Day: November 28, 2023

Quality Matters: A Tool for Assessing Course Quality

As online courses become increasingly popular, it’s important to ensure that they are designed with quality in mind. That’s where Quality Matters (QM) comes in. QM is a tool and process used to assess the quality of a course. It’s helpful to consider these types of recommendations when designing and developing courses.

What is Quality Matters?

Quality Matters began with a small group of colleagues in the MarylandOnline, Inc. (MOL) consortium trying to solve a common problem among institutions: how do we measure and guarantee the quality of a course? The developers of a set of instructional guidance felt the same and even named it, “Quality Matters”. QM is a nonprofit organization comprised of dedicated staff from all over the United States who work together virtually to support everyone’s quality assurance goals.

How does Quality Matters work?

QM is built on a rubric of course design standards and a replicable peer-review process that can:

  • Train and empower faculty to evaluate courses against these standards
  • Provide guidance for improving the quality of courses
  • Certify the quality of online and blended college courses across institutions

The seventh edition QM Rubric is a set of 8 general standards and 44 specific standards used 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 among them. A scoring system and set of online tools facilitate the evaluation by a team of reviewers. The eight general standards are:

  • Course overview and introduction
  • Learning objectives
  • Assessment and measurement
  • Instructional materials
  • Learning activities and learner interaction
  • Course technology
  • Learner support
  • Accessibility and usability

Why should you use Quality Matters?

QM provides a framework for designing, reviewing, and revising online courses to ensure that they meet research-supported standards of quality. By using QM, you can:

  • Ensure that your course meets the needs of your students
  • Provide flexible scheduling options
  • Offer courses everywhere because geography would no longer be a constraint for enrollment
  • Ensure course quality for your students, regardless of where the course originated
  • Create quality online courses that are equivalent to traditional face-to-face courses
  • Improve student learning outcomes


Quality Matters is an essential tool for online faculty who want to ensure that their courses are designed with quality in mind. By using QM, you can create quality online courses that meet research-based standards of quality and improve student learning outcomes. If you are interested in learning more about QM, visit QM website or contact to schedule a meeting with us at CTL.