Quality Course Review
The Florida Board of Governor's Online Education 2025 Strategic Plan identifies several strategic goals focused on quality practices. Beginning in 2019, online courses that have completed a quality course review will be tagged with a Quality designation in the FloridaShines course catalog. The system goal is to increase the number of online courses in the State University System that have a Quality designation.
To work toward increasing the number of online courses with a Quality designation, CIRT offers two opt-in levels of quality course reviews designated as Quality (Q) and High Quality (HQ). Both levels use the nationally recognized, research-based Quality Matters standards for the review of online course design.
Quality Matters (QM)
UNF is committed to implementing the Quality Matters (QM) standards for the review of online course design, and systematically builds and evaluates online courses based on QM's rigorous, research-based standards. The QM Standards specifically focus on course design, rather than on course delivery or academic content, and assure that the online structure of these courses promote learner engagement and provide students with tools and information they need to be successful learners. A founding principle that continues to drive QM is the need for standards to reflect current academic research on effective learning. The initial QM Standards and subsequent modifications are based on the insights of teams of experienced online instructors and instructional designers and on the best practices standards promulgated by accrediting bodies and national and international organizations. In addition, the QM Standards have been examined for consistency with the conclusions of the educational research literature regarding factors that increase learning and engagement and that improve learner retention rates. Each specific QM Standard is centered on relevant research and supported by literature from the field. For more information, visit what you need to know about QM
QM Certified Reviewers
Critical to UNF’s implementation of QM is the assistance of UNF faculty members in conducting quality course reviews. Currently, there are 15+ faculty members that have completed the necessary training and certifications to conduct course reviews based on the QM Standards. Without their support, it would be difficult to implement the QM review process, which is inherently meant to be a peer-review process. To that end, if you are a full-time faculty member and have successfully completed a quality review of your own course, and you're interested in becoming a certified QM peer reviewer to assist CIRT with conducting QM reviews, please visit the Become a QM Certified Peer Reviewer page for more information.
Quality Course Designations
The main differences between the two opt-in levels of quality course reviews designated as Quality (Q) and High Quality (HQ) is in the number of course reviewers and the number of QM standards met. While instructors may opt to participate in either level of review, CIRT encourages instructors to pursue the HQ designation. Both are significant accomplishments that mean a course has met rigorous, research-based standards of course design.
In addition, online courses that have been designated as HQ may be selected for the more prestigious QM-Managed (QM) review process. Courses that meet these standards are eligible for QM recognition and included on QM’s list of nationally recognized courses, and may display the coveted QM seal in the course for up to 5 years.
View UNF's QM Reviewed Courses page for a list of courses at UNF that have completed a quality course review
How to submit a course for review
Online courses developed through TOL-DCD or Program Transition can be submitted for a quality course review once the course has been fully developed and reviewed by an instructional designer.
The course review process usually takes 2-3 weeks to complete and typically proceeds as follows:
- Instructor submits course for review by completing the UNF Course Review Form
- An instructional designer and a QM certified peer reviewer conduct the review
- To meet QM review expectations, the course must meet all QM essential standards AND result in a total overall score of 85 or higher out of 100 points. This is a continuous improvement process that should result in the course successfully completing the quality course review.
- Course receives the High Quality (HQ) designation and is posted to UNF's QM Reviewed Courses
- Instructor receives the $2,000 stipend
Note: Be sure to complete the QM Rubric Mastery Module (located in the TOFD Portal) before submitting your course for review.
For questions about the quality course review process, please email email@example.com