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EIU Faculty Development and Innovation Center

QM Essentials

Quality Matters (QM) Internal Review and Recognition Process

What is Quality Matters?

Quality Matters provides professional development, a set of rubrics, and a course review process that work together to support faculty in improving the quality of online and hybrid courses. QM has received national recognition for its faculty-centered approach to continuous improvement in online education and student learning. QM has review processes for both online and hybrid courses, and online programs.

QM Rubrics and Standards

QM Rubrics and Standards were created to help course developers, teachers, faculty, entire organizations, and — most importantly — students. The General Standards and Specific Review Standards in each Rubric are intended to guide you through the development, evaluation, and improvement of your online and hybrid courses. The Rubric and associated annotations are based on best practices that promote student learning and instructional design principles for quality course design. The Rubric is supported by a thorough review of the research literature and is updated periodically to reflect new techniques and technologies that have become available.

Why Follow Quality Matters Standards?

Quality Matters standards are designed to deliver the promise of quality online instruction. The standards are research-based and reviewed regularly. For a more in-depth understanding, read more about “Why QM?” and the community behind the standards.

QM Membership

EIU has a Quality Matters basic subscription. The membership provides access to the fully annotated QM Rubric and the QM Course Review Management System (CRMS). EIU can use the QM system to conduct self-reviews and internal reviews.

QM Self-Review

The Self Review allows EIU instructors to use the QM Standards to privately evaluate their course.  Annotations are provided for each standard as a reference.  For more information about conducting a self-review, complete the QOC Inquiry Form.

What is QM Essentials?

Quality Matters Essentials is an internal review process designed to improve the quality of online and hybrid courses by focusing on meeting all 23 Essential Standards from the QM rubric.

The Internal Review

The FDIC conducts internal reviews of online and hybrid courses through EIU's Quality Online Course Certification program.  The internal review is conducted using the Quality Matters Higher Education Rubric.  One criteria to earn the Quality Online Course certificate requires that all 23 essential standards from the QM Rubric are met.  Therefore, by earning the Quality Online Course certificate at EIU, the course also meets the QM Essentials criteria. 

The QM Essentials Badge

Courses meeting the QM Essentials criteria will earn a QM Essentials badge. The instructor may choose to display the badge on the course homepage in D2L Brightspace and in the course syllabus. 


Courses earning the QM Essentials recognition will be listed on the FDIC website. QM Essentials award recipients will be recognized at the annual FDIC COOL (Celebrating Opportunities for Online Learning) Awards Ceremony held each Spring beginning Spring 2022.

More Information

For more information about the internal review process, go to the Quality Online Course (QOC) webpage or submit the QOC Inquiry Form.



Julie Lockett at 
Director of Learning Innovation
Faculty Development and Innovation Center

Related Pages

Contact Information

Dr. Michael Gillespie, Director, FDIC


Kim Ervin
Instructional Designer


Faculty Development and Innovation Center

1105 Booth

David Smith
Instructional Support and Training Specialist


Keerthana Saraswathula
Instructional Support and Training Specialist


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