Quality Matters is a faculty-driven, peer review process to ensure the quality of online and blended course design. There are three primary components in Quality Matters program: the QM rubric, the peer review process, and QM professional development.
Course Review: During the 2014-2015 academic year, Learning Ventures conducted 36 informal reviews resulting in recommendations for improvement sent to the faculty course developers. Learning Ventures also worked with faculty members and submitted six courses for official reviews. They are all recognized by Quality Matters. For a complete list of QM recognized courses please visit QM Recognized Courses page.
Professional Development: In the 2014-2015 academic year, many faculty participated in QM professional development programs. Twenty-two faculty members completed the Applying Quality Matters Rubric workshops, and nine faculty members completed the Peer Reviewer Course. Some of them have become certified QM peer reviewers. As of July 13, 2015 seventeen faculty members are certified QM peer reviewers and served on course review teams. For a complete list of peer reviewers please visit our certified QM peer reviewers page.
Rubric Use: The rubric is used to ensure online course design quality. Guidelines and templates (start here, syllabus, module guidelines, schedule, and alignment plan) were developed by the Instructional Design and Development Department according to Quality Matters standards and distributed to faculty. An Online Course Design Evaluation tool was developed according to QM standards and revised based on research findings.
- Course Development: All new online course developers receive a copy of the rubric before developing their online courses. Instructional designers, who are QM certified reviewers, provide on-going consultations in the course development process. Course developers receiving development stipends conduct a self-review and the results of the self-review are shared with Learning Ventures for course improvement purposes.
- Course Evaluation: An online course evaluation survey was developed based on the QM essential standards. The use of this evaluation tool is required for new online courses supported with course development funds. Its use is highly recommended for all courses undergoing revisions. The results are used to improve course design.
- Course Revision: Instructional designers incorporate QM rubrics when consulting with online instructors in course revision.
- Program Review: Learning Ventures takes a proactive approach in reaching out to fully online programs to integrate QM review into program review. There are three types of QM reviews: official review, informal review, and self-review. Institutions can also conduct customized reviews according to their institutional goals. In official reviews, each review team consists of three certified QM peer reviewers; a team chair, a subject matter expert, and an external reviewer. The peer review team is autonomous and the decision to declare a course QM certified is based on QM standards and annotations. They also provide constructive, specific, balanced, sensitive, and measurable recommendations for course developers to adopt in the revision of their courses.
Since UT’s adoption of the QM standards, many online faculty members have participated in our QM initiatives. One of our goals is to increase the number of faculty members participating in our online faculty development programs and submitting their online courses for QM reviews. If you are interested in Quality Maters program please contact your instructional designers or one of our Quality Matters Coordinators.
- Sue Ann Hochberg
- Barbara Kopp Miller
- Peter You