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  • QM at MSUM

    What is Quality Matters?

    Quality Matters (QM) is a nationally recognized, faculty-centered, peer review process designed to certify the quality of online and hybrid courses. The QM process is based on research literature and best practices for online teaching and learning. The guiding principles behind QM promote student-centered design, intended to stimulate student learning and increase student satisfaction with the learning process. There are three primary components to QM: the QM Rubric, the Peer Review Process, and Professional Development.

    QM provides a rubric that outlines principles of effective online course design. The rubric consists of standards that address course structure and clarity, learning outcomes, and learner engagement & support. The review process is designed to ensure that course outcomes and expectations are clearly communicated and that student learning is assessed based on those expectations. The QM review also ensures that online courses include meaningful interaction between instructors, students, and the course content. QM professional development opportunities, related to both online course design and delivery, are offered on-site and online.

    For more information about Quality Matters history and research visit QM website.

    How is MSUM involved in QM?

    MSUM is a subscriber to Quality Matters. This subscription allows all MSUM faculty the opportunity to access subscriber resources using a MyQM account which provides access to the online version of the fully annotated rubric as well as QM’s online Self-Review tool.

    Login to the MyQM platform requires MyQM account credentials. Accounts have been created for all MSUM faculty using your MSUM email address ( If you have not previously signed in to MyQM, you will need to activate your account and create a password. Tip: select the option  "I am new here." to get started.

    Quality Matters training and course reviews are coordinated through the Office of Online Learning. Email us ( to learn more.

    Which MSUM courses have earned QM recognition?

    MSUM QM certified courses by year:  


    •  ED 633: Technology and Information Systems - Rhonda Ficek


    • ED 613: Social, Cultural, Political, and Community Dimensions - Boyd Bradbury
    • ED 630: Leadership, Planning, and Organizational Behavior in Education - Boyd Bradbury
    • ED 631: School Law and Organizational Structure - Boyd Bradbury
    • ED 636: Political and Educational Finance - Boyd Bradbury
    • ED 790: Topics in Education: Superintendency Seminar - Boyd Bradbury


    • CSIS 316: Ethics in the Information Age - Rhonda Ficek
    • SPED 471/571: Behavior and Environment Management - Sue Severson
    • SPED 620: Policies & Perspectives in Special Education - Sue Severson


    • ED 670: Educational Alternatives for Learning - Mike Coquyt
    • ED 690: Teacher Leadership - Mike Coquyt
    • ED 701: Intro to Adv. Scholarship and Leadership - Boyd Bradbury
    • ED 793: Seminar: Higher Ed Administration - Boyd Bradbury


    • ED 785: Building a Compassionate Community of Scholars - Boyd Bradbury
    • NURS 301: Transitions - Rebecca Rudel
    • NURS 342: Nursing Care of Diverse Populations - Rebecca Rudel
    • PSY 220: Social Behavior - Rochelle Bergstrom


    • ED 705: Qualitative Methods in Academic Research - Mike Coquyt
    • ED 740: Fiscal Management for Educational Growth and Change - Boyd Bradbury
    • ED 767: Organization & Administration of Educational Leadership - Mike Coquyt
    • ED 783: Strategic Assessment and Accountability in Education - Boyd Bradbury
    • ED 772: Instructional Models - Mike Coquyt


    •  ED 631: School Law and Organizational Structure (recertification) - Boyd Bradbury

     National Database of QM recognized courses


    How can I get QM training?

    Many MSUM faculty and staff have already participated in QM training, in addition to holding current certifications as QM Peer Reviewers and Trainers. Faculty are encouraged to take advantage of QM training to learn more about online course design or to become certified as a QM Peer Reviewer. Opportunities include:

    • Network for Educational Development
      The Minnesota State Network for Educational Development (NED) offers some QM workshops each semester - check out the NED calendar for a schedule of offerings (tip: filter by Organizers > Quality Matters).
    • Quality Matters, Inc.
      QM offers a variety of online workshops, courses, and webinars. These professional development opportunities are available throughout the year and registration fees can be covered by the Office of Online Learning. Email us ( to find out what's available.
    • Individualized Consultation
      Faculty interested in understanding the QM standards and how they apply to the course development process are invited to request a consultation with our QM Coordinator, Catherine Artac (

    Where can I get a copy of the QM Rubric?

    Hard copies of the QM Rubric Workbook with the fully annotated rubric are available upon request through the QM Coordinator, Catherine Artac.

    An online version of the fully annotated rubric is also available on the QM website through the Course Review Management System. Login is required using your MyQM account credentials. Accounts have been created for all MSUM faculty using your MSUM email address ( (If you have not previously signed in to MyQM, you will need to activate your account and create a password. Tip: select the option  "I am new here." to get started.)

    How can I use the QM Rubric?

    While the QM Rubric was designed specifically with online and hybrid (blended) courses in mind, the instructional design principles behind QM are applicable to any course – online, hybrid, or face to face. QM is adaptable to your goals, whether they are your personal goals or those of your department/program. The rubric can be used to provide a quality threshold for course design and QM training serves as excellent professional development.

    The Rubric can be used informally by faculty looking for pedagogically-sound, student-centered course design strategies. Faculty can use the QM rubric to guide their decisions while designing new courses and as the foundation for review and revision of existing courses. A Self Review tool is available on the QM website to assist with this process. There are significant benefits of using QM informally, but official QM recognition comes only if the “official” process is followed.

    The Rubric is used in the official peer review process. The course peer review process is voluntary. It involves a comprehensive review by trained peer reviewers who utilize the Quality Matters Rubric to provide feedback on the course. Courses that meet standards are listed in a national database of recognized courses.  The course developer is provided access to an online “seal” from QM that indicates the year the course met standards – this seal can be displayed by the faculty course developer each time the course is taught by including it in the course syllabus or online.

    How can I get my course reviewed?

    When you are ready to initiate the process of having your course go through the official review process with QM, send an email to QM Coordinator, Catherine Artac ( who will assist you in applying and preparing for the review.

    While it is not required, it is strongly recommended to have QM training prior to submitting course for a formal review.

    What are the steps in the Official Peer Review Process?

    Step 1: Conduct a Self-Assessment

    Use the Rubric to inform decisions about possible revisions to make to your course prior to the official review. A Self-Review tool is available on the QM website in the Course Review Management System to assist you in this process.

    Step 2: Engage in the Informal Peer Review Process

    After using the Rubric to look through your course on your own, it is recommended you request an informal review of your course. You may wish to ask a colleague to look through your course using the Rubric, or you can request an informal review to be conducted by the QM Coordinator, Catherine Artac. Reviews, even informal reviews, may take several hours, so plan as far in advance as possible to allow time for your colleague or the Coordinator to complete the review.  

    Step 3: Finalize Course for the Formal Review Process

    Use feedback from your self-review and other peer reviews to make final revisions to your course.

    Step 4: Request a D2L Course Shell for the Review

    Official reviews will not be conducted in the actual site where the course was conducted. A separate D2L site will be made for this purpose and your course materials will be copied into this shell. Contact the QM Coordinator, Catherine Artac for further details.

    Step 5: Engage in the Formal Peer Review Process  

    The Formal Review Process is a collaboration between the Faculty, campus QM Coordinator, and Peer Review Team. An application for review must be submitted in coordination with the QM Coordinator.

    The application process and the formal review process take several weeks each, so be sure to plan accordingly.

    Who can I contact for a QM consultation?

    Send an email to to request a time to meet with Catherine Artac from the Office of Online Learning to learn more about QM, discuss your QM goals, or learn specific ways you can address the QM standards in your course.