Quality Matters is a research-based initiative aimed at improving student learning experiences in online programs and courses. The Quality Matters curriculum introduces faculty and instructional staff to best practices in instructional design, provides a rubric for assessing online course design and outlines a process for continuous improvement of online and hybrid courses. The University of Maryland developed the QM process and rubric from a FIPSE grant.
Why Quality Matters? Nearly 100 U of M faculty have participated in Quality Matters training. Read what one instructor has to say about the program, including her experiences as a peer reviewer.
Overall U of M Goal
• Use recognized national quality assurance standards to ensure excellence in course design
Benefits of Quality Matters
As a member of the Quality Matters program, the University of Minnesota and participating faculty and their departments realize many benefits.
Benefits to faculty:
Benefits to the University:
Quality Matters Rubric
The Quality Matters rubric is grounded in best practices in instructional design theory. Faculty and instructional design staff can use the rubric to guide informal course reviews as part of the course development or course revision process.
Rubric workbooks are available from the Office of eLearning. Please contact us at email@example.com if you would like copies of the rubric books. Charges for materials ordered directly from the Quality Matters website will not be paid unless OeL provided prior approval for the order.
The Office of eLearning will provide resources and support for QM for faculty and staff if participation aligns with the eLearning strategies of the department and is approved by the Office of eLearning.
Applying the Quality Matters Rubric (Introduction to the QM Rubric)
Applying the QM Rubric (APPQMR) is QM's flagship workshop on the process of using the QM Rubric to review online courses. It is intended for a broad audience, including but not limited to faculty, instructional designers, administrators, and adjunct instructors who wish to understand more about the QM Rubric, instructional design best practices, and process of course review.
Option 1 - The University has several faculty experienced in online teaching who are certified to teach the APPQMR course, either online or face-to-face. University-facilitated trainings are especially useful for departments or colleges with a cohort of faculty and staff who are interested in participating in the training together.
Option 2 - Individualized training facilitated online by the national QM organization.
Peer Reviewer Course
The Peer Reviewer Course is designed to prepare experienced online faculty to become Quality Matters Certified Peer Reviewers. The Peer Reviewer Course includes a review of Quality Matters, practice critiquing and writing helpful recommendations, and a Practice Review in which the participants are asked to review specific standards in an online course using a simulated online rubric tool.
Upon successful completion of this course, eligible faculty can be QM Certified Peer Reviewers and can serve on formal Quality Matters Course Reviews. More information about the process is available at the Quality Matters website.
Building your Online Course (initial course creation)
The Building Your Online Course workshop is designed to assist faculty in building a new online course around the Quality Matters framework. It includes an overview of the QM Rubric and participants explore all eight key standards of the QM Rubric, focusing on learning objectives and overall course alignment.
Master Reviewer Certification
This is an advanced workshop for experienced QM peer reviewers. It provides more detailed practice on the interpretation of standards and other topics relevant to course reviews. Master Reviewer certification is a requirement for Team Chairs on all official course reviews, both QM-managed and subscriber-managed. Prerequisites include successful completion of the Applying the QM Rubric and the Peer Reviewer Certification, having taught online in the last 18 months, and having served on two official QM course review teams.
1. University faculty or staff who are involved in teaching or the development of online and blended courses
2. Participation aligns with the eLearning strategies in your department, college, or campus
3. QM@UM budget allows for additional participants
If you are interested in applying to participate in Quality Matters trainings, please follow the following process:
For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.