STAR Symposium Committee Receives Excellence Award

The STAR Symposium Committee received an “Overall-in-All” Excellence Award at the 2018 Minnesota eLearning Summit. The committee received the award for the work they’ve done to plan and successfully implement the STAR Symposium All Day Virtual Teaching and Learning Conference for the past three years. The “overall-in-all” designation indicates excellence in all three award categories: innovation, collaboration, and impact.

eLearning Summit 2018

The STAR Symposium is a virtual one-day conference hosted annually by the Minnesota Online Quality Initiative (MOQI). Coordinated by the MOQI Coordinators (Elizabeth McMahon and Robin O’Callaghan), the STAR Symposium celebrates excellence in teaching and learning by providing an avenue for individuals to share best practices, ideas, and resources with colleagues within and outside of Minnesota. The Symposium includes a keynote address, featured session, and multiple concurrent sessions in an easy-to-navigate format that provides participants opportunities to learn and share strategies that positively impact face-to-face, blended, and online courses and/or programs.

The idea for the STAR Symposium grew out of a desire to find better ways for faculty from Minnesota State institutions to share and learn about effective practices in teaching and learning. Lacking resources to provide a face-to-face conference, the MOQI Coordinators assembled a team to design and deliver the STAR Symposium as a low-cost, virtual, interactive one-day conference. A radical departure from a traditional conference, this required creativity and imagination to build an infrastructure, market and sell the value of the new idea, and provide supports to presenters and participants to ensure a high-quality, user-friendly, engaging experience. After only three years, the very successful Symposium has expanded beyond system borders to include national and international presenters and participants.

The award was given to the following individuals to recognize their contributions, creativity and innovation, exceptional collaboration, and extraordinary impact on teaching and learning:

Elizabeth McMahon, Northland Community and Technical College
Dorinda Sorvig, Northland Community and Technical College
Robin O’Callaghan, Winona State University
Mary O’Brien, Winona State University
Rita Rahoi-Gilchrest, Winona State University
Angie Anderson, Anoka-Ramsey Community College
Miki Huntington, Minneapolis Community College
Carla Johanson, Distance Minnesota Support Center
Kimberly Johnson, Minnesota State System Office
Carrie Miller, Minnesota State University, Mankato
Darcy Turner, University of St. Thomas
Roseann Wolak, Saint Cloud State University

Summer Workshops Start July 31

Get ideas to improve your online or blended courses before fall semester starts!

The Minnesota Online Quality Initiative (MOQI) is sponsoring the following low cost online workshops starting on July 31. Information about the summer sessions as well as online sessions being offered in fall semester is available on the MOQI Professional Development page and on the  MOQI Online Workshops (18-19) flyer.

For more information and to register for these workshops: MOQI Workshop Registration


Online “Improving Your Online Course” Workshop

Improving Your Online Course (IYOC): July 31 – August 21      (Note: This workshop is for online or blended courses.)
Location: All online over three weeks – no class meetings.

Description: The “Improving Your Online Course” workshop explores the QM Rubric and provides a framework to improve the quality of online and blended courses. Participants use the QM Rubric to review their own course using the QM Essential Standards. As part of the workshop, participants review course policies, general navigation, course alignment, and basic accessibility among other things. Throughout this workshop, participants receive feedback from their peers as well as the workshop facilitator. Each participant creates a course improvement plan to use for future course improvements once the workshop has concluded. This workshop is intended for faculty who have an online or blended course to work on during this workshop. It is not for developing a course from scratch.

Cost: $35
Register here for this workshop  Registration closes July 27.


Online “Applying the Quality Matters Rubric” Workshop

Applying the Quality Matters Rubric (APPQMR): July 31 – August 14
Location: All online over two weeks – no class meetings.

Description: The Applying the QM Rubric (APPQMR) workshop is QM’s flagship workshop on the QM Rubric and the process of using the QM Rubric to review online courses. It provides an in-depth look at the QM Rubric and describes how the rubric standards can be used as part of a review process (informal or official) that leads to course improvement. The workshop is intended for a broad audience, including but not limited to faculty, instructional designers, administrators, and adjunct instructors who wish to understand more about the QM Rubric and process of course review. During the workshop, participants will look at a sample course to identify areas for improvement, make decisions about whether or not standards are being met, and identify areas for course improvement.

The APPQMR is the pre-requisite for the Peer Reviewer Course, which is the required course to become a QM Peer Reviewer.

Cost: $45
Register here for this workshop  Registration closes July 27.


For questions or more information about these workshops, please contact Elizabeth.mcmahon@northlandcollege.edu