5th Edition of the Quality Matters Rubric Workbook for Higher Education Released

The 5th Edition of the Quality Matters Rubric Workbook for Higher Education was released August 1, replacing the 2011-2013 Edition. All new course reviews and professional development will be based on the 5th edition. The Quality Matters (QM) rubric is updated regularly to reflect current research and best practices in online and blended education.

Highlights of updates in the 5th Edition of the Quality Matters Rubric Workbook for Higher Education include:

  1. Standard 1 – Course Overview and Introduction. A new specific standard was added on minimum technology requirements.
  2. Standard 2 – Learning Objectives (Competencies). The term “competencies” was added to all discussion of learning objectives to allow for competency-based courses. The annotations were expanded to include discussion of multiple learning domains and taxonomies in addition to Bloom’s Cognitive Domain.
  3. Standard 6 – Course Technology. A new specific standard was added on privacy policies for external tools.
  4. Standard 8 – Accessibility and Usability. This standard was expanded to include usability, and therefore the “navigation” standard was moved from Standard 6 to Standard 8. In addition, a new standard on multimedia usability was added. Finally, annotations were expanded to provide additional examples of “alternative means of access” to course content.

The update team, which convened in October 2013, was composed of twelve members of the QM community (from over 80 nominated) as well as three members of the QM staff. Each of the 12 members was assigned to two standards, with each sub-committee deliberating independently on revisions that were then presented to the whole committee for discussion and feedback. Litsa Varonis of Design and Development Services served on the sub-committees for Standard 2 (Learning Objectives) and Standard 8 (Accessibility).

This year, QM implemented additional changes to better reflect the responsibilities of those involved with a review. For example:
1. The Institutional Representative is now known as the QM Coordinator.
2. A QM Coordinator may take a professional development course to be certified as a Course Review Manager.
3. The Faculty Developer Worksheet that must be submitted before a review is launched is now known as the Course Worksheet.

All Quality Matters reviewers must complete rubric update training in order to join a review team using the new rubric. If your are a peer or master reviewer, you can register for this update by logging into the Quality Matters website.

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