Quality Matters at SPS

What do we mean by quality?

Many factors can affect the quality of an online or hybrid course. These factors include course design, course delivery, the course content, the learning management system, faculty readiness, student readiness, the institutional infrastructure, etc. Course design is critical to the quality control process as it impacts course delivery and the overall success of a course and program.

Quality Matters (QM) is a set of processes and tools that help institutions continuously improve courses and online programs. The QM Rubric is a set of 8 general standards and 42 specific standards used to evaluate and guide the design of online and hybrid courses. These standards were developed based on current research and established standards in the fields of instructional design and online learning. The QM Rubric includes annotations that explain the application of the standards and the relationship among them. A scoring system and set of online tools facilitate the evaluation by a team of certified peer reviewers. 

At SPS, all online and hybrid courses should meet QM Rubric standards. Instructional designers, a number of whom are also trained to be QM Certified Peer Reviewers, work with faculty and other stakeholders to apply QM standards in course design. 

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Applying the Quality Matters Rubric (APPQMR) Workshop

The APPQMR is QM's flagship workshop on the QM Rubric and its use in reviewing the design of online and hybrid courses. In this workshop, participants become familiar with the Quality Matters standards and participate in a practice peer review of an online course using QM's review tools. After completing the workshop, participants leave with practical ideas to improve their course(s) using QM Rubric Standards. They are eligible to register for the Peer Reviewer Course (PRC), which is the required course to become a QM-Certified Reviewer.

The APPQMR workshop is designed for a broad audience, including lecturers, instructors, associates, and officers of administration. The Online Curriculum and Instruction (OCI) team offers the APPQMR throughout the year in online and face-to-face formats. To date, over 50 SPS faculty and staff have successfully completed this workshop.

To learn more about the APPQMR workshop, please contact Phoebe Ballard, Executive Director of Online Learning Operations, at [email protected].

Peer Reviewer Professional Development Grants

The PRC is a rigorous three-week, fully online (asynchronous) course facilitated by QM and hosted on Canvas. The course prepares experienced online faculty to become QM-Certified Peer Reviewers. The PRC includes a review of QM, practice in critiquing and writing helpful recommendations, and a practice review in which the participants are asked to review specific standards in an online course using QM’s Course Review Management System (CRMS).

QM-Certified Peer Reviewers at SPS:

  • Haralambos Kostakopoulos, Enterprise Risk Management
  • Dr. Colleen Davy, Applied Analytics
  • Dr. Kevin Gordon, Applied Analytics
  • Ariel Fleurimond, Online Curriculum and Instruction
  • Jennie Johnson, Online Curriculum and Instruction
  • Dr. Matthew Vaughan, Online Curriculum and Instruction
  • David McAlinden, Online Curriculum and Instruction
  • Dr. Sheila Song, Online Curriculum and Instruction
  • Cassie Scannella, Online Curriculum and Instruction
  • Camilo Irizarry, Online Curriculum and Instruction
  • Yijun (Diana) Dai, Online Curriculum and Instruction
  • Phoebe Ballard, Online Curriculum and Instruction

OCI awards professional development grants to cover the course registration fee so that experienced online instructors can become nationally certified reviewers for QM Higher Ed Peer Reviews. If you are interested in becoming a QM-Certified Peer Reviewer, please contact Phoebe Ballard, Executive Director of Online Learning Operations, at [email protected].

Master Reviewers at Columbia SPS

QM Master Reviewers are experienced QM Peer Reviewers and integral to ensuring the rigor and consistency of the peer review process. In the peer review process, Master reviewers lead the management of the entire review process and actively coach peers to ensure helpful recommendations are provided for course improvements.

QM-certified Master Reviewers at SPS:

  • Dr. Matthew Vaughan, Online Curriculum and Instruction
  • Phoebe Ballard, Online Curriculum and Instruction

Quality Matters Resources

Meeting QM's accessibility Standards does not guarantee or imply that specific country, federal, state, and/or local accessibility regulations are met. Please consult with an accessibility specialist to ensure that accessibility regulations are met.