The Quality Matters (QM) Program was developed to improve the student experience of online and blended units.
Quality Matters has several aspects;
- a rubric which is used as a framework to evaluate courses and provide feedback. The Rubric is organised into 8 general standards, under which are 43 specific standards and can also be used as a guide when designing the online components of a unit, and when considering how the different elements of your unit will work together, and how students will know this;
- a program of professional development focused on the QM Standards and on developing skills for Peer Review;
- a Peer Review process.
When designing blended or fully online units, having a clear understanding of the QM standards and applying them as a design framework has proven to be highly beneficial and empowering to UTAS teaching staff.
For further information about the QM standards and program, go to www.qmprogram.org.
TILT was funded under a Grant of Institutional Significance from DVC(S&E) to pay the enrolment costs (about $250 per course) for a limited number of staff in 2015. Staff involved in Breadth Units have their own funding included in the incentivisation funds to cover this cost.
The most common starting point with QM is to do the Applying the Quality Matters Rubric (APPQMR) course. This helps you to understand the principles in the rubric and is a prerequisite for further training and qualifications. In addition, QM practices what it preaches so you will also experience a well-designed online course that demonstrates the QM standards in practice. This is a rigorous online course (approximately Grad Cert level) that requires 20-30 hours of active participation over a two week period; about 2 hours per day. Most participants have found that regular participation is preferable to a few long sessions, so do please plan to make the time available. This course starts nearly every week of the year.
All QM courses are conducted online at moodle.qmprogram.org. To date over 100 academic and professional staff have completed the course, so keep in touch with your colleagues or TILT if you have any questions as you go along.
After completing the APPQMR course, you may undertake further courses. For academic staff, progressing to the Peer Reviewer Course and then applying to become a peer reviewer will deliver the best combination of career benefits and evidence for the TPEs. There are also a range of other courses available for you to enrol in.
Requesting a Review of your Unit
Quality Matters. (2014). Quality Matters Higher Education Rubric (5th Ed.). Annapolis, MD: MarylandOnline.