Colorado Mesa University has always been focused on providing all of its students with a quality learning experience. As more learning opportunities are available, and more students choose to access all or part of their education through online formats, the university's focus on quality remains. The following is an outline of Colorado Mesa University's strategy to address quality in online learning environments.

Background

In the 2009-10 academic year, Colorado Mesa University (CMU) submitted a request to the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) to extend its regional accreditation to the offering of online degree programs. In the fall semester of 2010, CMU received notice from the HLC of the approval of its change request. As part of the process, an HLC site review team recommended that CMU create a set of standards for its online courses.

In response, CMU Academic Affairs convened the Distance Education Quality Working Group (DEQWG), composed of faculty and staff, to discuss the topic. In the Spring of 2011, the working group presented a series of factors related to quality in online learning and related recommended practices. Each of the quality factors and their related practices has been acted upon. As quality is a continuously shifting target, the actual practices to address each of the factors are consistently under various stages of review and deployment. The quality factors included: