The Quality Matters rubric consists of eight general standards and 43 specific standards used to define quality expectations for the basic elements that go into the design of an online or blended course. An important component of the rubric includes the annotations for each standard which includes information about the standard, examples, and instructions to reviewers. Lastly, a component that is unique to this rubric is the concept of alignment. Specific standards included in alignment are indicated in the rubric and these standards all work together to ensure learners achieve learning outcomes.
- The Course Overview and Introduction (9 standards)
- Learning Objectives (Competencies) (5 standards)
- Assessment and Measurement (5 standards)
- Instructional Materials (6 standards)
- Course Activities and Learner Interaction (4 standards)
- Course Technology (6 standards)
- Learner Support (4 standards)
- Accessibility and Usability (4 standards)
A scoring system is used by course reviewers to evaluate a course. Points are assigned to each standard: 3 points (Essential), 2 points (Very Important), or 1 point (Important). Courses must have a minimum score and meet all 3-point standards to meet QM standards. The emphasis is on “above average” and that is the reason QM recommends reviewing mature courses (taught at least two terms).
Steps for Using the QM Standards for Course Review
- Read the specific review standard
- Read the annotation
- Look for evidence in the course that the standard is met
- Make a decision about whether the standard is met
- Write a recommendation that will help the instructor make positive changes to the course
The Applying the Quality Rubric (APPQMR) workshop is QM’s flagship workshop on the QM rubric and the process of using it to review online and blended courses.