UToledo Online

Does Quality Matter?

Many factors can affect the quality of an online or blended course. These factors include course design, course delivery, the learning management system, faculty readiness, student readiness, infrastructures, and more. Course design is critical to the quality assurance process as it affects the course delivery and overall success of online and blended learning programs.

Quality Matters

Quality Matters (QM) is a nationally recognized, faculty-driven peer review process used to ensure the quality of online and blended course design. The Quality Matters Higher Education Rubric is a set of standards used to evaluate the design of online and blended courses. These standards were developed and revised based on research and established standards in the fields of instructional design and online learning. Reviews are conducted by a team of certified peer reviewers, who actively teach online and have been trained and certified by Quality Matters.

At UT, we strive to meet Quality Matters Standards for our online and blended courses. Instructional designers, who are also certified Quality Matters peer reviewers, work with faculty and teaching assistants to apply QM standards in online and blended learning course design.

QM Rubric Standards       

The Sixth Edition (2018) of the rubric standards consists of 8 general standards with 42 specific standards. These standards were developed and revised based on research and established standards in the fields of instructional design and online learning. The standards can be used to evaluate the design aspect of online and blended courses. They also can be used to guide the design of online and blended courses.

QM Professional Development 

UT Online works with Quality Matters and the Ohio Quality Matters Consortium to offer professional development workshops, including the “Improving Your Online Course (IYOC)” workshop and the “Applying the Quality Matters Rubric (APPQMR)” workshop. UT Online also awards $200 professional development grants for experienced online instructors to complete a peer reviewer certificate course through QM so that they can serve on Quality Matters review teams. In this course, participants learn more about the Quality Matters standards and practice critiquing and writing helpful recommendations to equip faculty to review their own courses and certify them to become peer reviewers for QM official reviews. For more information, please visit our training schedule.

Benefits of Adopting QM in Course Design

For instructors, the QM rubric can be used to evaluate their online and blended courses. It can also be used as a guide to design and revise their online and blended learning courses. Peer recommendations from unofficial and official reviews can provide helpful insights for continuous course improvement to ensure course quality. Courses that meet QM standards in official review will be recognized on QM website. Check out the benefits of Quality Matters training from an instructor’s perspective.

QM Self-Review

Since the University of Toledo is a QM subscriber institution, faculty can benefit by using Quality Matters’ Self-Review system to conduct informal self-reviews of their own courses. The system contains QM standards and annotations for you to refer to when conducting self-reviews. Once completed, the results can be emailed to you or viewed in the system. You can conduct as many self-reviews as you wish. For questions about the Self-Review tool, please contact your instructional designer

Subscriber-Managed QM Official Review

Faculty are encouraged to submit their online courses for an official Quality Matters peer review. If you are interested in submitting your course for a QM review, please contact your instructional designer.

Watch the video below to learn more about the official Quality Matters peer review process from UT faculty who have had their courses reviewed and recognized by QM.


Quality Matters Resources

Meeting QM's accessibility Standards does not guarantee or imply that specific country/federal/state/local accessibility regulations are met. Please consult with an accessibility specialist to ensure that accessibility regulations are met.

Last Updated: 4/3/19