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Preparing for a Quality Matters Course Review

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.  Subscribers have access to the Self Review Tool in the Course Review Management System (CRMS) which allows a user to conduct a review of his/her own course.

☐ Are the measurable course-level objectives specified and are there measurable module/unit objectives for each of the course modules/units? The lack of course-level objectives and module/unit-level objectives is among the most frequently missed standards.

☐ Are all discussion board questions or topics posted for review? Student responses (stripped of identifying information) 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 clone or shell.  Your QM Coordinator can assist you in creating an archive of the most recent version of the course under review, with steps taken to ensure student privacy rights. This is a common way to provide access to the review team.  For purposes of protecting the confidentiality of student information, the QM Coordinator will clone your existing shell, rather than providing 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.  By submitting the application for a course review, the institution acknowledges Quality Matters bears no responsibility for any consequence of providing a live course for review.

How do I submit a course for review?

The first step, after ensuring the course is ready, is to submit a Course Review Application. Once this is completed, the selected QM Coordinator will be able to view the status of the review at all times through the Course Review Management System. The process includes a pre-review, review period, and post review.


  • Once the application is submitted in the Course Review Management System (CRMS), the Review Coordinator or QM Coordinator will send the Course Representative directions to complete the online Course Worksheet.  The CRMS will notify the participants for required actions as the review progresses.
  • The Course Representative or QM Coordinator must provide the review team with appropriate access to the course. (Please note that this information is not provided to Quality Matters).

Review Period

  • The review is scheduled for a 4-6 week review period, which includes approximately 3 weeks of actual review time in addition to pre- and post-review conference calls.
  • Once the final report is drafted, the Team Chair will submit the final report and the Course Representative of the course will be notified of the outcome.


  • The Course Representative notifies QM of his or her intentions through the Review Outcome Response Form - to have the course recognized if it met standards or to submit an amendment if it did not. The Course Representative is notified of the date the amendment is due (within 20 weeks of the start date of the course review).
  • The Course Representative completes the online Amendment Form indicating the changes made in the course.
  • The Team Chair reviews and approves the changes to the course. The institution is invoiced and reviewers are paid once the final report is submitted.
  • Once standards are met, Quality Matters recognition is provided to the Course Representative and the course is listed in the QM online registry.

Click here for a list of courses which have successfully completed the course review process.

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