As CSU campuses offer additional online and blended courses, it is critical to define quality online teaching and learning, determine how to assess it, and make desired improvements. In commitment to academic quality and integrity, the CSU Quality Assurance (QA) Program offers multiples services and resources. The CSU QA program is beginning its eighth year of complementing campus efforts by providing funding, resources, training, and course certifications to CSU faculty and staff who are designing and delivering quality online and blended courses. The CSU QA Program has adopted two rubrics to support campus efforts and faculty in developing online and blended courses: CSU Quality Learning & Teaching (QLT) and Quality Matters (QM). The CSU QA Program also provides training each term (fall, spring, summer) for Free for CSU faculty and staff using certified CSU QLT & QM facilitators. Additionally, since 2015 the CSU QA Program has launched and manages formal course review certifications using a 3-team approach that analyze the course from a student perspective and provide feedback for course improvement. Lastly, the CSU QA Program leads monthly professional learning communities with QA Administrators and/or Faculty Leads, instructional designers, and a research group (SQuAIR) who collect, analyze and disseminate research to determine the impact of QA training and course certification on teaching performance and student success.
- Provide online students with access to equal-or-better quality instruction as compared to face-to-face courses, improving student academic success and timely progress to graduation.
- Promote effective pedagogical and technological solutions to expand student engagement and active learning in online courses.
- Determine the impact of QA professional development and course certification on teaching performance and student success in CSU online and blended courses.
- Apply principles of Universal Design for Learning, accessibility, and equity in online courses toward greater success of all students, including those with disabilities.
- Promote academic integrity of student performance to maintain rigor while minimizing cheating and plagiarism.
- Provide campus support for faculty efforts to design and deliver quality online courses through professional development and course certifications.
- Widely disseminate techniques, experiences and outcomes from the various campus projects across the CSU through effective communications between campuses and including the Chancellor’s Office.
- Create a network of faculty, staff, and administrators informed of the various quality assurance factors, tools, and resources that enable effective online teaching and learning.
Ashley Skylar, Ph.D.
Manager Quality Assurance Blended-Online Program
CSU Academic Technology Services
Ashley Skylar works as Manager of the Quality Assurance Blended-Online Program with the CSU Chancellor’s Office, Academic Technology Services (ATS) to support campuses in leadership efforts to develop online and hybrid courses. She serves as the CSU Institutional Representative for Quality Matters, manages CSU QM & QLT Formal Course Certifications, and holds various Quality Matters certifications including -Peer Reviewer, Master Reviewer, Course Review Manager, Applying the Quality Matters Rubric Facilitator (F2F & online), and Improve Your Own Course Facilitator. She also leads and facilitates systemwide QM and QLT training for the system. In this role, she also manages campus groups including CSU QA campus leads, instructional designers, and SQuAIR Student Impact Research in Online courses. Previous to this role she served 2 ½ years as the Director for Online Education for Cal State Online, 8 years as an Associate Professor in Special Education and 2 years as a Faculty Associate in the Technology Center at CSU Northridge. She has been teaching online since 2001 and previous to HE was a special education secondary teacher for 8 years in Las Vegas, NV. Dr. Skylar’s expertise areas are in UDL, ATI, Distance Education, Strategic Planning, and Instructional Design.
Mary Bennett, M.A.
Instructional Developer, Fresno State
CSU QLT Course Manager
Mary Bennett is an Instructional Designer in The Center for Faculty Excellence (CFE) at California State University, Fresno. CFE provides faculty with tools to help improve teaching and learning through the use of technology. In her role, Mary works with faculty in the design and development of online and hybrid courses. In addition, she leads professional development opportunities, develops curriculum, and serves as a mentor to educators new to the world of online teaching. Additonally, she works as the QLT (Quality Learning & Teaching) Course Manager for the CSU QA Blended-Online Program and manages the systemwide offerings of the “Introduction to Teaching Online” and “Reviewing Courses Using the QLT Instrument” courses. Mary is an advocate for student-centered learning environments, facilitated by instructors who engage students in active learning using technology to enhance and innovate traditional instruction. Mary earned a B.A. in Liberal Studies and holds a Multiple Subjects Credential. Her Masters in Education focused on Educational Technology, she has several certificates related to online and blended instruction. In addition, Mary is a Google Certified Innovator and a Google Higher Ed Trainer. She has special expertise in integrating new technology into online courses using pedagogical strategies and outcomes.
Marla Gunasegaram, MLIS
Quality Assurance Blended-Online Program Coordinator
CSU Academic Technology Services
Marla Gunasegaram is the Quality Assurance Blended-Online Program Coordinator in Academic Technology Services (ATS) at the CSU Chancellor’s Office. She supports the Quality Assurance Manager in the coordination, facilitation, development and registration of Quality Assurance Quality Learning and Teaching (QLT) courses. Working with the ATS web development team, she is responsible for the design, development, maintenance, and support of the Quality Assurance Resource Repository (QuARRY). In addition, she is a Quality Matters (QM) Systemwide Co-Lead. Prior to this position, she served 6.5 years as the Web Developer/Interface & Instructional Designer for the US Department of Education and US Department of Labor SkillsCommons Open Educational Resources (OER) Digital Repository. She has 20+ years of experience in web system design and development for academic and non-profit institutions. She holds a Masters in Library and Information Science (MLIS) with an emphasis in Informatics and Information Systems from the University of California, Los Angeles Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. She has extensive experience developing websites and systems complying with ADA Section 508 Accessibility standards. Her areas of expertise are Web Accessibility, Usability/User Centered Design, Digital Repository Metadata Schema Development, Information Architecture and Interface/Graphic Design.