How to Reference & Use QM in Research

Quality Matters encourages rigorous study of the QM tools and processes. The validity of the QM Rubric and Peer Review process is held in place by rigorously applied procedures as defined by QM.  Any adaptation beyond those validated parameters must be identified as such. No permission or support of a research project is implied, or may be claimed, when using QM tools and processes for a research project.  In other words, QM does not grant permission to use the QM Rubrics for a research project. Therefore, subscribers wishing to conduct research on the QM Rubrics, Standards, Peer Reviews, and other elements of QM may do so with the awareness that all QM intellectual property is proprietary to MarylandOnline, Inc. and provided to QM under exclusive license. Under no circumstance can any of the QM Rubrics, complete with annotations, be copied, published, or made publicly available. QM requests notification about pending, current, and past research in order to fulfill the terms of the QM intellectual property license and to make the results, as appropriate, available on our research site. Please contact research@qualitymatters.org to notify QM of such research.

Using the QM Rubric and Standards When Creating Research Survey Questions

  1. Researchers can use the exact wording of cited QM Standards for survey questions. Additional wording can include phrasing necessary to address the who, what, where, when, why, and how context of a survey question. For example, “How important is it that instructions make clear how to get started and where to find various course components?”
    • Must appropriately cite the source of any QM information along with the appropriate copyright information. For example:
      1. In-text references to QM information found on the QM website would cite the specific QM Standards documents being used and would include the entire title to avoid confusion with the complete QM Rubric with annotations. For example:  “Standards from the Quality Matters Higher Education Rubric, 6th Edition”
      2.  An end-of-text APA style citation would be “Standards from the Quality Matters Higher Education Rubric, 6th Edition. Quality Matters. Retrieved from https://www.qualitymatters.org/sites/default/files/PDFs/StandardsfromtheQMHigherEducationRubric.pdf
    • Must include the following statement about the intended and supported use of the QM Rubrics:
      1. “The QM Rubrics have been developed and regularly updated through a rigorous process that examines relevant research, data, and practitioner perspectives. They consist of Standards supported by detailed Annotations explaining the application of the Standards and are intended to support the continuous improvement of courses with constructive feedback provided by trained and certified Peer Reviewers using a specific review protocol.”
  2. Researchers adapting the QM Standards for survey questions by changing the wording beyond adding who, what, where, when, why, and how to set the context of the survey questions need to indicate that they are adapting questions from the QM Rubric (for example, creating survey questions that capture a number of QM Standards into a new emphasis).
    • Must appropriately cite the source of any QM information used for adaptation along with the appropriate copyright information.
    • In-text references to QM information found on the QM website would cite the website as source. Specific reference to one of the QM Standards documents would include the entire title to avoid confusion with the complete QM Rubric with annotations. Example of in-text reference:  “Adapted from Standards from the Quality Matters Higher Education Rubric, 6th Edition”
    • Example of end-of-text APA style reference: “Standards from the Quality Matters Higher Education Rubric, 6th Edition. Retrieved from https://www.qualitymatters.org/sites/default/files/PDFs/StandardsfromtheQMHigherEducationRubric.pdf

Using the QM Review Process in a Research Study

Only courses formally reviewed under the established and consistently applied QM peer review process can be indicated as meeting or not meeting QM Standards. Two options are available for the formal, official review of courses:   QM or institution-managed.

  • The course to be reviewed is submitted to the institution’s QM Coordinator who initiates the official QM peer-review process.  A review team is assigned by the QM Coordinator.  This team includes three active, experienced online instructors who have further established credentials through completion of specific QM professional development and are certified as QM peer reviewers.  At least one of the reviewers is external to the institution where the course offered, and at least one of the reviewers must be a subject matter expert.  The team is led by a QM-Certified Master Reviewer who has additional training and review experience.
  • The official review team follows protocols that include obtaining course-specific survey data from the course representative (the author/instructor of the course under review); pre- and post-review conference calls among review team members; review of the course by each of the reviewers over a designated time period; submission of scoring and recommendations into the QM course review database; and presentation of a final report to the course representative.

Courses reviewed not using the official QM Peer Review process must be identified as adapting the official QM Peer-Review process and cannot state or infer that a reviewed course officially meets QM Standards. 

Use of the QM Standards to informally review courses must be stated as such.  

Please contact research@qualitymatters.org to notify QM of any research you have conducted or intend to conduct related to the QM Rubrics, QM Professional Development or Peer Review process.