Quality Matters

Quality Matters (QM) is a faculty-centered, peer review process that is designed to certify the quality of online and blended courses.

What is Quality Matters?

The QM rubric is a research-based tool consisting of 8 general standards and 41 specific criteria that describe best practices in online course design. The QM process is designed to be continuous, collegial, and collaborative. The rubric and associated annotations are based on best practices that promote student learning and instructional design principles that are part of good design. The rubric is supported by a thorough review of the literature and is updated every three years to reflect new techniques and technologies that have become available.

The course review process involves a review of a course by a team of three trained, certified peer reviewers who are all experienced online faculty. This faculty driven process is intended to be diagnostic with the overall goal of course improvement.


QM Implementation Plan Approved

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The QM Implementation Plan submitted by Northland Community and Technical College was approved by the Quality Matters Academic Advisory Council in April 2013.

The main beneficiaries of QM are the online students who take a course that was designed to meet QM standards. A QM Certified course provides the online student with assurance that the course has been planned, developed, and designed with all components to make the learning experience a success. A list of Northland courses that have received the QM certification seal can be found here.

Northland Community and Technical College is committed to implementing the Quality Matters standards for the design of online and hybrid courses, and we are building and evaluating courses based on these rigorous, research-based standards. The Quality Matters standards assure that the online components of these courses promote learner engagement and provide students with all the tools and information they need to be successful learners. More information regarding Quality Matters may be found at www.qmprogram.org.


QM Recognized Courses at Northland

The following online courses were developed and are currently taught by faculty from Northland Community and Technical College.

Each course listed below has demonstrated through a formal peer review process that it has met Quality Matters Standards for course design. A team of three trained and certified peer reviewers reviewed each course using the Quality Matters Process. The national standards these courses had to meet describe the key elements that should be included in the design of an online course in order to promote student learning, student retention, and overall student success.

QM recognized courses are listed in QM's national database of certified courses and each faculty member has been given a QM seal to display with their online course. Learn more about the Quality Matters course reviews at the Minnesota Online Quality Initiative website and at the Quality Matters website.

Quality Matters Recognized 2014

CDEV 2220 Integrating Play
Course Developer/Faculty: Peggy Rogers

CDEV 2236 Occupational Experience
Course Developer/Faculty: Peggy Rogers

CDEV2244 Parent & Professional
Course Developer/ Faculty: Peggy Rogers

HPER2270 Health & Wellness
Course Developer/ Faculty: Elizabeth McMahon & Tammy Magness

CDEV2229 Imaginative Learning
Course Developer/ Faculty: Peggy Rogers

HLTH1126 Therapeutic Communication
Course Developer/ Faculty: Mary Amundson

MATH0094 Pre-College Algebra
Course Developer/Faculty: Farah Rahnama

Quality Matters Recognized 2013

BIOL1004 Intro to Anatomy & Physiology
Course Developer/ Faculty: Tina Moody

BIOL2131 Nutrition
Course Developer/ Faculty: Kathy Huschle

BIOL2221 Microbiology
Course Developer/Faculty: Kathy Hushchle

CDEV1105 Development & Guidance
Course Developer/ Faculty: Peggy Rogers

CDEV1107 Intro to Early Education
Course Developer/ Faculty: Peggy Rogers

CDEV2240 Observing & Assessing
Course Developer/ Faculty: Peggy Rogers

CDEV2252 Paraprofessional Role
Course Developer/ Faculty: Peggy Rogers

ENGL0085 Reading & Writing II
Course Developer/Faculty: Sherry Lindquist

ENGL1111 Composition I
Course Developer/Faculty: Jennifer Dahlen

ENGL1112 Composition II
Course Developer/Faculty: Jennifer Dahlen

HIST1101 Western Civilization I
Course Developer/Faculty: Aliza Olson

HLTH1106 Medical Terminology
Course Developers/ Faculty: Dorinda Sorvig & Elizabeth McMahon

MATH0090 Introductory Algebra
Course Developer/Faculty: Barb Weber

MATH1110 College Algebra
Course Developer/Faculty: Barb Weber

PLSC1102 American Government
Course Developer/ Faculty: Aliza Olson

Quality Matters Recognized 2012

ENGL0095 Reading & Writing III
Course Developer/Faculty: Sherry Lindquist

HLTH2208 Pathophysiology
Course Developer/Faculty: Elizabeth McMahon

MATH0098 Intermediate Algebra
Course Developer/Faculty: Barb Weber



Northland is a participant in the Minnesota Online Quality Initiative. This graphic shows the total number of Quality Matters recognized courses in Minnesota in the last five years as well as the number by institution.

Image credit: Minnesota Online Quality Initiative


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