Online Course Quality Standards

Are you interested in online course quality? NIU has adopted the Quality Matters Rubric for standards in best practices in online course design and development. The rubric consists of eight general standards with 43 specific review standards. The rubric was last updated in 2014, when a team of experienced online educators conducted an extensive literature review to identify the factors that have been identified by research studies as having a positive impact on the success of online students. 

General Standards

There are eight General Standards in the Quality Matters rubric:

  • Course Overview and Introduction
  • Learning Objectives
  • Assessments and Measurement
  • Instructional Materials
  • Course Activities and Learner Interaction
  • Course Technology
  • Learner Support
  • Accessibility and Usability

Each general standard is detailed in four to nine specific review standards, which provided detailed expectations for course design. NIU faculty and staff can access a short form of the rubric [Note: NIU login is required to view the rubric; the standards are © 2014, Quality Matters - please do not distribute outside of NIU] 

The full version of the rubric, which is provided as a workbook in the Applying the QM Rubric (APPQMR) workshop, includes detailed descriptions for each of the 43 specific review standards, including annotations and examples of how to meet each standard. Alternatively, faculty can contact the Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center to arrange a consultation to discuss the QM rubric.