What is QM?

What is Quality Matters?

Quality Matters (QM) is an internationally 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. There are three primary components of the Quality Matters Initiative: 1) the QM Rubric; 2) the Peer Review Process; 3) QM Professional Development.

The Quality Matters Rubric

The design of online and blended courses is evaluated by 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 the QM Higher Ed Rubric to learn more. Please note: The document may not be duplicated or distributed without written permission from QM.  You will be required to Sign In using your MYQM Account to access the document.  If you do not have an account, you will be prompted to create one. 

The Peer Review Process

The Peer Review Process consists of either official reviews or informal/internal reviews. Official course reviews 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.

Internal review guidelines are less stringent than the official review and follow guidelines set by university administration or college deans.  However, most of the official course review criteria are strongly recommended.

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 (DYOC)

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

The DYOC 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 UNA’s QM Coordinators:  Mr. John McGee and/or Ms. Vanessa Barber by emailing ets@una.edu.