The Quality Matters program provides professional development, a set of rubrics, and a course peer review process that work together to support faculty in improving the quality of online and blended courses. QM has received national recognition for its faculty-centered approach to continuous improvement in online education and student learning.
The QM rubrics are research-based tools. The Quality Matters Higher Education Rubric (Sixth Edition) consists of 8 general standards and 42 specific criteria that describe best practices in online and blended course design. The QM process is designed to be continuous, collegial, and collaborative. The rubric and associated annotations are based on best practices that promote student learning and instructional design principles that are part of good design. The rubric is supported by a thorough review of the literature and is updated every three years to reflect new techniques and technologies that have become available.
The course review process involves a review of a course by a team of three trained, certified peer reviewers who are all experienced online faculty. This faculty driven process is intended to be diagnostic with the overall goal of course improvement. It does not involve pass/fail judgments but instead relies on the team members providing specific guidance for the course developer on what might be done to modify the course in order that it will eventually meet standards. There is a clear recognition throughout the process that there are many ways to meet each standard and that no course is perfect. For QM reviewed courses, the goal is to meet an 85% threshold in order to be certified as a quality course.
The Quality Matters process is designed to ensure that courses undergoing review will eventually meet expectations.