Applying the Quality Matters Rubric

Last revised: 01/11/2017 by CAH

Overview

Information about Quality Matters and how to get started with using the rubric.

What is Quality Matters?

Quality Matters (QM) is a continuous improvement model for assuring quality of online and hybrid/blended courses through a peer review process. There are three main components of Quality Matters:

  1. QM Rubric,
  2. Peer Review Process, and
  3. QM Professional Development.
QM Rubric

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The QM Rubric is a set of standards for the design of online and hybrid/blended courses based on national standards of best practice, the research literature, and instructional design principles.The fifth edition of the QM Rubric consists of eight general standards:

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

Within each standard there are specific review standards that have assigned point values ranging from one to three points for a maximum possible total of 99 points.  All three-point items are Essential Standards. To meet Quality Matters expectations, a course must meet all the Essential Standards AND achieve a total overall score of 84 out of 99 points. A one-page PDF listing the QM standards is available on the Quality Matters website (note: this may require creation of a QM account). The QM Rubric Workbook contains detailed annotations that explain the application of the standards and the relationship among them. As a subscribing member of Quality Matters, University of Connecticut faculty may request a copy of the QM Rubric Workbook by emailing ecampus@uconn.edu.

Peer Review Process

There are two types of Quality Matters reviews: Internal and Official.  Internal reviews are self-reviews that may be conducted using the QM Rubric Workbook and scoring sheet. An internal review may also be conducted by a group using Quality Matters’ online Course Review Management System (CRMS), which is available to the University of Connecticut community as a subscribing institution. You can create an account and access the online tools on the Quality Matters website.  Watch this QM YouTube Video (4:16) for a tutorial on conducting a self-review using the online CRMS.

Official QM reviews may be contracted on a course-by-course basis. When conducting an Official QM review of a course, the review team consists of three QM-certified faculty peer reviewers, one of which must be a subject matter expert. At least one of the reviewers must be external to the course’s home institution. Courses that undergo an Official QM review and meet or exceed the expectations will receive QM Certification which is valid for five years (unless significant changes are made to the course).

QM Professional Development

Quality Matters offers professional development workshops and courses leading to certification as Peer Reviewers, Master Reviewers and Certified Trainers. These opportunities are offered in both face-to-face and online formats. The workshop options and course descriptions are listed on the Quality Matters website. As a subscribing institution, UConn faculty may partake in the professional development at the subscriber rates. eCampus fully supports faculty interested in becoming certified reviewers. Contact us for more information at 860-486-1080 or ecampus@uconn.edu.

For more information about applying the Quality Matters Rubric and training opportunities, visit the Quality Matters website or contact eCampus at ecampus@uconn.edu.

 

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