MSU Quality Matters

Quality Matters (QM) is a faculty-centered, peer review process based on best practices to measure the quality of online and blended courses.

MSU purchased a campus subscription to the QM rubric and online resources to assist faculty and instructors in creating quality courses that will improve online education and student learning. This pilot is an MSU partnership between the Center for Integrative Studies in General Science, College of Arts & Letters, and MSU Information Technology.

Additionally, MSU IT Academic Technology consults with faculty and instructors on applying QM standards to their courses and developing new approaches in online and blended learning.

Getting Started

Anyone at MSU can create an account through the Quality Matters website by submitting an msu.edu email address and creating a password.

QM offers a course standards rubric, different types of course reviews, and other types of professional development through its website and MSU’s subscription.

Some QM resources involve added costs and some require MSU consultation first.

Internal Consultation

For help getting started, instructional designers through MSU IT can consult with faculty and instructors on:

  • Applying the QM course rubric
  • Coordinating QM Self Reviews
  • Developing new online or blended courses
  • Improving current online or blended courses

Request an MSU Internal Consultation by calling (517) 355-2345.

The consulting component through MSU instructional designers helps faculty and instructors implement QM best practices and develop courses in line with MSU’s commitment to excellence in teaching.

These support resources lay the groundwork for improving student learning outcomes and retention in online and blended courses.

Community for Quality Matters

The Colleges’ Online Workgroup is a faculty learning community (FLC) that is dedicated to improving digital curriculum through QM implementation. MSU has adopted the QM rubric as a suggested framework for crafting effective online learning experiences. This FLC believes that through collaborative conversations and active brainstorming, we all achieve a better understanding of QM standards and how to implement them in our classes.

FLC members come from a variety of disciplines across campus. Through discussions and networking, participants come away from each session with new ideas they can implement in their own courses.

Contact Stephen Thomas or Kate Sonka for more information about this group.

QM Rubric & Reviews

A Quality Matters (QM) account provides MSU faculty and instructors access to the course rubric, review processes, and other professional development opportunities. The QM resources enable MSU to engage in benchmarking activities through a nationally recognized program used by peer institutions.

Along with the related Internal Consultation services through MSU, these tools can assist in the design, development and continual improvement of online and blended courses.

Faculty and instructors may want to include information about their QM participation in reports, teaching evaluations, and portfolios. Course certification through QM offers opportunities for national recognition.

Course Rubric

The QM rubric is a research-based peer review process that is widely adopted in higher education as a measure of online course quality. It offers weighted best practices in online instruction to improve course quality.

Visit Standards from the QM Higher Education Rubric, Fifth Edition to download the rubric.

The rubric is helpful as a tool to consider what elements may be missing from an online or blended course or to generate suggestions for new features.

Self Review

Faculty and instructors can use the Self Review materials within the QM site under “Course Review Management System” in the top navigation bar. Annotations explaining each standard in greater detail can be accessed within the Self Review tool after logging in to the QM site.

This unofficial review is a way to become more familiar with QM standards or assess a course prior to an official review. You can also do pre- and post-assessments of your courses to keep a record of improvements, and a private report can be emailed once completed.

QM-Managed Review

QM-Managed Reviews require MSU consultation and a Self Review first. These external reviews are handled by QM staff or designees in compliance with QM Course Review Standards, take two to four months, and cost $1,000.

As part of external reviews, MSU faculty and instructors can earn Quality Matters Standards certification for their online or blended courses.