Quality Matters

Quality Matters LogoWhat is the QM Program?

Quality Matters (QM) is a faculty-centered, peer review process that is designed to certify the quality of online and blended 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. QM subscribers include community and technical college, college and universities, K-12 schools and systems, and other academic institutions.

There are three primary components in the Quality Matters Program: 

  • The QM Rubric 
  • The Peer Review Process
  • QM Professional Development.

The QM Rubric

Based on research-supported and published best practices, the QM Rubric is a set of standards by which to evaluate the design of online and blended courses. The Quality Matters Higher Education Rubric, Fifth Edition, 2014* is a set of 8 General Standards and 43 Specific Review Standards. The Rubric is complete with Annotations that explain the application of the Standards and the relationship among them. A scoring system and set of online tools facilitate the review by a team of Peer Reviewers.

Unique to the Rubric is the concept of alignment. This occurs when critical course components – Learning Objectives (2), Assessment and Measurement (3), Instructional Materials (4), Course Activities and Learner Interaction (5), and Course Technology (6) – work together to ensure students achieve desired learning outcomes. When aligned, each of these course components is directly tied to and supports the learning objectives.  Specific Review Standards included in Alignment are indicated in the Rubric Annotations.

The Eight General Standards

  1. Course Overview and Introduction
  2. Learning Objectives (Competencies)
  3. Assessment and Measurement
  4. Instructional Materials
  5. Course Activities and Learner Interaction
  6. Course Technology
  7. Learner Support
  8. Accessibility and Usability

*Please Note: A QM Login is required to view the linked rubric.

The Peer Review Process

Quality Matters promotes a peer review process and provides a database of trained QM Peer Reviewers eligible for assignment to a peer review team. Any subscribing institution may conduct internal or informal reviews. Only eligible subscribers, QM, or its designees may conduct official course reviews. KSU uses internal course reviews conducted by KSU faculty who have been trained to use the QM rubric. Because of this, KSU online courses are not QM certified courses, but rather are certified KSU online courses.

Additional Information

Additional, in-depth information about the Quality Matters Program can be found here.