From Researching Virtual Initiatives in Education
Quality Matters (QM) is a faculty-centred, peer review process that is designed to certify the quality of online and blended courses.
There are three primary components in the Quality Matters Program: The QM Rubric, the Peer Review Process and QM Professional Development.
The Quality Matters Rubric is the core of QM and consists of a set of 8 general standards (Course Overview and Introduction; Learning Objectives; Assessment and Measurement; Instructional Materials; Learner Interaction and Engagement; Course Technology; Learner Support; and Accessibility) and 41 specific standards used to evaluate the design of online and blended courses. The Rubric is completed with annotations that explain the application of the standards and the relationship among them, as well as examples of good practice for all 41 standards. A scoring system and set of online tools facilitate the evaluation by a team of reviewers.
In an effort to apply the program also to the secondary education community, the Grades 6-12 Rubric was developed specifically tailored for middle school and high school online and blended courses. The G6-12 rubric has been created to address the need for a set of 9 general standards (Course Overview and Introduction; Learning Objectives; Assessment and Measurement; Resources and Materials; Learning Activities; Course Technology; Learner Support; Accessibility; and Compliance Standards) that is specific enough to guide the development, enhancement, and evaluation of online and blended courses for middle and high school students.
In this respect, the Quality Matters Program collaborated with a leading provider of online courses for students in grades 6 to 12, the Florida Virtual School (FLVS). In addition to collaborating with FLVS, the G6-12 Rubric integrates existing national standards for K–12 online education promulgated by the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB), The North American Council for Online Learning (iNACOL) and the Partnership for 21st Century Skills.
Quality Matters is a not-for-profit subscription service that was developed by MarylandOnline with funding from Fipse. QM is a leader in quality assurance for online education and has received national recognition for its peer-based approach and continuous improvement in online education and student learning. Adopted by a large and broad user base, QM represents a shared understanding of quality in online course design. QM subscribers include community and technical colleges, colleges and universities, K-12 schools and systems, and other academic institutions.