Welcome to Quality Matters at Kent State University - your one-stop shop for news, information, and professional development related to the Quality Matters program.
what is quality matters?
Quality Matters™ (QM) is a nationally recognized, faculty-centric non-profit that includes both a rubric and a peer review process designed to certify the quality of online course design. Foremost in QM principles are promoting a collegial, collaborative faculty experience centered on the idea of continuous quality improvement. QM does not evaluate online teaching, nor is it an evaluation of the online instructor; it is focused solely on the design of the course.
What is the research supporting Quality matters?
The Quality Matters Rubric is centered on relevant research, and was initially developed based on a literature review of online learning and instructional design research, as well as the expertise of experienced online faculty and existing standards and best practices for course design. Each of the Specific Rubric Standards is supported by research, and a new literature review is conducted every three years to guide and inform the regular revision of the QM Rubric. At any time, you can review existing research that supports rubric standards by searching either the standard or a key word in the QM Research Library.
There are also research resources, however, that explore the use and impact of the QM rubric. These studies can be accessed on QM's Research Resources page. Kent State's own research, funded by a Quality Matters grant and published in The American Journal of Distance Education, is also available on this page.
Additionally, QM-focused research highlights, including the report, "What We're Learning from QM-focused Research" is accessible on QM's research landing page. This page also includes the QM Research Toolkit, which guides researchers in formulating a quality research project, taking into account the unique needs and considerations of online learning research.
How does Kent State utilize Quality Matters?
Kent State University is a member of the largest QM state consortium in the nation, the Ohio QM Consortium, and as such, is able to provide low-cost training for QM's foundational workshop, Applying the Quality Matters Rubric (APPQMR). Along with the APPQMR, Kent State also offers QM consultations and a shortened, two-hour introduction to QM presentation, so that faculty can choose their level of involvement. After attending a Kent QM training, faculty will be given the complete QM rubric workbook, and can then continue to be involved in QM in the following ways:
- Faculty can use the QM rubric as a guide when they design their online courses.
- Faculty can do a self-review of their online course using the Self-Review tool on the QM website.
- Faculty can do informal peer reviews of colleagues' courses by request.
- Faculty can ask a trained QM Peer Reviewer from the Office of Continuing and Distance Education to do an informal QM review of their course.
- Faculty can begin their course design with the Kent State Online template, which meets many QM standards prior to course content, assignments, etc. being added.
Departments and colleges can also request custom QM training or a QM consultation, and can choose to incorporate QM design principles within their online course design as well.
If you any have questions about QM training, please contact Kent State's Quality Matters Coordinator, Bethany Simunich, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please visit our Faculty Workshops page for descriptions of our professional development events and links for registration.
INTERESTED IN QUALITY MATTERS RESEARCH?
If you are interested in pursuing an independent QM research project, please contact Bethany Simunich at email@example.com. Dr. Simunich is a QM Senior Research Colleague and is available to consult with faculty and graduate students on QM research at any point.