Quality Matters on Campus

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Published: Monday, April 29, 2019
Summary:

The University of Arizona has been using a program called Quality Matters (QM) for the last ten years or so. The QM rubric is a tool to review the design of online courses.

Wouldn’t it be amazing if there were a way to measure the quality of online course design? What if we could distill mountains of research about course design efficacy into discrete components, and use those components as a common language to have open conversations about the design of a course and areas where we can continue to improve and grow? 

Good news: The University of Arizona has been using a program called Quality Matters (QM) for the last ten years or so. Whether you are very familiar with the program or had no idea it was even something we used, read on to find out how QM is making an impact on campus with faculty, students and staff.

Professional Development

The QM rubric is a tool to review the design of online courses. The rubric has eight general standards and 42 specific review standards. To apply these standards, faculty and staff begin by taking a workshop called Applying the Quality Matters Rubric (APPQMR).  

  • 285 UA faculty and staff have completed this introductory APPQMR workshop
  • 47 of those who took the APPQMR went on to take the next level of training to be a certified peer reviewer

If you have never heard of QM or don’t think you know anyone who has participated, ask around your department or unit. Chances are, there are folks you see all the time who are already plugged into the QM community here at the UA.

Course Reviews

The rubric is applied to a peer review process with the intended outcome being that the course receives QM certification. We use two levels of certification at the UA: official reviews and internal reviews. 

Internal reviews use an abbreviated version of the rubric and follow a similar peer review process as official reviews. We give an internal QM award of excellence to courses that meet the standards.

Official reviews use the full rubric and receive Quality Matters Certification. You can check out all the courses that have received QM Certification on their website.  

At the UA, 69 courses have participated in an internal QM review, and five courses have received the official QM certification mark: 

  • TLS 412: Educating Culturally Diverse Students in a Pluralistic Society - Melody Buckner
  • SPAN 101: First Semester Spanish - Carmen King de Ramirez
  • NURS 652: Methods for Scholarly Inquiry - Ruth Taylor-Piliae
  • Nurs 644: Molecular and Clinical Genetics and Genomics - Matthew Gallek
  • SBE 201: Sustainable Design and Planning - Ladd Keith

Learn More

If you are interested in taking Quality Matters professional development or having a course reviewed, contact your campus QM representative, Janet Smith, for more information.

Authored By:

Janet Smith

Janet Smith
Assistant Director, Continuous Improvement