Quality Matters

Lewis University has been an institutional member of Quality Matters (QM) since 2021. QM is a nationally recognized, faculty-centric, nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and improving the quality of online education and student learning.

Quality Matters

QM is the leader in quality assurance in online and innovative digital teaching and learning environments. Institutional membership in QM is an opportunity to continue to develop and enrich online teaching at Lewis.

What is Quality Matters (QM)?

QM is a global organization with over 1500-member institutions in over 30 countries across 6 continents. QM has become a standard for online course design and has been recognized as a critical component in quality assurance efforts in independent reports and publications.  QM’s guiding principles are promoting a collegial, centered, and collaborative quality assurance process that focuses on continuous improvement.

QM does not assess online teaching, evaluate online instructors, or accredit online programs. It focuses on the design of online and blended courses, not on course delivery or content.

Quality Matters Overview Presentation

What is the Quality Matters Rubric?

The Quality Matters Rubric is the core of QM. Lewis institutional membership in QM comes with the Quality Matters Higher Education Rubric, Seventh Edition, 2023, a set of 8 general standards and 44 specific review standards used to evaluate the design of online and blended courses.The Rubric can be used to guide the development of new courses and revision and evaluation of the existing ones.

The initial QM standards in the Rubric and subsequent modifications have been based on the insights of teams of experienced online faculty and instructional designers and on the best practice standards implemented by accrediting bodies and national and international organizations. In addition, the standards have been examined for consistency with the conclusions of the educational research literature regarding factors that improve student learning and retention rates, as well as activities that increase learning and engagement.  The Rubric is updated regularly with user surveys, data analysis, and research findings.

How can Lewis faculty, administrators and staff get into QM?

Set up a Quality Matters (QM) account on MyQM page. Use your Lewis email address (lewisu.edu) and create a password. Follow these step-by-step instructions.

What are the benefits of a QM membership?

  1. QM Success Stories webinars facilitated by colleagues and fellow QM members sharing their experiences and best practices for teaching online. These webinars are free and cover a variety of topics of interest to faculty and program administrators.
  2. Access to the fully-annotated, web-based Quality Matters Higher Education Course Design Rubric via your MyQM account.  The one-page PDF version of the Specific Review Standards and the associated point values is intended for single use only. Duplication and distribution require written permission from QM. The full Rubric is built into an automated course review system inside the MyQM that contains full explanations of each standard with annotations and examples. The Rubric can be used to self-evaluate the design of online or blended courses, highlight aspects that meet standards, and discover areas of improvement. One of the main tenants of QM is that course quality is a continuous process and that all courses can be improved.  Beyond the self-evaluation, the Rubric can be used to do internal and official QM course reviews that provide an external seal of quality of online courses and programs.
  3. Discounted online professional development opportunities via workshops and certification courses. Workshops cover the QM Rubric Standards, ways to apply the Rubric standards to help design an online or blended courses, improve existing online courses, or make specific improvements to courses centering around issues such as alignment and measurable objectives.
  4. Access to Quality Matters Accessibility & Usability Resource Site (AURS) via your MyQM account.   AURS is comprehensive resource containing tutorials, videos, handouts, and article on accessibility and usability topics such as universal design for learning, Microsoft product accessibility, PDF accessibility, and alternative text among others.  This resource can be of great assistance to faculty as they general improve accessibility of their courses and in particular course materials.

What are the next steps?

Please crate a MyQM account, explore the site, and the full Rubric and engage with additional resources. Sign up for regular QM communications and keep an eye out for weekly announcements from the Faculty Center for news, updates, and training opportunities from QM.

Who can I reach out to with questions about QM?

You can reach out to Lewis QM Coordinators Lisa Caldwell and Maja Grgurovic from the Faculty Center.

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