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Quality Matters FAQ

What is the Applying the Quality Matters Rubric (APPQMR) training?

    • This training is Quality Matter’s flagship workshop on the QM Rubric and its use in reviewing the design of online and blended courses is intended for a broad audience, including but not limited to faculty, instructional designers, administrators, and adjunct instructors. It is particularly helpful to those new to QM or those considering the adoption of a quality assurance process for online and blended learning.
    • In addition to learning about the QM Rubric and the course review process, participants will learn to apply the concept of alignment and draft helpful recommendations for course improvement.
    • The APPQMR is the prerequisite for the Peer Reviewer Course, which is the required course to become a QM Peer Reviewer.

Recommended for:

    • Faculty who plan on teaching online courses at Austin Community College.
    • Those looking to understand the QM Rubric and course review process.
    • Members with a stand-alone CPE membership.
    • Those who wish to complete the Higher Ed Peer Reviewer Course

Required for:

    • DE faculty who teach online or hybrid courses.

Learning Objectives

    • After completing this workshop, participants will be able to:
    • Recognize the foundational concepts of Quality Matters.
    • Identify the critical elements of the QM quality assurance program, including the QM Rubric, materials, processes, and administrative components.
    • Apply the QM Rubric to review online courses.
    • Make decisions on whether the demo course meets selected QM Rubric Standards.
    • Apply the concept of alignment.
    • Draft helpful recommendations for course improvement by citing annotations from the QM Rubric and evidence from the course.


    • None

Offered as Online?

    • Yes. This training is offered as a 2-week online course. A minimum of 10 to 12 hours per week is needed in order to achieve the learning objectives. Some participants report spending at least 15 hours per week.

Offered as F2F?

    • Yes. This training is also offered synchronously over 2 days. Participants are expected to engage in synchronous activities over the course of 3 to 4 hours each day.

What is the Distance Learning Instruction Series (DLIS)?

    • This course is recommended for faculty who plan on teaching online courses at Austin Community College (ACCC). This online self-paced course provides future distance education faculty with design and teaching guidelines for developing online course content and activities. The series is divided into four modules, each of which focuses on one major component of DL instruction. Participants must complete all four modules to receive credit for the series. Completion of the series fulfills the requirement for faculty training in distance learning instruction.

Recommended for:

    • Faculty who have an interest in teaching online courses at Austin Community College.

Required for:

    • Faculty who plan on teaching online courses at Austin Community College.

Learning Objectives
Upon completion of this training, you will be able to:

    • Define ACC distance education
    • Describe ACC’s course design processes and quality assurance expectations
    • Apply effective online teaching and learning pedagogies
    • Identify ACC instructional technology available for the delivery of online and hybrid courses
    • Employ tools and techniques available to assist online instructors develop accessible course materials


    • None

Offered as Online

    • Yes. This is a self-paced training that includes four modules:
      • Introduction to ACC Distance Education (estimated completion time 1 – 2 hours)*
      • Online Teaching and Learning Pedagogies (estimated completion time 3 – 4 hours)
      • Technologies and Resources (estimated completion time 1 – 2 hours)
      • Universal Design and Accessibility (estimated completion time under 3 – 4 hours)
    • Work through the modules at your own rate and complete the quiz and other assessments at the end of each module. You must score 85% or higher in each assessment to be considered as passing. There is a maximum of three months to complete the training. After that, you may be withdrawn. The enrollment rolls will be periodically purged. If you do not complete in that time you will need to re-register. Please contact Distance Education by emailing for registration information.

Offered as F2F

    • No

What is the difference between Applying the Quality Matters Rubric (APPQMR) training and Online Course Redesign Academy (OCRA)?

    • APPQMR – Faculty can choose to enroll in a face-to-face or online session offered by Austin Community College. The online APPQMR training is a 2-week online option for those who may wish to have more time to complete the course. There is no stipend associated with this training.
    • OCRA – Faculty can register to attend this academy. Please contact Distance Education by emailing for registration information.
    • It includes a face-to-face APPQMR workshop – a 2 day (6-8 hour training). Faculty must attend the full 2 days of the APPQMR workshop to receive credit. Following the APPQMR workshop faculty will work with a Distance Education Instructional Designer to either develop or redesign an online course that adheres to QM standards. Faculty who complete OCRA will receive a $1000.00 stipend. Please note that OCRA includes 1. The APPQMR Workshop 2. The completion of a new online course or existing course redesign and internal QM approval of said course.

What is the difference between the APPQMR certificate and QM-certified courses?

    • Faculty who receive the APPQMR certificate have completed the APPQMR or OCRA workshop. They are eligible to take the QM Peer Reviewer Course or the ACC Internal Peer Reviewer Course.
    • *Please note that all online faculty need to receive the APPQMR training certification and have their courses internally QM certified.*

What is the difference between the official QM Peer Reviewer training and the internal ACC QM Peer Reviewer training?


QM Peer Reviewer Training ACC Peer Reviewer Training
  • Successful completion of the Applying the QM Rubric (APPQMR)
  • Successful completion of the Applying the QM Rubric (APPQMR)
  • Successful completion of the Distance Learning Instruction Series
  • One internally or officially QM approved online course
Time Commitment
  • 3-week time commitment
  • 10-11 hours per week to complete course work.
  • Ability to meet firm deadlines/not self-paced
  • 1-week time commitment
  • 1-2 hours per day to complete coursework
  • Flexible deadlines/self-paced
  • After completion, QM-Certified Peer Reviewers may serve on both QM-Managed and Subscriber-Managed course reviews
  • After completion, ACC-Certified Peer Reviewers may serve on only Subscriber-Managed (internal) course reviews


What is the difference between QM-certified course and an ACC internal QM-certified Course?

    • QM Certified: Courses that have met QM Standards for Higher Education at a level of 85% or greater in an official review. The QM Certification for these courses is valid for five years from the date of certification. To maintain QM certification, the course may be recertified or officially reviewed again. Otherwise, the course is removed from the list of QM-Certified courses and may no longer carry the QM Certification mark.
    • ACC Internal QM certified: Courses that have met QM Standards for Higher Education at a level of 85% or greater in an ACC internal review. The certification for these courses is valid for 3 years. To maintain the ACC internal certification courses will be reviewed every 3 years. If the course no longer meets the QM Standards, those faculty will be offered the opportunity to work with an ACC instructional designer to ensure the next iteration of the course is considered Met at an 85%.