What is Quality Matters?
Quality Matters (QM), an internationally recognized, standards-based program, offers faculty quality assurance in online and hybrid course design with a focus on continuous improvement. Originating from a FIPSE grant, QM is a nonprofit organization offering institutional subscriptions and a range of fee-based services, including QM-managed course reviews and a variety of professional development opportunities. UTC is a subscriber of Quality Matters.
The Quality Matters program is rubric-based. The 43 standards are specific to higher education, are backed by research, and are nationally recognized as a means to improve course design. Other institutions using QM include Texas A&M and Michigan State University.
The Quality Matters Rubric
The Quality Matters rubric is designed to help institutions review their own courses across eight broad standards.
- Course Overview and Introduction
- Learning Objectives (Competencies)
- Assessment and Measurement
- Instructional Materials
- Learning Activities and Learner Interactions
- Course Technology
- Learner Support
- Accessibility and Usability
To view the rubric, you will need to create a Quality Matters account to get access to the QM Standards Rubric (abbreviated).
How to Prepare your Course for a Quality Matters Review
WCTL staff can assist faculty in designing new online and hybrid courses and reviewing current online and hybrid courses for alignment with Quality Matters standards. For information on how to prepare and submit your course for a QM review, go to our Quality Matters Course Certification Process.
Quality Matters Policies
A master course is the template that is used for all online/hybrid sections of a multi-section course. A QM-certified course is the master template for online/hybrid sections and must be used by all instructors of the course.
Quality Matters Multi-Section Course Policy →
QM certification is good for five years. If a course is changed more than 20 percent before the five-year mark, the course must go through recertification.
Quality Matters Certification Mark Guidelines →
Quality Matters Course Certification Process
A course must be submitted for an official Quality Matter review to become a Quality Matters certified course.
Before submitting your course for an official Quality Matters review, courses should either be developed to meet the Quality Matters rubric standards, or be revised to specifically meet the requirements of the Quality Matters rubric if the course is already developed.
1. The following items must be met before an official external Quality Matters review begins:
- Complete the Applying the Quality Matters Rubric (APPQMR) workshop. Make sure that you save your certificate of completion.
- Review the Quality Matters rubric and make modifications to your course to address the Specific Review Standards. Add your course to a sandbox. If you need a sandbox, send a request to [email protected].
- Complete a formal self-review in the Quality Matters Course Review Management System. In the recommendation section, provide detailed information of how a course has met each standard. Contact the Walker Center for instructions on how to complete a self- review or watch the QM Self Review Tool tutorial video.
- Ensure that all course documents, materials, activities, and assessments are available to students in the course sandbox. Textbooks (electronic version preferable) must be available to reviewers.
- Ensure that all course materials are in an accessible format (e.g. video captioning).
2. To begin an official external Quality Matters review:
- Once the above steps have been completed:
click here to access the QM Course Certification application
- Fill in all fields on the application. You will need to attach a copy of the course syllabus.
- Once submitted, an approval request will be sent to the Department Head. Once approved, a senior instructional developer from the Walker Center will review the application and advise the course representative through the certification process.