Quality Matters (QM) is a peer review process designed to certify the quality of online and blended courses. QM is recognized as a national leader in quality assurance for online education and for its peer-based approach to continuous improvement in online education and student learning. This culture of continuous improvement enables us to create and deliver online courses that UNCG can be proud to offer.

7th Edition Rubric Update

Beginning July 5, 2023, Quality Matters will transition to its new 7th Edition Higher Education Rubric. The updated rubric addresses three main areas of change:

  1. Integrating course design considerations that support belonging and inclusion.
  2. Making the QM rubric more applicable to more learners.
  3. Applying specific review standards to both continuing education and synchronous courses.

Free QM Rubric Update Training

Quality Matters will offer a free Rubric Update online session beginning June 5, 2023, and continuing through January 5, 2024. You can still participate in the Rubric Update training after January 5, but there will be an associated cost of $55.

Why is Quality Matters Important?

QM provides objective, evidence-based ways to evaluate the components of online learning and create a culture of continuous improvement. QM is also used as our evidence for the National Council on State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements that our courses meet quality standards to be taught to students in North Carolina and in other states.

The Quality Matters Rubric

Online courses are evaluated using QM’s Higher Education Rubric. This rubric is made up of eight general standards, each comprising multiple specific review standards.

These standards address items in the following eight areas:

  1. Course Overview and Introduction
  2. Learning Objectives (Competencies)
  3. Assessment and Measurement
  4. Instructional Materials
  5. Course Activities and Learner Interaction
  6. Course Technology
  7. Learner Support
  8. Accessibility and Usability

UNCG’s Quality Matters Checklist

UNCG uses a checklist built around QM’s specific review standards. You can use the QM checklist to review your own online course before it goes live and mark which standards are met (and where in your course they are being met).

Getting Started with Quality Matters

QM tools, resources, and workshops are available to UNCG faculty and staff to promote effective teaching and learning. Register for a QM-hosted workshop.

Quality Matters Benefits

QM benefits your students by supporting:

  • Higher-quality online courses evaluated by a rigorous set of standards
  • Improved student learning outcomes and retention in online courses
  • Alignment of course outcomes and learning objectives to the critical course resources and materials within the curriculum
  • Courses which are more student-centered, including better orientation materials and better explanation of how assessments are graded, where to go for help, and more logical, consistent, and efficient online course navigation
  • Clearer expectations for student communication and interactions listed in courses upfront
  • Greater variety of assessments throughout the course

QM membership provides you with:

  • Access to the proprietary Quality Matters rubric
  • Access to Quality Matters professional development courses, workshops, and webinars
  • Opportunities to train as a QM Peer Reviewer and Master Reviewer (see Steps to Become a Peer Reviewer). Please note, there is a cost associated with these trainings.
  • A roadmap to online course development
  • Support to redesign existing online courses to ensure the development and delivery of quality courses
  • Exposure to instructional design and ideas for improving online courses
  • Discounts on ongoing professional development and national certification in teaching online/blended courses

Quality Matters Training

UNCG currently offers two QM courses throughout the year at no cost to Faculty and Staff. Workshop materials will also be provided by the facilitators and these workshops count towards the continuing professional development requirement for online instructors.

Additional details and step-by-step registration instructions for upcoming Quality Matters training are available via the UNCG Workshops Website (search for “Quality Matters”).

Applying the Quality Matters Rubric

The APPQMR workshop introduces participants to the Quality Matters Rubric and how to apply its standards to develop high-quality online courses and evaluate them.

Improving Your Online Course

The IYOC workshop explores the QM Rubric and provides a framework to improve the quality of online courses. Participants use the QM Rubric to review their own online courses and develop a course improvement plan.


As a UNC Greensboro faculty and/or staff member, you can register your QM account at no cost at QMProgram.org. Enter your uncg.edu email address and select “No, I am new here.” Then select “University of North Carolina at Greensboro-NC” from the drop-down list. Please be sure to type and select that phrase exactly rather than another variation.

  • August – Improving Your Online Course QM training
  • October – Applying the QM Rubric
  • December – Improving Your Online Course QM training
  • January – Applying the QM Rubric
  • April – Applying the QM Rubric
  • May – Applying the QM Rubric and Improving Your Online Course QM training
  • June – Improving Your Online Course QM training.

In QMProgram.org under MyCR, click “Start a Self-Review.” Select “UNC Greensboro Custom QM Rubric” from the drop-down custom rubric menu. Title the review as you wish, and click “Begin Self-Review.”

The QM checklist can be downloaded from the Curriculum Guide website.

The Course Review Policies and Processes document has been updated to include the guidelines on how Instructional Designers such as the Academic Technology Specialists may participate in the Higher Education Course Review process.

At this time, IDs may:

  • Participate as an External Reviewer for all Official Course Reviews for institutions other than their own.
  • Chair Preparatory Reviews for institutions other than their own (also requires the Master Reviewer role).
  • Take part as Chair, Subject Matter Expert, or Reviewer for all internal or custom unofficial course reviews at their institution.

To hold the HE Peer Reviewer role, IDs must:

  • Complete Applying the QM Rubric, the Higher Ed Peer Reviewer Course and any applicable Rubric Update courses.
  • Have experience in the last 18 months designing online courses.
  • Complete the Higher Education Peer Reviewer Role Application.

Quality Matters Support

If you have specific questions about Quality Matters please contact UNCG’s QM Coordinator Nathan Myers ([email protected]).