Quality Matters

Quality Matters Logo

Quality Matters™ (QM) is a faculty-centered, peer review process designed to certify the quality of online and blended courses. QM has been chosen by UMBC as the standard for quality course design in our online courses. QM is a leader in quality assurance for online education and has received national recognition for its peer-based approach to continuous improvement in online education and student learning. The QM program includes:

  • Faculty-centered, continuous improvement models for assuring the quality of online courses through peer review
  • Professional development workshops and certification courses for instructors and online learning professionals
  • Rubrics for applying quality standards to course design

The QM Rubric

The Quality Matters Higher Education Rubric (7th edition) is a set of 8 General Standards and 44 Specific Review Standards used to evaluate the design of online and blended courses. QM Standards are research-supported and based on published best practices. Faculty may download the Rubric from UMBC Box (login required).

The 8 General Standards are:

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

Training & Support

The Applying the Quality Matters Rubric (APPQMR) workshop is offered twice a year through the Quality Matters Impact program. Quality Matters themes are also infused throughout all of our course design and development training, including PIVOT.

Self Review

UMBC faculty have access to the Self Review Tool in the Quality Matters Course Review Management System (CRMS) to conduct a review of his/her own online or blended course. The Self Review Tool provides a list of each standard with links to the detailed annotations that describe what the standard means. A field is provided for you to take notes. You can start and stop at any time in the Self Review process. The Self Review is a reflective process to allow faculty to determine if they have met or not met a particular Quality Matters standard.

Learn how to access the Self Review Tool.

Course Review

The Alternate Delivery Program incorporates a Quality Matters course review into the redesign process. Program coordinators and department chairs may also request course reviews for hybrid and online courses.

As an extension of the award-winning PIVOT program, the Quality Matters Impact program is a new initiative to formally recognize courses that meet Quality Matters standards and demonstrate exemplary online/hybrid course design.

The Instructional Technology office is also available to support faculty who would like to pursue internal Quality Matters reviews for hybrid/online courses.