Quality Matters at JUST!

What is Quality Matters?

Quality Matters (QM), an internationally recognized, standards-based program, offers faculty quality assurance in online and hybrid course design with a focus on continuous improvement. Originating from a FIPSE grant, QM is a non-profit organization offering institutional subscriptions and a range of fee-based services, including QM-managed course reviews and a variety of professional development opportunities. JUST is a subscriber of Quality Matters. 

The Quality Matters program is rubric-based. The 43 standards are specific to higher education, are backed by research, and are nationally recognized as a means to improve course design.


The Quality Matters Rubric

The Quality Matters rubric is designed to help institutions review their own courses across eight broad standards. 

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

To view the rubric, you will need to create a Quality Matters account to get access to the QM Standards Rubric (abbreviated).

How to Prepare your Course for a Quality Matters Review

WCTL staff can assist faculty in designing new online and hybrid courses and reviewing current online and hybrid courses for alignment with Quality Matters standards. For information on how to prepare and submit your course for a QM review.

The QM Course Review Process

Organizations that want to put their courses through an Official Course Review and achieve the QM Certification Mark should ensure they are adequately prepared to make the most of the Course Review process. This involves understanding how the QM Rubric is used to examine course quality and how the review process is used to provide feedback for improving the course. Whether an Official Course Review is managed by QM or the subscriber, all course reviewers must be QM Certified to hold their reviewer role. The composition of the Review Team may differ slightly depending upon the Rubric used. For example, a review team conducted using the Higher Ed Rubric will have a Master Reviewer as the Team Chair and two Peer Reviewers, one of whom is designated as the Subject Matter Expert and one of whom is external to the organization submitting the course for review. Secondary Review Team will have two Subject Matter Experts and one Master Reviewer.QM-cont-improve-diagram-800px.png

After submitting a course for an Official Course Review, the peer course Review Team will review the course using the QM Rubric and provide feedback on how to improve the quality of the course. Through collaboration with reviewers, instructors, and course developers, QM members can work together to improve the course to meet QM Standards at the 85% quality level or better. Members can also take advantage of professional development options that assist them in using QM Standards to improve courses. While there are many ways to meet QM Standards, a course can only achieve QM Certification once it meets quality expectations.

QM Certification is valid for 3-5 years — depending on the Rubric — and is displayed in learning management systems and course catalogs during this time to communicate course quality to students and other stakeholders. If the course hasn’t undergone substantial changes, it can be re-certified through a shorter review process.