Getting Started with QM

Getting Started with QM

Anyone at Iowa State can create a free QM account, access the QM Rubric, and initiate a QM Self-Review.

To begin, create an account through the Quality Matters (QM) by submitting an Iowa State ( email address and creating a password on the MyQM website. Your account will give you access to a plethora of QM resources including:

  • The QM Course Design Standards rubric
  • The automated course self-review system
  • QM professional development opportunities

Below you will find the benefits of Quality Matters along with these three primary components: the rubric, the course review process, and professional development opportunities.

The QM Course Design Standards Rubric

The QM Course Design Standards rubric (accessible in your free QM account) is a research-based instrument organized into a set of 8 General Review Standards. Each is accompanied by a subset of Specific Review Standards (SRS). View and download the Specific Review Standards from the QM Higher Education Rubric, Sixth Edition (PDF).

The rubric can be accompanied by a workbook, which may be checked out from CELT. The workbook contains an annotation for each standard and many examples illustrating how each standard can be met.

You can use the rubric and the workbook to:

  1. Self-inspect the design of your existing online and/or blended course.
  2. Make a list of and prioritize your course improvements. QM’s central belief is that all courses can use improvement through incremental, measurable changes.
  3. Develop a new online or blended course from scratch.
    The same QM rubric is used during the official QM review (link to the QM-managed certification), which if successful, benchmarks a course as meeting the nationally and internationally recognized QM Course Design Standards.
Alternatively, annotations and examples are available inside the automated self-review system which you can access via your free QM account.


With your free QM account, you receive access to the automated course self-review system, which allows to document whether and how your current online and/or blended course meets the QM Course Design Standards. The self-review is a good way to write down and plan for course improvements as well as prioritize them, so that they can be implemented incrementally.

The self-review initiated inside your QM account is not accessible to anybody, but you.

Professional Development

QM offers a course standards rubric, different types of course reviews, and other types of professional development through its website and ISU’s subscription. Review your opportunities on the QM Professional Development webpage


Send a message to or call 515-294-5357. We are happy to address any, beginner-level or advanced questions you may have about QM at ISU.