Higher Ed Program > Rubric
The Quality Matters Higher Education Rubric, Fifth Edition, 2014 is a set of 8 General Standards and 43 Specific Review Standards used to evaluate the design of online and blended courses. The Rubric is complete with Annotations that explain the application of the Standards and the relationship among them. A scoring system and set of online tools facilitate the review by a team of Peer Reviewers.
Unique to the Rubric is the concept of alignment. This occurs when critical course components - Learning Objectives (2), Assessment and Measurement (3), Instructional Materials (4), Course Activities and Learner Interaction (5), and Course Technology (6) - work together to ensure students achieve desired learning outcomes. Specific Standards included in Alignment are indicated in the Rubric Annotations.
Download the Standards from the QM Higher Education Rubric**. This download is intended for single use only. Please do not duplicate and distribute without written permission from QM.
The Eight General Standards:
- Course Overview and Introduction
- Learning Objectives (Competencies)
- Assessment and Measurement
- Instructional Materials
- Course Activities and Learner Interaction
- Course Technology
- Learner Support
- Accessibility and Usability
What is Alignment?
Critical course components - Learning Objectives (2), Assessment and Measurement (3), Resources and Materials (4), Learner Engagement (5), and Course Technology (6) - work together to ensure that students achieve the desired learning outcomes. When aligned, each of these course components is directly tied to and supports the learning objectives. Specific Review Standards included in alignment are indicated in the Rubric Annotations.
When Do I Use the Rubric?
The Rubric is intended for use with courses that are delivered fully online or a significant online component (hybrid and blended courses).
How Do I Obtain Access to the Rubric?
The Rubric is available with both the Full and Basic Subscription Options.
See the latest research in support of the Quality Matters Rubric Standards
- 2013 Literature Summary Report in preparation for the Higher Education Rubric, Fifth Edition, 2014
- Searchable QM Research Library incorporating references prepared for all editions of the Higher Education Rubric that support and inform it
The Quality Matters Course Format Chart provides definitions for online, blended, and face-to-face courses and explains how the QM review process is used in each case.
The Spring 2014 issue of the journal Internet Learning includes the article "Continuous Improvement of the QM Rubric and Review Processes: Scholarship of Integration and Application".
The QM Rubric, as well as the Quality Matters name and logo, cannot be used without the explicit written permission of MarylandOnline, Inc. (Courses that were reviewed and that received QM Recognition to date may continue to use the logo they received).
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