GaVS Quality Assurance Specialist

Welcome GaVS Faculty!

Quality Assurance Specialists

An Introduction to the QAS

The Quality Assurance Specialists (QAS) are evaluation professionals, and their role is to assist all teachers improve their instruction through the completion of monthly observations, thoughtful feedback, and continued collaboration.

As with any aspect of online instruction, communication remains a central component with the observation model at GaVS. The QAS are a highly-trained, classroom observers, and they are quite keen on communicating with instructors on the feedback, best practices, successful lesson plans, and/or personal goals for the coming month, term, or academic year.

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TED Ed Talk on Leadership to Kick-off a fabulous semester!

Simon Sinek: Why good leaders make you feel safe

The Observation Rubric Categories

The QAS will observe GaVS instructors using the 2014-2015 Observation Rubric, and the categories examined highlight the most important areas for effective online teaching.

*Please note the statements describing the categories below and reference the Observation Rubric for full-descriptions.

Grading: The online instructor provides timely and quality feedback for all graded assignments. Grades and feedback reflect current and accurate student progress. Grading is placed as the top priority because it is essential for the quality of the student’s academic experience. Meaningful feedback with lead to differentiation and individualization of the learning pathway.

Entering zeros after each benchmark reflects an updated report to student, parents, teachers and administration.

Policy: All school policies and procedures must be followed. Teachers should refer to the Teacher handbook for specific written policy. Department coordinators may also communicate policy or procedure during the semester. Special education accommodations/modifications are made and clearly communicated to students and parents. Teachers must follow school policies to ensure a consistent, quality experience for all our students. Policy also reflects legal obligations to our students and stakeholders.

Communication: Student success is promoted and facilitated through regular interaction, prompt response, and clear expectations. Communication encompasses every facet of online teaching. Documenting this communication assist the program in offering a consistent, quality experience for our students and stakeholders. Students whose parents are active in their formal education have more long-term academic achievement. These students also have higher grades, higher test scores, positive attitudes, and good behavior.

Homepage: The Homepage is the gateway for student/teacher interaction. The classroom homepage is a welcoming, interactive, timely and informative environment.Organization and information are keys for success in online education. Homepages need to be organized according to Georgia Virtual Learning guidelines. They need to be professional and well maintained. Homepages represent the quality of the program and the instructor.

Discussions: Discussions are a powerful communication and education tools. Teachers are responsible for maintaining meaning threads of discussion that support the content in the course. Discussions are particularly valuable as a tool that encourage student participation in online learning. , writing and responding to discussion posts. Discussions also allow for an open forum to exchange among a community of learners. Discussions online often exceed the limitations of the face to face class by allowing students to communicate socially without social pressures.

Data Analysis: Data Analysis presents a category in which online learning has a distinct advantage over face to face instruction. The amount of data and more importantly the quality of the data available is a useful tool for ensuring student success. Advanced data analysis by online instructors is still in the preliminary stages. The primary purpose of adding this element to the observation rubric is to begin the discussion and reflect on the possible best practices.

ePortfolio: This category of the observation rubric will be provided in the Instructor’s ePortfolio. All of the requirements and dates for ePortfolio can be found in the ePortfolio Protocol document:

Differentiation: While much differentiation is built into Georgia Virtual Learning courses, each teacher should provide additional opportunities to students for enrichment, remediation, and discovery of new technologies. Emphasis should be placed on building 21st century skills: collaboration, cooperation, communication, creativity, organization, problem solving, self-direction and social responsibility, and technology fluency. All students learn differently and students should be aware of how they learn best. Online learning should provide students the opportunity to use their strengths as well as techniques for adapting for their weaknesses.

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Tips on the Effective Use of TheSIS from Corinne McKeown, GaVS Instructional Technology Specialist

  1. When creating a note in TheSIS regarding the welcome phone call, are we supposed to use the phone call template located in the teacher forum and document each of the noted questions? The phone call template is a suggestion of things to ask and know. In TheSIS, if you make a note about the call - you will want to have the following:
    • date/time

    • spoke with

    • any information that has changed

    • any concerns that should be noted (beyond general new

  2. What are we supposed to do for Progress Reports. I had to approve to see my students. Is that the correct procedure? Yes, this is correct. You will need to approve before you can communicate with the students in TheSIS. Be sure to check that dates do not need to be changed. This is noted in the Teacher Course Set-up if dates need to be changed. When progress reports come - you can click this link:
  3. Is it okay to send emails to parents via our Google mail instead of the communication portal for logging purposes? Yes, you can send parent emails via Google. However, if you feel it is something that will comeback to help you if a parent questions something later, you will want to place this in TheSIS.

    • examples in TheSIS - any type of grade discussion, access or lack of student participation
  4. How do bi-weekly progress reports work? What is the process? You have approved your progress report dates in TheSIS in order to log your communication with them. That was step 1. Now that is done you can sit tight until the first grading period end. For the 18 weeks, that would be August 15th. You grade all your work, placing in zero. Then by Tuesday the 19th, you will need to go to your group in TheSIS. Select the pencil by Progress Report 1. You will be able to import the grades from D2L. I suggest not waiting until the last minute! This will help guide you.

“A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.” – Henry Brooks Adams

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Have a brilliant start to Fall 2014! Looking forward to a wonderful collaboration!

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