Berkeley College Professor Discovers How Quality Matters Certification Process Shapes a Good Course into a Better One

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Contact: Ilene Greenfield
Director of Media Relations
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When Professor Rick Olivieri, JD, Legal Studies, Berkeley College School of Professional Studies, found out he would be creating a Quality Matters (QM) online course, he ventured outside of his comfort zone. At the Online Faculty Symposium hosted by Berkeley College, he told faculty to let go of their presuppositions. “Faculty should suspend their anxiety and apprehension when approaching QM,” he said. “The process is not an attempt to interfere with academic freedom or an attempt to standardize the learning process. Actually, QM enhances academic freedom by providing the instructor with an effective, well-organized teaching platform.”

Quality Matters is the global organization leading quality assurance in online and innovative digital teaching and learning environments. It provides a scalable quality assurance system for online and blended learning used within and across organizations. Courses marked with QM Certification indicate they have met QM Course Design Standards or QM Program Review Criteria in a rigorous evaluation process.

“What impressed me most about the QM process was the reviewers’ attention to detail,” Professor Olivieri said. “For example, in connection with the discussion board component of my Legal Research & Writing course, the external reviewer recommended that I consider adding video options to the discussion board for both students and the instructor. The reviewer also offered suggestions on ways to draft discussion questions that would permit more collaboration. Now I am drafting discussion questions that prompt a student to engage in a discussion that requires more analysis and critical thinking of the topic.”

Professor Olivieri also discovered how to make the course accessible, which means how to include ways in which a student with a disability can understand the course content. He used programmable resources to help and found a lot of free resources and expertise available through the internet. At Berkeley College, instructional designers also help.

Rather than be overwhelmed by this new experience, Professor Olivieri was pleasantly surprised and delighted. “The objective of QM Certification is not to diminish or tear apart an existing course, but rather to shape a good course into something that improves quality and student learning. I view it as a winning formula for faculty, the College, and, most importantly, the student,” he said.

About Berkeley College
A leader in providing career-focused education since 1931, Berkeley College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and enrolls more than 7,000 students – including more than 350 international students – in its Master’s, Bachelor’s, and Associate’s degree and Certificate programs. Students can study in more than 20 career fields. Berkeley College is comprised of the Larry L. Luing School of Business®, the School of Professional Studies, the School of Health Studies and the School of Liberal Arts. The School of Graduate Studies offers an MBA in Management online and in Woodland Park, NJ.

Berkeley College has three New York campuses – Midtown Manhattan, Brooklyn and White Plains. In New Jersey there are four campuses – Newark, Paramus, Woodbridge and Woodland Park. Berkeley College Online® serves a global population. For six consecutive years, U.S. News & World Report has named Berkeley College among the Best Colleges for Online Bachelor’s Programs and among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Veterans. The website address is

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