Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

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  1. How can my course meet Quality Matters review expectations?
  2. How does a course earn these points?
  3. Does QM replace student course evaluations?
  4. What happens after the course is QM recognized? What's in it for me?
  5. How long does this recognition last? When does it expire?
  6. We want to put a course through a review, but we don't know who will be teaching it yet, or multiple and various people may teach it and make their additions or edits to the course. Does that invalidate the QM recognition?
  7. What happens if a course does not meet expectations?
  8. If a course does not meet expectations, can it still be taught?
  9. How long does the peer review process last?
  10. What are my responsibilities during the review?
  11. Will the review take place in my live course?
  12. How will the reviewers access my course?



1. How can my course meet Quality Matters review expectations?

The Quality Matters Rubric consists of 41 standards assigned different points depending on their relative importance. Twenty-one (21) of the standards are considered essential in a quality online course and have the highest point value of 3. The remaining 20 standards are assigned 1 or 2 points. The maximum possible number of points is 95.

For a course to meet Quality Matters review expectations, the course must have:

  1. Answered ‘Yes’ to all 3-point Essential Standards
  2. A total overall score of 81 out of 95 points

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2. How does a course earn these points?

Each peer reviewer on the team examines the course for evidence that a standard is either met or not met. If 2 out of the 3 reviewers determine that the standard is met, the course will receive all the points for that standard. If 2 out of the 3 reviewers determine that the standard is not met, the course will receive zero points for that standard. There are no partial points.

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3. Does QM replace student course evaluations?

No, QM is not a student evaluation of the faculty member’s delivery of the course. It is a peer evaluation of the design (not the content) of the course.

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4. What happens after the course is QM recognized? What's in it for me?

After a course has met QM standards and is recognized by Quality Matters, the “QM Recognized” seal can be displayed within the course and anywhere else that the course is advertised. This indicates to stakeholders that the course has been measured against a widely accepted national benchmark for quality assurance in online education and it has achieved the recognition that says the course design is of high quality.

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5. How long does this recognition last? When does it expire?

The “QM Recognized” seal will have a year at its lower edge in which the course was recognized. The QM standards are revised every two years to reflect current research on best practices in online learning. Technology and course materials are expected to undergo substantial change in that period of time. Therefore, the QM recognition expires after 5 years.

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6. We want to put a course through a review, but we don't know who will be teaching it yet, or multiple and various people may teach it and make their additions or edits to the course. Does that invalidate the QM recognition?

Not necessarily. The general guideline for a QM-recognized course is that the recognition is no longer valid if the course design changes are greater than 10-15%. Therefore, if a course achieves QM recognition and an instructor subsequently makes significant changes to the QM-recognized design that affect more than 10-15% of the course, the QM Recognized seal can no longer be associated with the course. It would need to be reviewed again to earn QM recognition. It is the responsibility of the Institutional Representative or the original course designer to make this determination.

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7. What happens if a course does not meet expectations?

The QM process is designed so that all courses will eventually meet expectations. If a course does not meet expectations upon initial review, the faculty course developer receives detailed feedback from the team and has the opportunity to revise the course.

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8. If a course does not meet expectations, can it still be taught?

The Department Chair, the Dean, and the Provost will have the authority to determine any additional institutional recommendations or consequences for courses that continue to not meet expectations.

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9. How long does the peer review process last?

Per QM requirements, the entire review process may take place over a maximum period of 20 weeks. However, it usually takes the peer review team about 3 weeks to conduct the actual review of the course.

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10. What are my responsibilities during the review?

As the faculty course developer, you will complete the Instructor Worksheet, a document that describes your course for the peer review team and which you will discuss with them during a pre-review conference call. After the review has been conducted, you will complete a Faculty Response Form. If the course does not yet meet expectations, you may make revisions and submit the revised course along with the Course Amendment Form.

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11. Will the review take place in my live course?

No, the review will take place in a copy of the course so that reviewers do not have access to any student data.

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12. How will the reviewers access my course?

eLearning will create guest accounts for the reviewers to log into ANGEL and access the course shell for review.

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Instructional Technology & Distance Education Services
Killam Library 259 • Regular Hours: Monday thru Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
TEL 956.326.2310FAX 956.326.2299 • elearning@tamiu.edu
5201 University Boulevard, Laredo, TX 78041-1900 Work956.326.2100