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.