Quality Matters at UNA

What is Quality Matters?

Quality Matters (QM) is a nationally recognized leader of quality assurance in online education. The program is faculty-centered, and utilizes a peer-based approach to continuous improvement in student learning within the online and blended environments. Continue reading below or Please visit QM's Why QM? Web page for more information about QM.


UNA has been a member of Quality Matters since 2012. UNA uses the QM Higher Education Rubric, the peer review process, and QM Professional Development as part of its Course Development Process.

The Quality Matters Rubric

The design of online and blended courses is evaluated using the eight general standards of the QM Rubric. It is based on research-supported and published best practices and updated every 3 years. A scoring system and set of online tools facilitate the evaluation by a team of reviewers. Visit QM Rubrics and Standards to learn more about QM and the QM Higher Education Rubric.  UNA employees have access to the fully annotated QM Higher Education Rubric as a QM member institution.   Contact ets@una.edu for information about obtaining a print copy.

The Peer Review Process

The Peer Review Process consists of either official reviews or informal/internal reviews. Official course reviews through QM must meet the following criteria: 1) follow the current QM Standards; 2) review an online or blended (hybrid) course; 3) utilize a three-person peer review team in which all reviewers are eligible QM-certified Peer Reviewers; 4) At least one reviewer must be external to the institution submitting the course for review; 5) At least one reviewer must be designated as a subject matter expert; 6) the team chair must be a QM Master Reviewer.  

UNA courses pursuing official QM recognition will be expected to participate in an internal review at UNA before to submission to QM. If you are interested in an official Quality Matters review of your course, please contact ets@una.edu.

Internal Reviews at UNA

Internal reviews at UNA occur primarily as part of the Course Development Process. During this, a faculty developer meets with instructional designers over 12 weeks to design a course according to QM standards. The process culminates in an internal review using the QM Course Review Management System (CRMS). As of 2022, internal reviews are conducted by two instructional designers with QM Peer Reviewer Certifications.  Courses are expected to meet QM standards to complete the process. 

In addition to the course development process, faculty can request an internal review of their courses.

UNA recognizing courses with QM Essential badging. A QM Essentials badge means that a course has completed a QM Internal Review that meets all of the essential QM Specific Review Standards of the QM Rubric. Courses meeting QM Essential Standards also help academic programs pursue Quality Matters Program Recognition.

Professional Development

Quality Matters (QM) offers a variety of Professional Development opportunities to help faculty to improve their online courses. These professional development opportunities are available online and in person. ETS faculty are licensed to offer the Applying the QM Rubric (APPQMR) and Designing Your Online Course (DOC)

The APPQMR workshop explores the process of using the QM Rubric to review online courses.  It is also a prerequisite course for individuals interested in becoming a QM-Certified Peer Reviewer.  

The DOC workshop includes an overview of the QM Rubric and provides a framework for participants to design an online course plan. During the workshop, participants will complete a Course Development Plan that can be used during the New Online Course Development Process (NOCD). 

ETS offers these sessions each semester and upon sufficient demand. Colleges and/or Departments may request workshops.  QM criteria require a minimum of six participants per training session. For additional information on QM professional development opportunities, please contact ets@una.edu.