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  • QM at MSUM

    What is Quality Matters?

    Quality Matters (QM) is a nationally recognized, faculty-centered, peer review process designed to certify the quality of online and hybrid courses. The QM process is based on research literature and best practices for online teaching and learning. The guiding principles behind QM promote student-centered design, intended to stimulate student learning and increase student satisfaction with the learning process. There are three primary components to QM: the QM Rubric, the Peer Review Process, and Professional Development.

    QM provides a rubric that outlines principles of effective online course design. The rubric consists of standards that address course structure and clarity, learning outcomes, and learner engagement & support. The review process is designed to ensure that course outcomes and expectations are clearly communicated and that student learning is assessed based on those expectations. The QM review also ensures that online courses include meaningful interaction between instructors, students, and the course content. QM professional development opportunities, related to both online course design and delivery, are offered on-site and online.

    For more information about Quality Matters history and research visit QM website or check out the Office of Online Learning blog for QM Quickies.

    How is MSUM involved in QM?

    MSUM is an affiliate subscriber to Quality Matters through a statewide license managed by Minnesota Online Quality Initiative (MOQI). This subscription allows all MSUM faculty the opportunity to create a MyQM account which provides access to the online version of the fully annotated rubric as well as QM’s online Self-Review tool.

    Quality Matters training and course reviews in Minnesota are coordinated through MOQI. More information about MOQI is available online. Also available online is a list of other Minnesota institutions affiliated with MOQI, and a list of QM Recognized Courses in Minnesota. 

    What MSUM courses have earned QM recognition?

    MSUM QM certified courses by year:  


    •  ED 633 Technology and Information Systems - Rhonda Ficek


    • ED 613 Social, Cultural, Political, and Community Dimensions - Boyd Bradbury
    • ED 630 Leadership, Planning, and Organizational Behavior in Education - Boyd Bradbury
    • ED 631 School Law and Organizational Structure - Boyd Bradbury
    • ED 636 Political and Educational Finance - Boyd Bradbury
    • ED 790 Topics in Education: Superintendency Seminar - Boyd Bradbury


    • CSIS 316 Ethics in the Information Age - Rhonda Ficek
    • SPED 471/571 Behavior and Environment Management - Sue Severson
    • SPED 620 Policies & Perspectives in Special Education - Sue Severson


    • ED 670: Educational Alternatives for Learning - Michael Coquyt
    • ED 690: Teacher Leadership - Michael Coquyt
    • ED 701: Intro to Adv. Scholarship and Leadership - Boyd Bradbury
    • ED 793: Seminar: Higher Ed Administration - Boyd Bradbury


    • ED 785: Building a Compassionate Community of Scholars - Boyd Bradbury
    • NURS 301: Transitions - Rebecca Rudel
    • NURS 342: Nursing Care of Diverse Populations - Rebecca Rudel
    • PSY 220: Social Behavior - Rochelle Bergstrom


    • ED 705: Qualitative Methods in Academic Research - Michael Coquyt
    • ED 740: Fiscal Management for Educational Growth and Change - Boyd Bradbury
    • ED 767: Organization & Administration of Educational Leadership - Michael Coquyt
    • ED 783: Strategic Assessment and Accountability in Education - Boyd Bradbury

     QM recognized courses in Minnesota
     National Database of QM recognized courses

    How can I get QM training?

    Many MSUM faculty and staff have already participated in QM training, in addition to holding current certifications as QM Peer Reviewers and Trainers. Faculty are encouraged to take advantage of QM-approved training sponsored by MOQI to learn more about online course design or to become certified as a QM Peer Reviewer.

    Faculty interested in understanding the standards and how they apply to the course development process are invited to contact an instructional designer/technologist in the Office of Online Learning department for a QM consultation. 

    To request a QM consultation or to find out how to get registered for QM-approved training sponsored by MOQI, send an email to the QM Coordinator, Catherine Artac (

    Where can I get a copy of the QM Rubric?

    Hard copies of the QM Rubric Workbook with the fully annotated rubric are available upon request through the QM Coordinator, Catherine Artac.

    An online version of the fully annotated rubric is also available on the QM website through the Course Review Management System. Login is required using your MyQM account credentials. If you need to create a MyQM account, be sure to use your email address and list your affiliated institution as Minnesota State University Moorhead.

    How can I use the QM Rubric?

    While the QM Rubric was designed specifically with online and hybrid (blended) courses in mind, the instructional design principles behind QM are applicable to any course – online, hybrid, or face to face. QM is adaptable to your goals, whether they are your personal goals or those of your department/program. The rubric can be used to provide a quality threshold for course design and QM training serves as excellent professional development.

    The Rubric can be used informally by faculty looking for pedagogically-sound, student-centered course design strategies. Faculty can use the QM rubric to guide their decisions while designing new courses and as the foundation for review and revision of existing courses. A Self Review tool is available on the QM website to assist with this process. There are significant benefits of using QM informally, but official QM recognition comes only if the “official” process is followed.

    The Rubric is used in the official peer review process. The course peer review process is voluntary. It involves a comprehensive review by trained peer reviewers who utilize the Quality Matters Rubric to provide feedback on the course. Courses that meet standards are listed in a national database of recognized courses.  The course developer is provided access to an online “seal” from QM that indicates the year the course met standards – this seal can be displayed by the faculty course developer each time the course is taught by including it in the course syllabus or online.

    How can I get my course reviewed?

    An online application form is available on the MOQI website. It is not required, but strongly recommended to have QM training prior to submitting course for a formal review and to work with the QM Campus Coordinator in the application process.

    What are the steps in the Official Peer Review Process?

    Step 1: Request a D2L Course Shell for the Review

    Official reviews will not be conducted in the actual site where the course was conducted. A separate D2L site will be made for this purpose and your course materials will be copied into this shell. Contact the QM Coordinator, Catherine Artac for further details. 

    Step 2: Conduct a Self-Assessment

    Use the Rubric to inform decisions about possible revisions to make to your course prior to the official review. A Self-Review tool is available on the QM website in the Course Review Management System to assist you in this process.

    Step 3: Engage in the Informal Peer Review Process

    After using the Rubric to look through your course on your own, it is recommended you request an informal review of your course. You may wish to ask a colleague to look through your course using the Rubric, or you can request an informal review to be conducted by the QM Coordinator, Catherine Artac. Reviews, even informal reviews, may take several hours, so plan as far in advance as possible to allow time for your colleague or the Coordinator to complete the review.

    Step 4: Finalize Course for the Formal Review Process

    Use feedback provided to you in the previous step to make final revisions to your course.

    Step 5: Engage in the Formal Peer Review Process  

    The Formal Review Process is a collaboration between the Faculty, campus QM Coordinator, and Peer Review Team. Reviews are coordinated through MOQI and are initiated by completing an online application.

    The application process for getting courses reviewed may take several weeks. You may wish to work with the QM Coordinator to submit your application while you are working on Step 4.

    Who can I contact for a QM consultation?

    Send an email to to request a time to meet with Catherine Artac in the Office of Online Learning to learn more about QM, discuss your QM goals, or learn specific ways you can address the QM standards in your course.