Quality Matters logoThe Quality Matters Higher Education Rubric, Sixth Edition, 2018 is a set of eight General Standards and 42 Specific Review Standards used to evaluate the design of online and blended courses. Annotations explain the applications of the Standards and their inter-relationships. The Rubric has a scoring system used by the Review Team to determine whether a course meets Standards. Essential Standards (3-point Specific Review Standards) must be met during the review and an overall score of 85% of the points possible are required for a course to attain QM certification.


The Eight General Standards

  1. Course Overview and Introduction
  2. Learning Objectives (Competencies)
  3. Assessment and Measurement
  4. Instructional Materials
  5. Learning Activities and Learner Interaction
  6. Course Technology
  7. Learner Support
  8. Accessibility and Usability

When Do I Use the Rubric?

The Rubric is intended for use with courses that are delivered fully online or have a significant online component (hybrid and blended courses). The QM Rubric can be used as a tool for designing or evaluating one’s own course.


How do I use the Rubric?

The Quality Matters Rubric can be used in the following ways:

  • Faculty development and training programs
    • Faculty can enroll in any QM-provided workshops on the Rubric. Faculty may also get trained on “Applying the QM Rubric” since UAB has purchased a full subscription and has certified trainers.
  • External quality assurance of online courses
    • Through an official course review process (UAB-Managed), a course meeting standards may carry the QM logo that recognizes and promotes it as a course that meets national standards of quality.
  • Guidelines for online course development
    • Instructional designers may use The Rubric as the standard for course development.
  • Checklist for improvement of existing online courses
    • UAB provides Rubric access to faculty to use as a checklist to build, maintain, or review their own courses.

How Do I Obtain Access to the Rubric?

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.