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Instructor Develops CNM’s First ‘Quality Matters’ Certified Online Course: ‘If I Can Do It, You Can Too’

Romanza ‘Ro’ Forsythe teaches online courses in Medical Terminology and Anatomy in CNM’s Health Information Technology program.
Instructor Develops CNM’s First ‘Quality Matters’ Certified Online Course: ‘If I Can Do It, You Can Too’
Ro says that the QM certification helps to offer her students a well-rounded, challenging curriculum.

Mar 27, 2019

As the world of academia continues to evolve with the age of technology, online courses continue to become increasingly more popular among students. The nationally recognized Quality Matters (QM) Rubric sets a higher standard for online coursework through implementing more comprehensive learning objectives.

Registered Nurse and part-time HIT instructor Ro Forsythe is a graduate of CNM’s Health Information Technology Program, where she now teaches Medical Terminology and Anatomy. She says that the number of sections offered for this one particular course was causing issues with consistent curricula and that, at times, students were finding the course difficult.

“So, I offered to create a master course for Medical Terminology and in that process, I was approached about getting the course QM certified,” Ro says.

Ro was daunted by the idea of creating an online course with such strict standards. She says she had no idea of where or how to begin, but with the help of many CNM staff and faculty members she was able to step back and see the bigger picture.

“Creating a QM certified course is really not much harder than creating a really thorough and comprehensive online course,” Ro says. “Everything you’re putting in the curriculum is there to meet the objectives of the course.”

Ro says that linking each online assignment to a course objective can help faculty members meet QM standards and that as long as you justify what you are adding to the course, you will pass the QM certification.

Additionally, Ro says that the QM certification helps to offer her students a well-rounded, challenging curriculum through in-depth online modules that focus on the learning outcomes of the course.

“The level of expectancy of the course has been raised,” she says. “It is a more robust course and does expect more from the student, which I think helps them with actually retaining the information.”

Ro was able to add new features to her QM online course, such as having her students upload sound files that illustrate their ability to verbally comprehend medical terms.

“Medical terminology is a basic foundation course for most healthcare students,” she says. “They need to be able to both write and verbalize these terms before moving on to more advanced courses. This feature allowed me to ensure that my students understood the content of this course.”

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Ro is proud to say that she was able to successfully attain the QM certification.

As a trailblazer for the QM certification, Ro says that she is very proud of herself and a bit surprised that she was able to do it. She says the faculty members within the School of Health, Wellness & Public Safety played an instrumental role in aiding her success.

“I could not have done it without the support, guidance and resources that CNM provided to me,” Ro says.

She has some words of support for any CNM instructors that might be intimidated by the QM certification.

“For anyone considering a course for QM review, take advantage of those resources, it will make the process a lot easier,” she says. “If I can do it, you can too.”

To learn more about the Quality Matters Rubric, email pvigil51@cnm.edu.