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QM Certification for Online Programs

Overview

Quality Matters logoUNF 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 must obtain the statewide High Quality (HQ) designation as outlined in UNF's Online Course Design Quality Review. Then, after three years, online programs are eligible to submit their 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:

  1. Coordination of the QM certification process from start to finish.
  2. Ongoing instructional design and media support.
  3. Faculty stipends for eligible courses.

Eligible Programs

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.

Quality Matters Higher Education LogoHow It Works

UNF Online provides QM certification eligibility information to the Department Chair and Program Director of an online program. The Program Director and UNF Online then collaborate to assess the benefits of QM certification for the program and its stakeholders. Once the program is ready to move forward with QM certification, UNF Online consults with the Program Director to develop an implementation timeline that aligns with the program's course delivery schedule and faculty availability. The Program Director must approve the proposed timeline before starting the QM certification process. UNF Online recommends a timeline of 12-18 months for QM certification of all coursework. This process ensures that the program receives the necessary support and collaboration to successfully complete the QM certification process.

Course Preparation

CIRT provides comprehensive support to course instructors who are seeking QM certification. Each instructor is assigned a dedicated instructional designer who assists with preparing the program courses for certification. The instructional designer works closely with the instructor to ensure that each course meets QM standards, while also identifying opportunities to enhance course accessibility, update content and technology, and promote effective course delivery.

QM Certification

The QM certification process takes a total of 20 weeks, not including the course preparation time. During the review process, reviewers have four weeks to submit their review worksheets. If the course is not certified on the first submission, the instructor has an additional 12 weeks to make revisions and meet specific QM standards. Once a course is QM certified, UNF Online adds the official QM seal (shown right) to the course homepage and updates the course's quality designation from High Quality (HQ) to QM-Certified (QM). The certification is valid for up to five years. This process ensures that the course meets the highest standards of quality and effectiveness in online education.

Continuous Improvement

Minor modifications that do not affect course design quality can be implemented by course instructors as often as necessary. However, instructors should exercise discretion when making substantial changes that may affect course alignment or invalidate essential QM standards. To ensure the quality of online courses and avoid losing QM certification status, instructors are encouraged to follow QM course design modifications guidelines.

UNF Online annually reviews QM-certified courses to verify their compliance with QM standards and maintain their certification status. These courses are tagged with an HQ designation, which is reported to the Florida Board of Governors (Board).

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.

  • 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.