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Cincinnati State is a Quality Matters Institution

Screen Shot 2014-11-04 at 9.12.15 AM.pngCincinnati State is committed to implementing the Quality Matters standards for the design of [online and/or hybrid] courses, and is systematically building and evaluating our courses based on these rigorous, research-supported 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.

Quality Matters (QM) is a leader in quality assurance for online education and has received national recognition for its peer-based approach to continuous improvement in online education and student learning. The program features:



The program features:

  • Faculty-centered, continuous improvement models for assuring the quality of online courses through peer review 
  • Professional development workshops and certification courses for instructors and online learning professionals
  • Rubrics for applying quality standards to course design

About the Rubric

The Quality Matters Higher Education Rubric, Fifth Edition, 2014 is a set of 8 General Standards and 43 Specific Review Standards used to evaluate the design of online and blended courses. The Rubric is complete with Annotations that explain the application of the Standards and the relationship among them. A scoring system and set of online tools facilitate the review by a team of Peer Reviewers.

Unique to the Rubric is the concept of alignment. This occurs when critical course components - Learning Objectives (2), Assessment and Measurement (3), Instructional Materials (4), Course Activities and Learner Interaction (5), and Course Technology (6) - work together to ensure students achieve desired learning outcomes. Specific Standards included in Alignment are indicated in the Rubric Annotations.

The eight General Standards:

  1. Course Overview and Introduction
  2. Learning Objectives (Competencies)
  3. Assessment and Measurement
  4. Instructional Materials
  5. Course Activities and Learner InteractionScreen Shot 2014-11-04 at 9.15.26 AM.png
  6. Course Technology
  7. Learner Support
  8. Accessibility and Usability

What is Alignment?

Critical course components - Learning Objectives (2), Assessment and Measurement (3), Resources and Materials (4), Learner Engagement (5), and Course Technology (6) - work together to ensure that students achieve the desired learning outcomes. When aligned, each of these course components is directly tied to and supports the learning objectives. Specific Review Standards included in alignment are indicated in the Rubric Annotations.

When Do I Use the Rubric?

The Rubric is intended for use with courses that are delivered fully online or a significant online component (hybrid and blended courses).

How Do I Obtain Access to the Rubric?

Contact the Office of Distance Education at Cincinnati State to receive a copy of the QM Rubric.


If you already attended the Quality Matters training and would like a PDF of the materials covered, click on the resources below to download:

QM Refresher Tutorial for Reviewers (video)
Example of how Bloom's Taxonomy is used
Online Planning Worksheet Blank
Online Planning Worksheet Research (Example)
Online Planning Worksheet French Culture (Example)
Evaluation of Online Course against Quality Matters Rubric Template

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