QM Rubric & Reviews

QM Rubrics & Reviews

A Quality Matters (QM) account provides Iowa State faculty and instructors access to the course rubric, review processes, and other professional development opportunities. The QM resources enable Iowa State to engage in benchmark activities through a nationally recognized program used by peer institutions.

Along with the related consultation services through CELT, these tools can assist in the design, development and continual improvement of online and blended courses.

Faculty and instructors may want to include information about their QM participation in reports, teaching evaluations, and portfolios. Course certification through QM offers opportunities for national recognition.

Course Rubric

The QM rubric is a research-based peer review process that is widely adopted in higher education as a measure of online course quality. It offers weighted best practices in online instruction to improve course quality.

Visit the QM Higher Ed Course Design Rubric Standards website, and download the non-annotated Standards from the QM Higher Education Rubric, Sixth Edition (PDF) to download the rubric.

The rubric is helpful as a tool to consider what elements may be missing from an online or blended course or to generate suggestions for new features.


Faculty and instructors can use the Self Review materials within the QM site under “Course Review Management System” in the top navigation bar. Annotations explaining each standard in greater detail can be accessed within the Self Review tool after logging in to the QM site.

This unofficial review is a way to become more familiar with QM standards or assess a course prior to an official review. You can also do pre- and post-assessments of your courses to keep a record of improvements, and a private report can be emailed once completed.

QM-Managed Review

QM-Managed Reviews require a CELT consultation and a Self Review first. These external reviews are handled by QM staff or designees in compliance with QM Course Review Standards, take two to four months, and cost $1,000.

As part of external reviews, Iowa State faculty and instructors can earn Quality Matters Standards certification for their online or blended courses.