What is Quality Matters?
Quality Matters (QM)™ is an internationally recognized course review process that has been adopted at the University of West Georgia. It allows for the ongoing improvement of online and hybrid courses. Quality Matters was developed by the MarylandOnline grant project with the Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education (FIPSE). Goals of the program are to increase student retention, learning, and satisfaction in online courses by applying better course design.
Quality Matters is a nationally recognized, faculty-centered, peer review process created to promote the quality of online/hybrid course design and online components. In recent years, Quality Matters practices and rubric have emerged as the standard for the online/hybrid course design. QM has developed a prescribed sequence of workshops proposed to prepare instructors for becoming peer reviewers of online/hybrid courses that have been submitted for review.
How is UWG benefiting from implementing Quality Matters
As the University of West Georgia moves forward with a revised vision statement and implements the approved Complete College Georgia—University of West Georgia Campus Plan (2012), UWG Online continues to implement QM to assist in achieving the goals outlined in Strategy 5:
Access/Completion: Strategically increase the number and diversity of distinctive, high quality, online offerings, to include participation in eCore and possibly eMajor, to meet student demand and leverage strengths.
Quality Matters processes benefit both individual faculty and their institutions in the following ways:
- Improved online and hybrid student learning outcomes and retention
- Provides a comprehensive process for course development, design, and revisions which are aligned with accreditation standards
- Integration of new technologies and research findings into technology enhanced learning environments
- Faculty professional development and certification
UWG Online Quality Matters Training
Faculty interested in completing UWG Online Quality Matters Training should submit an application, which includes a memorandum of understanding, to complete the courses. A PO will be assigned by UWG Online for use by the selected faculty member to register for QM courses. Selection of faculty to participate in QM training funded by the FDC is subject to priority/need assessment by the FDC and FDC budget restraints.
Faculty will have the academic year to complete the 3 courses. Each course is online, facilitated by Quality Matters through the Moodle platform (unless otherwise stated), and lasts two weeks. Participants can expect to spend 8-10 hours per week to complete courses. Faculty who have successfully completed the training, will be recognized on the UWG Online website and other marketing materials. Current course offerings and their suggested sequence are listed below:
1. DYOC (Designing Your Online Course)
The “Designing Your Online Course” workshop includes an overview of the QM Rubric and provides a framework to design an online course plan. Participants will be given an overview of the QM Rubric, focusing on learning objectives and overall course alignment. There are no prerequisite requirements. Participants will design one module of an online course, it is recommended participants have a course to work with throughout the session.
2. APPQMR (Applying the Quality Matters Rubric)
The Applying the QM Rubric (APPQMR) workshop is QM's flagship workshop on the QM Rubric and the process of using the QM Rubric to review online courses. It is intended for a broad audience, including but not limited to faculty, instructional designers, administrators, and adjunct instructors who wish to understand more about the QM Rubric and process of course review. There are no prerequisite requirements.
The APPQMR is the pre-requisite for the Peer Reviewer Course (listed below), which is the required course to become a QM Peer Reviewer.
3. The Quality Matters Peer Reviewer Course
The Peer Reviewer Course is designed to prepare experienced online faculty to become Quality Matters Certified Peer Reviewers. The Peer Reviewer Course includes a review of Quality Matters, practice critiquing and writing helpful recommendations, and a Practice Review in which the participants are asked to review specific standards in an online course using a simulated online rubric tool.
Eligibility requirements to become a QM Certified Peer Reviewer:
- Successful completion of the Applying the QM Rubric Workshop and the Peer Reviewer Course.
- Current for-credit online teaching experience (within the last 18 months).
- Quality Matters defines an online course as having “few (if any) face-to-face meetings, face-to-face meetings are limited to orientation or capstone events, or students have little or no expectation of meeting the instructor face-to-face.” The entire course is facilitated by technology.
- A hybrid course is defined as “approximately 25% to 75% of the course occurs face-to-face, significant portions of the learning are delivered both online and face-to-face.” Portions of the course are facilitated by technology.
- Complete an Application and a Memo of Understanding. Submit to QM.
UWG Online QM Courses
UWG Online strives to assure that all academic programs have the capacity to transform lives. Faculty may choose to have their courses reviewed utilizing the Quality Matters Rubric. In order to meet Quality Matters review expectations using the Fifth Edition, 2014 QM Rubric, a course must meet each of the 21 essential standards. In addition, the course must receive a minimum of 84 (out of 99 points). Courses that successfully meet QM standards are eligible to carry the QM Certification Mark and will also be displayed on the Quality Matters site. QM recognized courses form the foundation of academically strong programs. Click to see the complete list of UWG courses that are Quality Matters Certified.
Faculty may also choose to have their courses informally evaluated through the UWG Online 5-Star Course Review. This internal review utilizes the 2014 QM Rubric. Courses which meet review standards will be awarded a 5-Star Course status by UWG Online. Click here for additional information regarding the UWG Online 5-Star Course Review.
Click here for more information regarding UWG Online course review procedures.
UWG Online QM Faculty
Through Quality Matters professional development opportunties, faculty can discover the tools they need to develop high quality online, blended, or technology-enhanced courses. Faculty who participate in the UWG Online QM Training program complete a 3-course recommended sequence. Those future oriented faculty who complete all three courses are internally recognized as UWG Online Certified Course Developers and can also go on to become nationally recognized QM Peer Reviewers.
Click to see the complete list of faculty who have successfully completed the UWG Online QM Training Program.
For additional dates and available courses, please view the QM Course Calendar https://www.qmprogram.org/qmresources/registration/index.cfm.
Note: Please allow one week between completion date of Applying the Quality Matters Rubric and starting date of the Peer Reviewer Course to ensure your record reflects successful completion of the APPQMR. This is a QM procedure.