workshop, participants will be afforded opportunities to participate in a Poster Session, Keynotes, Panel Session, Breakout Technical Sessions, and Action Committees.
  • The outcome of this workshop on Digitally-Mediated Team Learning (DMTL) will be a White Paper presented at the 2019 NSF Summit on the Design of Future Digital STEM Learning Environments.

Workshop Dates:

Sunday, March 31, 2019  –  Tuesday, April 2, 2019


Orlando, FL at the main campus of the University of Central Florida

For more information, please visit the Digital Learning Teams website.

*Shared through the ATLE listserv at USF Tampa.

Quality Matters Research Library

The Quality Matters Research Library is a curated selection of literature bearing a relationship to the standards of the QM rubric.

If you are looking for literature to support your research on quality in online and/or blended courses, are interested in information and resources to implement within your own courses, or want to view the literature that supports the Quality Matters rubric standards, this would be a helpful database for you.

The library is organized by the eight general standards on the QM rubric, but you can also search by keyword, such as instructional strategies or specific course elements.

screen shot of the qm research library search page

For questions or assistance with navigating QM’s resources or other research relating to online and blended learning, contact Online Learning and Instructional Technology Services.

QM Publishes 2017 Changing Landscape of Online Education (CHLOE) Report


chloe report cover

Quality Matters and Eduventures have teamed up to conduct a multi-year study to examine the changing landscape of online education. This report contains the findings of the inaugural CHLOE Survey on The Changing Landscape of Online Education. The report seeks to provide the results to those involved with online education and help place their institution within a broader context.

If interested, please complete this form to gain access to The 2017 CHLOE Report.

Breaking down misconceptions in the learning process

When students show up for your class they don’t show up as a blank slate. They bring with them a litany of prior experience and knowledge. For the most part, this is a good thing. We want students with a variety of knowledge and skills which will allow them to build on what they know. But sometimes, prior knowledge can inhibit learning. There are common misconceptions in every discipline that we, as faculty, must work to overcome. This is no easy task. Prior knowledge can be as stubborn as an old tree stump, especially when we are trying to plant a new seed for learning to grow.

The American Psychological Association recently published a great tool to help educators break down student misconceptions during their teaching practice through a variety of means. This interactive site covers everything from basic do’s and don’ts to creating cognitive conflict as a means to promote learning new information. We encourage you to try some of these strategies in your own class. Then, let us know how it worked!

How Do I Get My Students Over Their Alternative Conceptions (Misconceptions) for Learning?

Could New “MicroMasters” Programs Be the Future of Higher Ed?

Staying current with the constantly changing world of online education is no small task. Deciding which trends are worth implementing or even paying attention to is also a challenge, especially in higher education.


New “MicroMasters” online programs are something higher education institutions should be paying attention to. An article in Washington Monthly explains that these “MicroMasters” programs are being offered by some major universities including Arizona State and Michigan. These programs are free and open to anyone who wants to take them. The program requires those completing the course to pay a $1,000 fee to receive a certificate of completion.


It is easy to dismiss this as another type of Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) that have typically had very low completion rates and are often over-hyped. These “MicroMasters”, however, offer possibilities that should be considered. They are being offered as a way to explore a possible master’s degree, give a master’s applicant a better chance for admission, and give actual credit hours for master’s programs at some institutions.


Rather than just dismiss these new programs because they are different and make us uncomfortable, we should explore ways to use or improve upon these ideas. Status Quo is no longer acceptable for higher education when it comes to online learning if for no other reason than the intense amount of competition. We must pay attention to these trends and consider how they could be improved upon and implemented, or we may lose students and money to universities that do.

Higher Retention and Better Student Success? Yes Please.

In Higher Ed we are constantly trying to find ways to help students be successful while also trying to increase enrollment and retention. With budget and time constraints it can be difficult for universities and professors to achieve these goals. Universities are trying to tackle these problems with what may seem like unconventional approaches.

Successful Students

Successful and Happy Students

An article from Inside Higher Ed chronicles the efforts at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro to break the “Iron Triangle”.  The triangle they are referring to is the balance of quality, cost, and access. It often seems that one of the three parts of the triangle has to be sacrificed. UNC Greensboro is challenging that assertion with a project they have been running the past two years called CRAFT.


CRAFT is short for create and curate Content, Replace lectures with Active, and Flipped, Team-based learning. Specifically the project focused on general education courses and courses with high rates of students withdrawing or receiving low marks. They have had positive results and found that this format allows for more students to be enrolled in the class as well.


This type of strategy certainly seems like it could help bring quality, cost, and access together without the need for one of them to sacrificed. This is Higher Ed, however, and nothing is quite as simple as it sounds. Developing these courses takes a lot of time and support. It would be asking a lot of a professor to use the CRAFT method on their own.


The bigger message of this article, however, is that you can serve more students, retain more students, and help lower achieving students be more successful with a focus on active learning. When students are actively involved in the learning process they are more likely to be successful. There is research to back this up as a report from the National Academy of Science shows. They examined 225 studies and found that 3500 more students would have passed if active learning was used in those courses. That is certainly compelling data.


It can seem daunting when considering how to start or increase active learning in your courses. The good news is that here at USFSP, OLITS is here to help. We offer trainings on active learning and can help you add active learning to your courses. Check the OLITS Professional Development website to see when upcoming trainings are available or schedule an on-demand training with us. If you want to learn more about active learning, check out this blog post by our very own Otis Wilder.


Padagogy Wheel: The Next Generation

Known as the Padagogy Wheel, this resource combines Bloom’s Taxonomy with Depth of Knowledge levels, SAMR, and iPad apps to help with implementation. It also has active links and QR codes to more resources…in short, it’s a one-stop-shop for increasing rigor and complexity into our classrooms. You can find more information regarding the poster as well as a link to download it as a PDF here: http://designingoutcomes.com/the-padagogy-wheel-v4-0-the-next-generation/



940x434-OCS2016-lpimage-TLHAccording to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, overall higher education enrollments dropped by 1.7 percent for the fall of 2015. Eduventures, however, reports that 3.5 million students enrolled in online degree programs in 2016. In a world of declining enrollments, understanding the unique student population who is studying online will be critical for those institutions who want sustainable, long-term success.

Now, get the answers about who is studying online and what they are looking for in their education in the fifth annual Online College Students report, developed by The Learning House, Inc., and Aslanian Market Research. “Online College Students 2016: Comprehensive Data on Demands and Preferences” shares the results of a survey of 1,500 prospective, current and recently graduated fully online students.

More at: http://www.learninghouse.com/ocs2016/?utm_source=Internal&utm_medium=slider&utm_campaign=OCS2016