IMPACT Insights

June 2021

Professional Development Opportunity—Quality Matters  

quality matters logo and monogram QM
Have you heard about Quality Matters? The Quality Matters Standards for Online & Blended Courses is an evidence-based toolset and process for continuous improvement in online and blended courses.
From Tuesday, August 10 through Monday, August 23, we will be running the Applying the Quality Matters Rubric (APPQMR) workshop and all interested Health Sciences faculty and staff are invited to participate. This is a two-week asynchronous online workshop offered through QM’s learning management system. The workshop provides:
  • An introduction to QM’s quality assurance approach, used by colleges and universities nationwide
  • Practice applying the QM rubric to a demonstration course
  • An introduction to the concept of alignment
  • The first step to becoming a QM peer reviewer
This course is especially recommended for anyone who will be responsible for building or re-designing online or blended courses. The workshop activities take approximately 6-8 hours per week to complete. The cost will be covered by the Health Sciences Dean’s Office.
Please contact Laurie Lyons ( or Alison McGuire ( to sign up for the workshop or if you have any questions.

New VoiceThread Assignment Builder Goes Live June 30th

Assignment overview page in the VoiceThread Assignment Builder tool
Back in February VoiceThread began beta testing their updated Assignment Builder tool. Instructors had the option to start using it right away or continue with the existing version. Beginning June 30th, everyone will be migrated to the new Assignment Builder. Here is a list of some of the improvements:
  • A streamlined interface
  • More control for instructors
  • Editable assignments
  • A student “gallery” so students can easily see each other’s VoiceThreads
  • Better feedback for students
Check out the Assignment Builder Instructor Guide to learn more about the update.
Never used VoiceThread’s Assignment Builder? The Assignment Builder connects to Blackboard’s Grade Center, letting faculty grade VT assignments in VT while viewing student submissions. “Assignments” can be for students to submit a VT, comment on a VT, or view a given VT.

Ideas for Active Learning

This short Faculty Focus article, Four Ideas to Spark Active Learning in an Online Classroom, reminds us all of the importance of active learning and offers a few student-approved ideas on how to incorporate it into remote or online teaching.
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