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
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 ITS blog for QM Quickies.
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
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.
MSUM QM certified courses by year:
QM recognized courses in Minnesota National Database of QM recognized courses
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 Instructional Technology Services for a QM
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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 @mnstate.edu email address and list your affiliated institution as Minnesota State University-Moorhead.
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 a 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.
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
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
Use feedback provided to you in the previous step to make
final revisions to your course.
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
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.
Send an email to email@example.com
to request a time to meet with one of the staff in Instructional Technology
Services to learn more about QM, discuss your QM goals, or learn specific ways
you can address the QM standards in your course.
End of Semester Checklist