Course Review

Graphic of Quality Matters peer-review processThe purpose of the Online & Blended Course Certification Program is to assist faculty in creating online & blended courses that incorporate the latest research-based, best practices for online education. This program will include three levels of certification: basic, advanced, and external review, which will be based on the Quality Matters Higher Education Rubric. In order to achieve certification at any level, you must meet 85% of the standard and all 3 point standards.

For additional information on the course review/certification program, contact IDT at idt@frostburg.edu.

Level 1: Basic

The level one certification review team will include the faculty member requesting the review and at least one member of the FSU instructional design team. This review will use a modified Quality Matters Higher Education Rubric including only ten items (Quality Matters standards 1.1, 2.1, 2.2, 3.1, 3.2, 4.1, 4.3, 5.3, 6.3, and 8.3). Once it has been determined that a course has met the requirements of a level one certification, the course may use the level one certification badge in the course banner. It is highly recommended that a course be reviewed every five years or after any substantial change to continue to use the certification badge.

Level 2: Advanced

The level two certification team will include the faculty member requesting the review, at least one member of the FSU instructional design team, and 2 additional faculty members. This review will use the full Quality Matters Higher Education Rubric. Once it has been determined that a course has met the requirements of a level one certification, the course may use the level two certification badge in the course banner. It is highly recommended that a course be reviewed every five years or after any substantial change to continue to use the certification badge.

Level 3: External

The level three certification team will include the faculty member requesting the review and three team members that are external to the institution. This review will be managed by Quality Matters and use the full Quality Matters Higher Education Rubric. There is a fee for an external review and will be the responsibility of the individual department to cover the cost. Once it has been determined that a course has met the requirements of a Quality Matters external review, the course may use the badge issued by Quality Matters in the course banner. Quality Matters requires that a course be reviewed every five years or after a substantial change to continue to use the certification badge.

Request a Course Review

Peer Reviewers

What is a Peer Reviewer?

A Peer Reviewer is a faculty member who currently teaches online or blended courses (within the last 12 months) and agrees to assist other faculty members in improving their online course design. The Peer reviewer works with the FSU instructional design team to conduct the Online & Blended Course Certification Program. Throughout this process, the Peer Reviewer is able to gain additional insight into online education by viewing courses inside and outside of their discipline and working collaboratively with faculty members from all over the university.

When assigned to a peer review team, the Peer Reviewer will spend approximately 8-10 hours reviewing the assigned course and making improvement recommendations based on the Quality Matters Higher Education Rubric and Annotations. It is important to remember that this is a continuous improvement activity for courses, it is NOT a form of evaluation for the course or instructor. It is about the course design, not about the teaching of any given semester.

How do I become a Peer Reviewer?

The first step is to complete the request form to Become a Peer Reviewer. Before you begin reviewing courses here at FSU, you will need to complete the Applying the Quality Matters Rubric workshop. This workshop is offered in both online and face-to-face formats by certified trainers in the Department of Instructional Design and Technology.

If you choose to continue your Quality Matters training, you will also have the option of taking the Peer Reviewer Certification course. This certification enables you to review courses through Quality Matters from external institutions, giving you the opportunity to see how online education is happening in institutions across the country.

Important Documents

  • Quality Matters HE Rubric Standards (PDF)
    This document lists the standards for the Quality Matters Higher Education Rubric, including the point value of each standard.
  • Objective Alignment Matrix (DOCX)
    This worksheet assists instructors and the review team in defining how course activities and assessments align with module and course objectives.
  • ADA Compliance Worksheet (PDF)
    This checklist assists instructors and the review team in determining if course content meets the federal ADA requirements.