The University of Minnesota and Minnesota State Colleges and Universities recently partnered to purchase a license to Quality Matters, a program that offers training for faculty to assess the quality of an online course. Quality Matters was developed from a FIPSE grant at the University of Maryland. The University of Maryland was trying to solve the problem of ensuring the quality of online courses to encourage cross-institutional sharing of courses.
The Quality Matters assessment rubric is based on recent research and best practices in instructional design. It is updated as new research becomes available. The rubric addresses course design, student learning, and assessment and feedback processes. The Quality Matters program is both a tool set and a process. Key elements of the Quality Matters program are:
d) Continuous improvement
e) Developed from research
f) Centered on student learning
The Quality Matters rubric does not address faculty evaluation, course content, or an assessment of the course management system.
The University of Minnesota has been using Quality Matters since fall 2009. Faculty and departments are using Quality Matters to informally guide course revisions. For more information on the Quality Matters Rubric, download this pdf of the abbreviated standards.
Additional training for faculty, instructors, and instructional designers will be offered in summer 2010 and during the 2010-2011 academic year. Participation is open to all campuses at the University. Please contact Amanda Rondeau if you are interested in participating in Quality Matters or have additional questions (firstname.lastname@example.org or 612-624-5732).