QM Certification for Online Programs
UNF implements Quality Matters (QM) to review online course design and systematically builds and evaluates all coursework within online programs based on the QM Rubric and Standards. Each course within an online program delivered as distance learning is developed and reviewed based on QM standards to obtain the statewide High Quality (HQ) designation as outlined in UNF's DL policy. Then, after three years, online programs are eligible to submit courses for the official QM Certification. QM certification is a rigorous course review process and a significant accomplishment that indicates an online course has met nationally recognized research-based standards centered on best practices in instructional design and online learning.
To assist online programs in obtaining QM certification of all coursework, UNF Online and CIRT partner to provide the following support:
- Coordination of the QM certification process from start to finish.
- Ongoing instructional design and media support.
- Faculty stipends for eligible courses.
UNF recommends QM certification of all coursework after three years of program delivery then recertification every five years thereafter. For some online programs, QM certification also meets discipline-specific accreditation standards for online teaching and learning.
Eligible online programs must meet the following criteria:
- Program delivery modality is Primarily Online or Fully Online (i.e., at least 80% of coursework gets delivered via distance learning).
- Program courses delivered as distance learning are designated as High Quality.
- Program delivery duration is three or more years.
How It Works
When an online program becomes eligible for QM certification, UNF Online will reach out to the Department Chair and Program Director to discuss whether it would benefit the program and its stakeholders. When a program is ready to move forward with QM certification, UNF Online consults with the Program Director to draft an implementation timeline that considers the programs’ course delivery schedule and the availability of faculty members to participate in the course review process. The Program Director must approve the proposed implementation timeline before starting the QM certification process. UNF Online recommends a timeline of 12-18 months for QM certification of all coursework.
CIRT will assign an instructional designer to assist course instructors with preparing program courses for QM certification. In addition to ensuring each course meets QM standards, the instructional designer may recommend additional course revisions to improve accessibility, update content and technology, or promote effective course delivery.
The total time allotted to complete QM certification is 20 weeks, not including the time it takes to prepare the course for review. Once the review process has officially started, reviewers have four weeks to submit their review worksheets. If the course is not certified on the first submission, the course instructor has an additional 12 weeks to revise the course as needed to meet specific QM standards. Once a course is QM certified, UNF Online embeds the official QM seal (shown right) on the course homepage and updates the course design quality designation from High Quality (HQ) to QM-Certified (QM). QM certification is valid for up to five years.
Minor modifications do not typically do not impact course design quality and can be implemented by the course instructor as often as necessary. Course instructors are best suited to know how substantial changes will be in their online courses and are encouraged to implement any course modifications necessary so long as those changes do not impact overall design and alignment or invalidate any essential QM standards.
Course instructors are highly encouraged to review QM course design modifications guidelines for instructions on modifying QM-reviewed courses.
UNF Online reports to the Florida Board of Governors (Board) on the number of distance learning courses tagged with an HQ designation, which includes all QM-certified courses. To ensure accurate reporting to the Board, UNF Online reviews online programs annually to verify QM-certified courses continue to adhere to the QM standards and thus retain the QM certification status.
Online Programs with QM-Certified Courses
The following online programs achieved national recognition for their commitment to quality assurance by obtaining QM certification for all coursework.
- RN to BSN Bridge (fully-online, undergraduate)
- Doctor of Nursing Practice (fully online, graduate)
- Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics (fully online, graduate)
- Doctor of Clinical Nutrition (fully online, graduate)
For a complete list of all QM-certified courses, visit UNF’s QM-Reviewed Courses.
Visit the following web pages for additional information about UNF’s implementation of Quality Matters.
For more information about the QM certification for online programs, contact Kevin Hulen (UNF Online) firstname.lastname@example.org.