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FIU Online initiatives

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Since Fall 2011, FIU Online has been a part of Quality Matters (QM). Quality Matters is an instructor-centered, peer review process that is designed to certify the quality of online courses. QM is a leader in quality assurance for online education and has received national recognition for its peer-based approach and continuous improvement in online education and student learning. FIU proudly holds the number 1 spot for QM-certified courses. Because of the 2025 Strategic Plan and its mandate that we certify all our online courses as quality, we are all hard at work to certify courses with the Quality Matters rubric. Read more about the Panther Quality Initiative on FIU Online's website. Regardless of your position in the Instructional Design Team, you will be involved in some capacity in certifying courses. DSRs and IDAs can expect to be tasked with helping to pick up cases through the Course Development and Support Queue that help other members of the ID Team with specific tasks related to their certifications.IDSes, IDSups, and IDCs will be working on certifications independently once they receive training. Training consists of a two-week Quality Matters online “Applying the Quality Matters Rubric” course, and then the three-week “Peer Reviewer Course.” These courses will give you in-depth experience with using the Quality Matters Rubric for course improvement, and with providing helpful recommendations in consultation with instructors. IDAs and IDSes will be registered for the training approximately 8 months after starting at FIU Online. IDCs and IDSups will be registered soon after they start.

Panther Quality initiative

Ensuring that all of our courses are accessible to all of our students, regardless of disability, is a top priority at FIU Online. Accessibility removes barriers and creates an inclusive environment where students with diverse abilities, learning styles, and preferences can fully engage with course materials and participate in learning activities. By considering the needs of all students, including those with visual impairments, hearing impairments, and other accessibility requirements, online courses can provide equal access to educational opportunities, promoting fairness and preventing discrimination. Accessibility measures such as providing captions for videos, offering alternative formats for course materials, and implementing assistive technologies empower students to navigate the digital learning environment with confidence, actively participate in activities, and fully comprehend the course content. When online courses prioritize accessibility, they foster an environment that values the unique strengths and abilities of all learners, enabling them to thrive academically and reach their full potential. We work with instructors to ensure accessibility in their courses and offer them training so that they can remediate their content and even independently create content with accessibility in mind. We also work with FIU's Disability Resource Center to learn more about assistive technologies and how to provide accommodations.


As an example of what this work means to our students, watch Dorysped Mancebo's video below:

Affordability Counts is an FIU Online initiative that we kicked off in 2016 as an answer to the rising costs of textbooks and course materials. It was our solution to bridging the gap for those instructors who wanted to lower the cost of materials in their courses but who were having a hard time finding completely free materials. ​In 2019, we took the initiative statewide and several other colleges and universities adopted Affordability Counts in their institutions. To date, over 2,719 courses have been recognized through the statewide pilot. FIU’s 462 courses have reached an estimated cost savings of 89% per course, or over $1.6 million each term. ​Program Quick Facts:

  • To be awarded the Affordability Counts medallion, all course materials need to cost $20 or less per credit hour; for a typical 3-credit class, that means $60 or less.
  • Regarding what course materials are calculated for AC considerations: All course materials are to be included, not just textbooks. (Examples: calculators, subscriptions to Netflix, calligraphy pens, clickers, post-course registration lab fees etc.)
  • Regarding text book/material pricing: All students should be able to secure a new copy of the materials at the $20 per SCH mark or below (physical or digital). Renting a physical copy does not qualify due to the potential issue of availability.
  • Regarding ID role in AC/OER course development: IDs support instructors by providing databases that feature AC or OER content, educating instructors on what AC and OER content is, and by vetting any course content to determine whether they meet AC or OER criteria. IDs should not help instructors find specific content. IDs should instead refer instructors to the Online Learning Librarian, Sarah J Hammill , or the librarian for their department for support in securing specific course content.
  • For more information, check out the Affordability Counts website.

Affordability Counts