Quality Matters™

What is Quality Matters™

Quality Matters™ (QM) is a faculty-centered, peer-review process designed to certify the quality of online and blended courses. QM is a leader in quality assurance for online education and has received national recognition for its scalable, peer-based approach and continuous improvement in online education and student learning. Learn more about Quality Matters™

Quality Matters Logo

How does this benefit both you and the University of Arkansas?

It is important to understand this is not part of your evaluation for promotion or tenure, but a standardized process to ensure quality design in an online course.  Academic freedom is not lost as there are many ways to meet each QM standard.  Some benefits of applying the QM standards include:

  • Course alignment with accreditation standards
  • Peer-to-peer collaboration
  • Professional Development
  • Improve student engagement and learning outcomes
  • Enhance the reputations of faculty, programs, and the University

How do I get Involved?

If instructors would like to take a workshop on Quality Matters™, contact us by sending an email to globalcampus@uark.edu or calling the Instructional Design and Support Services unit at 479-575-6494.

"I think Quality Matters standards help faculty determine what they want their students to be able to achieve by the end of the semester by establishing clear and measurable course and lesson objectives that the student can understand.  They help faculty see their course from the student’s perspective by clearly delineating what is expected, how to succeed, and how the student will be assessed.  Thinking about my online teaching in this way has even changed how I present material to my students in face to face classes—the standards are not only meant to help establish good online teaching but good teaching in any setting."

Jim Gigantino
Assistant Professor of History
University of Arkansas

Submit Your Course to QM for Official Peer-Review

Who is on an official review team?

The review team is comprised of three faculty/instructors assigned by QM and a course representative who is typically the instructor, or lead instructor, that participates in the course review process and has working knowledge of the course. The Course Representative will be responsible for facilitating changes to the course as well as answering questions related to the course.


Diagram of the Internal Course Review ProcessWhat is the process?

  • Contact Suzanne Kenner at globalcampus@uark.edu to begin the review process
  • Global Campus will:
    • Ensure your course content is copied into a QM-review course shell in Blackboard and that the QM-reviewers have access to the course;
    • Provide access to the online Self-Review Tool which is designed to assist you in the review process;
    • Assign a Global Campus Instructional Designer to go over your course with you to prepare it for a review and assist during the course review and modification process
  • Instructors will:
    • Review their course and make any modifications needed to meet the Quality Matters Rubric including making sure all instructions, course activities, discussion boards, and assessment tool are active and available to the review team;
    • Complete the QM-provided Course Worksheet and Pre-Review Conference Call; and
    • Complete the Post-Review Conference Call, and Course Review Outcomes Response Form and make the recommended changes for the Amendment form.

What results should I expect?

The QM reviewer team will follow the QM Rubric as they navigate through your course to evaluate course design. Remember, there are multiple ways to meet each standard. At the end of the review, you will receive feedback from your peer-review team that is constructive, specific, measurable, sensitive and balanced. If your course does meet the QM Rubric standards at the end of the course review, you will be able to submit an amended course with reviewer-suggested updates that should enable your course to become QM Certified.


How long does the official review process take?

Reviews can be submitted and completed throughout the year. The estimated time for a QM team to review a course is 2-8 weeks depending on the team’s schedule, but the entire process including any suggested revisions will not take longer than 4 months.

How does my course qualify?

Courses to be reviewed are selected by the Quality Matters Coordinator from the submitted applications that meet the following criteria:

  • Developed after Spring 2012
  • Course has been taught at least 3 terms

Upon completion, what is expected of me?

Upon QM Certification, your course will be listed on the QM website as an approved course and you will receive a QM Certification Badge to add to your course in Blackboard. The QM Certification is valid for five years and we ask that you do not make major design changes to the course after QM approval without consulting with your Instructional Designer.

If you are interested in submitting your course for a QM-Managed review, please contact Suzanne Kenner at globalcampus@uark.edu.

Quality Matters Higher Education Program


Certified Courses


  • COMM 1023
    Communication in a Diverse World


  • SPAN 2013
    Intermediate Spanish II
    Hilda Benton
  • SPAN 3113
    Introduction to Literature
    Hilda Benton


  • MATH 2053
    Finite Mathematics
    Brian Rickard
  • SPAN 2003
    Intermediate Spanish I
    Hilda Benton
  • COMM 1003
    Film Lecture
    Dr. Frank Scheide
  • SPAN 1003
    Elementary Spanish I
    Hilda Benton
  • SPAN 1013
    Elementary Spanish II
    Hilda Benton


Become a Quality Matters™ Peer Reviewer

Online course reviews have been compared to observations in the face-to-face classroom that strengthen the product and the people.

Just as a peer review of a research paper validates quality, the purpose of a course peer review is to validate quality of course design.

What is required to become an Internal Course Peer Reviewer?

  • Must have faculty or instructor status
  • Must have taught an online course for at least one semester
  • Successfully complete:
    • QM™ Applying the QM Rubric (APPQMR) workshop (one day on campus)
    • QM™ Peer Reviewer Course (PRC) (online - approx. 16-24 hours over a two week period)

Why should I become an Internal Course Peer-Reviewer?

  • Not only does the instructor receiving the peer review benefit from the process, but this is a growth opportunity for the reviewer.
  • QM does provide its peer reviewers with financial compensation for participating on a peer review team

How do I apply for the QM™ workshop and the QM™ Peer Reviewer Course (PRC)?

  • "Applying the Quality Matters Rubric" workshops are hosted by the Global Campus once per year. To learn more or reserve your seat, send an email to globalcampus@uark.edu or call 479-575-6510.
  • The Peer Reviewer Course (PRC) can be taken online. To apply for this course through Global Campus, please complete the application form and return it to globalcampus@uark.edu . Please read the requirements and prerequisites carefully.


Peer Reviewer Course Application