Quality Matters (QM)
The University of North Florida is committed to implementing the Quality Matters (QM) standards for the design of online courses, and we are systematically building and evaluating our courses based on these rigorous, research-based standards. The Quality Matters standards assure that the online components of these courses promote learner engagement and provide students with all the tools and information they need to be successful learners.
Distance learning courses developed at UNF are reviewed using the QM Rubric, which assesses the ‘alignment’ of 8 critical course components:
- Course Overview & Introduction
- Learning Objectives (Competencies)
- Assessment & Measurement
- Instructional Materials
- Course Activities & Learner Interaction
- Course Technology
- Learner Support
- Accessibility and Usability
A founding principle that continues to drive Quality Matters is the need for QM Standards to reflect current academic research on effective learning. The initial standards and subsequent modifications have been 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. The Quality Matters Rubric is centered on relevant research and each of the specific rubric standards is supported by literature from the field.
In order to better develop, maintain and review online course offerings, distance learning courses developed through CIRT's DL Course Development (DCD) module or program transition process will undergo an internal QM review using the QM rubric and quality standards.
All distance learning courses submitted for QM review are reviewed and certified internally, and some are selected to be submitted for national QM certification. The primary difference between 'Internal' and 'National' certification is the review team. For national certifcation, the review team includes four members: Master Reviewer (Team Chair), Subject Matter Expert (SME), External Reviewer, and the Course Representative i.e., faculty member who developed the course. National certification uses reviewers from outside of UNF. For internal certification, there are only two team members: Reviewer and Course Representative. Internal reviews are conducted by UNF faculty and/or staff who have completed training to become QM Certified Peer Reviewers.
Courses that successfully meet the QM Rubric Standards in a national course review are eligible for QM recognition and are included on QM’s list of nationally recognized courses and recognized on UNF’s website with the QM seal. This is a significant accomplishment that means a course has met rigorous, research-based standards of course design.
Complete the UNF Course Review Form to submit your DL course for QM review.