Steps in an Official Quality Matters Course Review

Quality Matters (QM) is an international organization that is recognized as a leader in quality assurance for online education

The impact of Quality Matters on certified courses is undeniable. Course review results in better course design, which makes navigation easier for students, reduces barriers to student achievement, and results in better outcomes.

The Quality Matters official peer review is a rigorous process. The active course review period is approximately three weeks; during this period, the team convenes, independently reviews the course, makes decisions, and writes substantive feedback in the Reviewer Worksheet online. The compiled feedback from the three reviewers is usually submitted to the faculty developer/instructor within four to six weeks (including pre- and post-conference calls). The faculty developer/instructor may need additional time to complete revisions if required to meet the QM Standards. The entire review period may be as long as twenty weeks from the time the course review was started. See QM’s ‘How does the review process for course design work?’ web page.

BEFORE A REVIEW BEGINS

  1. The Faculty Course Developer will implement the suggestions of Quality Matter Rubric in the course that is being developed for online or blended delivery.  The assistance of a Center for Innovative Learning Instructional Designer is available. Contact cil@unthsc.edu for assistance while the course is being developed. Please be sure and follow the process for online and blended course design and delivery as described by the UNTHSC Distance Education Committee.
  2. When the course is ready for an official QM review, A copy of the course is created for future QM reviewer access. No student enrollments or submissions will be present in this course shell, but the faculty and QM Coordinator will be in the course. The course will be labeled QM_coursenumber. A Faculty Developer account will be created on the QM website if one does not exist for the faculty member.

DURING AN OFFICIAL REVIEW

  1. Application for course review will be submitted to the QM Course Review Management System by a QM Coordinator from the Center for Innovative Learning.
  2. Course developer worksheet will be submitted via the QM Course Review Management System by Faculty Course Developer. The faculty will receive an email letting them know the course has been submitted for review and the Course worksheet need to be filled out.
  3. An Official Review Team (consisting of 3 individuals) will be assigned to the course review by QM. The review team consists of at least one reviewer who is external to the organization submitting the course, at least one reviewer who is a Subject Matter Expert, and a Team Chair who is a QM Master Reviewer. Access to LMS and to QM course shell under review will be provided to the reviewers by a QM Coordinator with the Student role. See QM website for more information on official review requirements.
  4. A pre-review phone conference is held among the Faculty Course Developer, and the 3 member review team. Course review will begin after phone conference.
  5. Course Review Team will provide recommendations and feedback via the QM Course Review Management System. The reviewers independently look at each Specific Review Standard and decide whether it is “Met” or “Not Met,” applying an 85% threshold in making his or her decision. Each reviewer is required to provide evidence to support his or her score. If a reviewer finds that a Standard is “Not Met,” he or she is also required to provide suggestions for improvement that include specific changes that a course developer should implement for the course to meet the Standard. For Standards that are “Met,” suggestions for improvement are not required, but suggested as a good practice. During the review, any questions about the course are directed to the Chair, who then contacts the Course Representative.
  6. After the official review has been finalized by the chair of the review team, the Faculty Course Developer will receive feedback in the form of a Final Report.
  7. The Faculty Course Developer must complete the Review Outcome Response Form within two weeks of the end of review in the QM Course Review Management System . The form is located in the Review Actions section of My Open Reviews.
  8. If course does not meet QM standards, Faculty Course Developer will make necessary amendments to meet QM standards within 14 weeks of the date the review report is submitted. (An Instructional Designer may assist with changes.) These changes are submitted via the Course Review Management System amendment form.
  9. The Team Chair will then review the amendments and confirm if the course meets QM review standards. If the course has met QM Standards, the course will achieve the QM Certification Mark and be recognized on the QM website.
  10. At the completion of course review, course will meet QM standards and course developer will be notified.
  11. Reviewer access will be removed from course shell and LMS.
  12. From the start date of the review, the entire review process, including any required amendments, must be completed within 20 weeks

AFTER A QM REVIEW

  1. The course review certificate may be printed from your MyQM account within 3 business days of all paperwork submission.
  2. Courses that successfully meet QM standards are eligible to carry the QM Certification Mark. View QM’s webpage on policies governing the use of the QM Certification Mark  for more information.
  3. Recognized courses will be announced on the Quality Matter’s website.

A QM Review is a time-consuming process, but it does get easier with practice. Typically, the first review takes the longest…subsequent reviews become easier as you become more familiar with the standards and annotations. The time investment depends on your familiarity with the learning management system, the discipline and, of course, the QM rubric!

Interested in having your course reviewed

Are you ready to create an online or blended Quality Matters course that will be certified by QM? Contact cil@unthsc.edu.