In our first post, we gave you a little bit of the background and rationale for selecting Quality Matters for peer review of online course design. In this post, we’d like to talk a little bit more about Quality Matters as an organization.
Quality Matters was born in higher education, although it certainly has expanded. The Quality Matters project was initiated by MarylandOnline (MOL), a consortium of post- secondary two and four-year institutions in Maryland that are committed to the expansion of online educational opportunities in Maryland through collaboration. One of these initiatives was the Quality Matters project.
In the spring of 2003, MOL submitted a proposal to the U.S. Department of Education’s Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) for the creation of a rubric for online course design and a faculty-centered peer review process. The title of the project was Quality Matters: Inter-Institutional Quality Assurance in Online Learning. The proposal was funded and ran from 2003-2006.
Quality Matters continued to develop after the FIPSE grant concluded. QM revised the rubric periodically, encouraged research to evaluate the rubric and its impact, developed a business model, and most of all – it grew. Now, there are subscribers in most of the United States and in several countries. There are additional rubrics for publishers, K-12 education, and continuing and professional education. In July 2014, Quality Matters became its own stand-alone non-profit organization.
UAA is one of many institutions that recognizes the need to develop structure and discipline for the online learning efforts that are growing at a tremendous rate through UAA. With a rubric, process, and professional development support for faculty, we can work with Quality Matters to develop that structure and discipline for online course design.
If you or your department would like to learn more about Quality Matters, please feel free to contact Melissa Banker or Heather Nash at Academic Innovations & eLearning for an overview.
Note: Portions of this post are paraphrased from Quality Matters orientation materials.