Quality Matters at Texas A&M
Quality Matters (QM), an internationally recognized, standards-based program, offers faculty quality assurance in online course design with a focus on continuous improvement. Originating from a FIPSE grant, QM is a non-profit organization offering institutional subscriptions and a range of fee-based services, including QM-managed course reviews and a variety of professional development opportunities.
The QM program includes a peer review process of online courses, using a rubric and emphasizing an attitude of continuous improvement in course design until a level of "meeting expectations" is achieved. The numerous benefits of using QM during the course design and review processes are directed at improving learning outcomes for online students through course design.
A faculty member offers his or her course for review with the goal to have numerous components in alignment with QM standards as supported by best practices in the research literature. Quality Matters has generated widespread interest and received international recognition for its peer-based approach to quality assurance in online education.
Texas A&M currently subscribes to the Quality Matters program. ITS manages a voluntary implementation of QM for online and hybrid courses at the university, providing QM-based training at both course and program levels through a fully funded, multi-year initiative.
Why Quality Matters?
- Collaborative: QM was designed by and for faculty to share expertise and experience relative to the design of a course.
- Collegial: The course review process is a collegial discussion between faculty peers committed to...
- Continuous quality improvement. It is not an evaluation.
- Centered in national standards of best practice, the research literature, and instructional design principles designed to promote student learning.
We provide guidance in designing courses that follow QM standards. Using the QM Rubric, we can recommend a set of best practices and proven methods to structure course content to be most effective for enhancing student learning.
Contact us to schedule a one-on-one consultation.
Informal & Subscriber Managed Formal Reviews
- One qualified ITS or department member will conduct an informal review of a course before it is submitted to ITS for a Subscriber Managed formal review
- Informal reviews will be entered in the QM Course Review Management System to provide tracking information for the university
- ITS has a local Course Review Manager on staff to coordinate all TAMU Subscriber Managed formal reviews
- Ideally, one qualified TAMU faculty or staff member will act as a Master Reviewer and another qualified person will act as a Peer Reviewer for Subscriber Managed formal reviews
- One qualified external reviewer will be located by the Course Review Manager
- The external reviewer may also be a subject matter expert
Certifications & Incentives
- ITS conducts no-charge training sessions for
- ITS will pay for Peer Reviewer training for any faculty or qualified staff member (must have taken "Applying the QM Rubric" and taught online in the last 18 months) who will agree to act as a Peer Reviewer for two formal reviews; GAs/TAs do not qualify for having the Peer Reviewer training
- After completing two formal reviews as a Peer Reviewer, ITS will pay for Master Reviewer training in exchange for acting as a Master Reviewer for two additional formal reviews
- After completing two formal reviews in exchange for training, certified TAMU faculty or staff will be paid the same stipend as external reviewers if they act as a reviewers for any ITS Subscriber Managed formal review at TAMU ($250 as a Peer Reviewer, $350 as a Master Reviewer)
- Faculty and staff with QM Certified courses—or who achieve Peer Reviewer or Master Reviewer certification—will be recognized by ITS at an annual awards ceremony; individuals will also receive a letter of official recognition for including in their CVs and teaching portfolios
Note: To maintain ethical integrity, faculty or staff involved in the design or development of a course, or who have conducted an informal review of a course, will not be allowed to participate in a Subscriber Managed formal review.
Contact us for more information about the Quality Matters program, including available training, the review process, and achieving course and/or reviewer certifications.