West Liberty’s Psychology Department honored with QM certification

West Liberty University’s psychology department was honored with the internationally recognized certification from Quality Matters (QM), becoming the first department in the school’s history to earn this distinction.

As a part of health sciences, the psychology department at WLU includes Melanie Bassa, M.A.; Tifani Fletcher Ph.D.; Tammy McClain, Psy.D.; Rebecca Meacham, Ph.D. and Chelsea Robertson, who offers both a B.A. and B.S. in Psychology. The Bachelor of Science in psychology at WLU aligns with the guidelines set by the American Psychological Association. On their website, the goals of the program are listed as: “knowledge of psychological content, scientific inquiry and critical thinking, ethical and social responsibility in a diverse world, communication and professional development.” The course to earn the QM Mark of Excellence was the Introduction to Psychology course (PSYC-101).

In order to become certified, courses must undergo a rigorous review process by QM. Using a rubric to examine course quality and provide feedback for the course, QM takes their process seriously. According to their website, they are supported by literature reviews of online learning research. In an interview with Maureen Zambito, Dr. Tammy McClain, professor of psychology and coordinator of master’s in the clinical psychology program at WLU, said of the program, “The Quality Matters Official Review provided the opportunity to reflect on this course and examine it from the learner perspective. From accessibility to learner engagement to assessments, the review used internationally-recognized standards and best practices to examine critical course components related to the learner experience and ultimately learner success.”

Courses that receive this distinction meet QM’s standards at a level of 85% or greater in the official review process. According to their website, “Certification is valid for three to five years depending on the QM Rubric used to review the course.” The QM Mark of Excellence is recognized nationally and internationally as the certifications “demonstrate a commitment, not only to creating an environment of excellence and quality, but of maintaining that commitment.”

After McClain took a summer course focusing on professors’ increasingly important role in online learning, she took it upon herself to receive the certification for her online course. This award is not common, though it is awarded in over 30 countries. WLU now uses the QM rubric as a guideline for the majority of course development and revision.

To learn more about the psychology department, click here. To learn more about QM, visit their website.