Quality Matters @ EFSC!

QM Quality Matters logoQuality Matters (QM) is a non-profit quality assurance organization helping institutions across the world deliver on their online promise. QM facilitates an inter-institutional peer review process dedicated to the continuous improvement of online course design.

The three main elements of QM are the QM Rubric, the Peer Review Process and Professional Development. QM is greater than the sum of its three parts because all elements work together to provide a total solution to reviewing online course design.

All About Quality Matters at EFSC

Quality Matters Evolution

The rapid growth of online education has forced institutions, faculty, and students to quickly adopt and adapt to this new mode of education. Given its recent evolution, there are people who continue to question the quality of education achieved through the online format.

In an effort to address the concerns about quality online education, the U.S. Department of Education's Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education (FIPSE) awarded a three year grant in 2003 to MarylandOnline, Inc., Maryland's higher education distance learning consortium, as a means to begin to address the issue of online course quality assurance. The Rubric and materials you are using in this workshop evolved from that grant, originally titled Quality Matters: Inter-Institutional Quality Assurance in Online Learning.

In 2007, Quality Matters became a non-profit entity under MarylandOnline in order to continue the good work accomplished during the grant funding period. QM became its own non-profit organization July 1, 2014. QM has grown into a subscription-based service with subscribers across the United States and in some foreign countries, as seen in the list of QM Member Institutions/ Organizations.

Underlying Principles

Quality Matters uses the following underlying principles to guide its work:


  • The process is designed to ensure that all reviewed courses will eventually meet expectations.
  • The Rubric-based review is integral to a continuous quality improvement process.


  • On research: The development of the Rubric is supported by national standards of best practice, the research literature, and instructional design principles.


  • A QM review is part of a faculty-driven, peer review process.
  • The review process is intended to be diagnostic and collegial, not evaluative and judgmental.


  • The review is based on collaboratively identified evidence found in the course rather than the personal preference of an individual reviewer.
  • The review is flexible and not prescriptive (many ways to meet each Specific Review Standard).
  • The review team consists of three experienced online instructors as reviewers along with the course instructor.

Online Course Quality

Integral to the QM process is the belief that there are many factors that affect the quality of an online course. These include:

  • Course Design
  • Course Delivery
  • Course Content
  • Learning Management System
  • Institutional Infrastructure
  • Faculty Readiness
  • Learner Readiness

QM Rubrics address quality of online courses with a focus on course design. The evaluation of course delivery resides within each institution.

Faculty & Staff with QM Certified Roles

  • Cherylan Bacheller - QM Coordinator, Certified QM Facilitator, Certified Peer Reviewer
  • Ilana Grimes - Certified Peer Reviewer
  • Lascelles (LJ) Lee - Certified Peer Reviewer
  • Dayla Nolis - QM Coordinator, Certified Peer Reviewer
  • John Russo - Certified Peer Reviewer
  • Ramona Smith - Certified Peer Reviewer
  • Carrie Wells - Certified Peer Reviewer

Faculty & Staff with QM Teaching Online Certificate (TOC)

  • Tony Akers
  • Kristie Fuller
  • Ilana Grimes
  • Carol Harvest
  • Debra Marshall
  • Ramona Smith
  • Dan Mondshein
  • Maria Strawn
  • Carrie Wells

We are in the beginning stages of implementing Quality Matters at our institution. We will begin by certifying our Master Courses first and go from there. More info to come!