Raising questions. Pursuing answers. Curating and categorizing. That’s how we support the QM system.

A founding principle that continues to drive Quality Matters is the need for QM Standards to reflect current academic research on effective learning. The initial standards and subsequent modifications have been based on the insights of teams of experienced online instructors and instructional designers and on the best practices standards promulgated by accrediting bodies and national and international organizations. In addition, the QM Standards have been examined for consistency with the conclusions of the educational research literature regarding factors that increase learning and engagement and that improve learner retention rates.

QM Research is focused on curating and supporting research studies related to the impact and use of the Quality Matters model. Literature reviews to inform members of the Rubric Committees in their effort to assure that the Rubrics remains current with the research are also an important component of QM Research activities. If you are looking for guidance on conducting QM-focused research or finding studies to support the use of QM, we recommend starting with the resources listed in this section.


qm research library

Search our curated selection of literature bearing a relationship to the QM Standards by either keyword or the QM Standard number. References on teaching competencies can be found in the Online Instructor and Teaching Competencies Literature Review.


research toolkit

Get guidance on developing a research question that will make for a solid study and facilitate attaining information significant to online learning stakeholders.


qm-related research resources

See a curated list of studies and publications related to the primary categories of QM Research.

Need help with your search? Contact QM Research with your questions.


Looking for a recording or miss a session?

See a list of all archived recordings

Have an idea for a Research Webinar? Contact the Research team.

Research Webinars

Join the QM Research Colleagues and other researchers from the QM Community for presentations of research on the impact of quality assurance in online learning and other related topics. The webinars are free and open to QM Members as well as non-members.

Specifics for upcoming webinars are still in development. Here are topics and general timelines to plan for:


April 11, 2019 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern
CHLOE 3 - Behind the Numbers: Overview of the Third QM-Eduventures Changing Landscape of Online Education Survey

Presented by Ronald Legon, Executive Director Emeritus, Quality Matters; and Richard Garrett, Chief Research Officer, Eduventures Research

Join us for a presentation of key findings from the third CHLOE survey. Topics will include significant enrollment trends, the typical structure of online courses, widespread institutional governance practices for online programs, and analysis of online quality assurance as a process. In addition, the session will introduce five distinct models for offering online education at post-secondary institutions in the United States. These models may provide a useful perspective for institutions, helping them to identify their place in the spectrum of current online learning approaches and inform their planning and development processes.

May 15, 2019 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern

A presentation on the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) and QM's Experimental Set of Questions on Online Education

November, 2019

Special 3-Hour Virtual Conference: The Importance of Pre-/Post-Testing and several other topics. More details to come.


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