The Quality Matters Higher Education Rubric, Fifth Edition, 2014 is based on research-supported and published best practices. It is a set of 8 General Standards and 43 Specific Review Standards (21 of which are designated as Essential) by which to evaluate the design of online and blended courses. The rubric is complete with annotations that explain the application of the standards and the relationship between them. A scoring system and set of online tools facilitate the evaluation by a team of reviewers.
While there are multiple aspects to course quality, QM reviews course design only – not delivery or faculty performance.
The Eight General Standards are:
- Course Overview and Introduction
- Learning Objectives (Competencies)
- Assessment and Measurement
- Instructional Materials
- Course Activities and Learner Interaction
- Course Technology
- Learner Support
- Accessibility and Usability
Unique to the Rubric is the concept of alignment. This occurs when critical course components - Learning Objectives (2), Assessment and Measurement (3), Instructional Materials (4), Course Activities and Learner Interaction (5), and Course Technology (6) - work together to ensure students achieve desired learning outcomes. Specific Standards included in Alignment are indicated in the Rubric Annotations.
In order to meet Quality Matters review expectations, a course must meet each of the 21 Essential Standards and achieve an overall score of at least 84 (85% of 99 possible points).