What is QM?

What is Quality Matters?

Quality Matters (QM) is a 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; and 3) QM Professional Development.

The Quality Matters Rubric

Design of online and blended courses are 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.  If you would like to view the QM Rubric, you may do so at 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 subject matter expert; 6) the team chair must be a QM Master Reviewer.

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

Professional Development

Additionally, Quality Matters offers a variety of Professional Development opportunities for faculty to improve online course design. QM professional development opportunities may occur on-campus or online. ETS faculty are certified to offer the QM workshop entitled, “Applying the QM Rubric.” This workshop explores the process of using the QM Rubric to review online courses.  It is a required course for individuals who are interested in becoming a QM-Certified Peer Reviewer.

ETS faculty are in the process of obtaining the license and facilitator certification necessary to offer the workshop entitled, “Improving Your Online Course.” This workshop explores the QM Rubric and guides current online professors through a self-review of a pre-developed online or blended course. Participants gain an understanding of the QM Rubric Standards and develop a course improvement plan. ETS plans to  begin offering this opportunity in May.

For additional information on QM professional development opportunities, please contact UNA’s QM Coordinators:  Mr. John McGee and/or Dr. Natasha Lindsey by emailing