Quality Matters (QM) promotes a peer review process and provides a database of certified QM Peer Reviewers eligible for assignment to a peer review team. As a full-subscribing institution, UAB may conduct internal, informal and official reviews.

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An official course review must meet the following criteria:

  • use of current QM Standards,
  • review of online or blended (hybrid) course,
  • three-person peer review team,
  • all reviewers are eligible QM-Certified Peer Reviewers,
  • at least one reviewer is external to the institution submitting the course,
  • at least one reviewer is designated as subject matter expert, and
  • team Chair is a QM Master Reviewer.

Courses that successfully meet the QM Rubric Standards in an official course review are eligible for QM recognition and carry the QM Certification Mark.

When Should a Course be Submitted for a Quality Matters Course Review?

Quality Matters course reviews are designed for mature courses that have been taught previously and/or for courses that are fully developed online (including blended formats) such that reviewers can see all evaluated components.

The following checklist can help you determine if a course is ready to be submitted for review:

  • Has the Course Representative had time to review the Quality Matters Rubric and make modifications before the review? Faculty that are prepared for a Quality Matters review have better outcomes and get more out of the review process. UAB encourages faculty to use the QM Self-Review tool, which allows users to conduct their own reviews prior to submitting their courses for official reviews. Learn how to access and use the Self-Review tool.
  • Are the measurable course-level objectives specified and are there measurable module/unit objectives for each of the course modules/units? Several QM standards assess alignment with the course and module objectives. Therefore, if the objectives are not measurable, the course review will be paused until they are updated.
  • Are all discussion board questions or topics posted for review? Student responses and faculty responses/feedback are not necessary to provide as the QM review does not evaluate delivery of the course.
  • If the course uses email in any part of the instruction, is this information made available to the review team? Examples of such email exchanges should be provided to the review team during its review of the course.
  • Are all course activities, including all audio-visual components, available to the review team? Sometimes instructors make assignments "not available" after a specified "due date." All such assignments will need to be available to the review team.
  • Are all assessment tools available for review by the team? The review team will need to be able to access quizzes, exams, and tests, and it would be beneficial to the review team to also have access to the grade book as it is set-up for the "student view."
  • Can the review team see and experience the course as a student would?

What Kind of Course Access does the Review Team Need?

Because the review team will be reviewing the course from the student perspective, team members should be provided student-level access in a course sandbox course shell. For purposes of protecting the confidentiality of student information, your Canvas Admin will provide a sandbox course shell, rather than access to a live course. QM only reviews the design of the course, and reviewers should not be provided the ability to review student activity or information or to have any contact with students in any course submitted for review.

Quality Matters Internal/Informal Reviews

The QM internal/informal reviews are conducted (at no charge) in preparation for QM formal/official reviews or for quality assurance purposes. eLearning conducts informal reviews for fully online courses. To get started, please review and submit the pdfQM Internal/Informal Review Process and Form to your QM Coordinators, Randi Kirkland and Samira Laouzai.

Quality Matters Official/Formal Reviews

eLearning coordinates official/formal Quality Matters reviews which lead to Quality Matters certification for fully online or blended/hybrid courses. Reviews are conducted at no cost to the instructor or unit. If your course is blended/hybrid, view the pdfGuidelines for Quality Matters Official Course Reviews for Blended/Hybrid Courses for recommendations for a successful review. To get started, review and submit the pdfQM Official/Formal Review Process and Form to your QM Coordinators, Randi Kirkland and Samira Laouzai.

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