Use of the Quality Matters Rubric and annotations are restricted to institutions that subscribe to Quality Matters. Academic Partnerships is an Academic Service Company subscriber and has the right to use the rubric and annotations on behalf of its subscribing partners. For more information visit or contact [email protected].

Meeting QM’s accessibility, regular and substantive interaction, and/or copyright standards does not guarantee or imply that specific country, federal, state, and local regulations are met. Please consult with a specialist to ensure that these regulations are met. 

Academic Program Planning meeting

Academic Services and Products:

Quality Review

The ASP Quality Review process combines the power of the Quality Matters process with a functionality and usability review. Quality reviewers provide you with recommendations and feedback that will enhance the student experience. 

“This was wonderful. So helpful to catch little things I overlooked! I’ve fixed all the quick items already. I added comments to the screen shots links in case those are helpful.”
Dr. Megan S. Downing
Associate Professor of Organizational Leadership
Northern Kentucky University

What We Do

The Quality Review (QR) team at within Academic Services and Products (ASP) applies Quality Matters‘ (QM) research-based standards that impact student satisfaction, usability, and student success during every course review. This thorough review is based on years of research in online teaching and learning from a community of dedicated faculty, instructional designers, and researchers. Reviews are housed in the QM Course Review Management System (CRMS) which provides in-depth reporting for all QM subscribing partners. 

The members of the Quality Review team serve as certified QM reviewers for our university partners. Each team member views your course through the eyes of a student and provides research-based recommendations that support a quality students experience. Reviewers also help you to maximize course form & functionality, and provide additional usability recommendations and screenshots.

QM Standard 1

Course Overview and Introduction

QM Standard 5

Learning Activities and Learner Interaction

QM Standard 2

Learning Objectives

QM Standard 6

Course Technology

QM Standard 3

Assessment and Measurement

QM Standard 7

Learner Support

QM Standard 4

Instructional Materials

QM Standard 8

Accessibility and Usability


The Academic Services and Products Quality Review Team at AP provides an independent student experience and quality review for each course newly added to an AP-supported program. In addition, the ASP team can perform reviews at other stages in the course lifecycle, as part of an overall program review, or after significant course enhancements or changes. 

The overall review is a simple process in which a certified Quality Matters reviewer spends approximately 6-8 hours assessing the course on the points listed above using the Quality Matters rubric. A PDF report is provided to the faculty or campus instructional design staff with comments and/or suggestions for improvement on each course quality standard for those institutions that subscribe to Quality Matters. The reviewers also check technical aspects and gather screenshots sharing those on the report as well with a tool called Dropbox Capture. A report is sent by the AP Instructional Designer to the appropriate partner contact with an offer to meet and discuss further, especially in the situation where QM Essential Standards may need to be addressed. 

Faculty members always have the choice to make changes to their courses based on AP design improvement recommendations. AP’s best practice process is to encourage completion, at a minimum, of all QM Essential Standards to aid in a quality student experience. The video below details the use of AP & QM’s CRMS.

The Course Review Management System (CRMS)

A secure, automated, online tool used by QM Members to manage official and internal course reviews

AP provided funding to QM for software updates to the CRMS. These updates streamline the review process and allow for reporting across institutions on QM Specific Review Standards. This reporting enables informed, data-driven decisions across programs.


Scoring and Feedback

AP reviews courses in the QM Course Review Management System using the 7th Edition Rubric.

QM allocates 101 points in their rubric with some standards weighted more heavily than others. A score of 86 or below warrants a deeper dive into quality and in particular a review of the QM Essential Standards. Although the rubric is used to help guide conversations during the ID and course development phase, the AP ID works with faculty to communicate the missed standards and guide faculty on what improvements can be made. Ultimately, the decision to enhance or revise course work based on the course design review resides with the faculty.

QM Standard 8

The AP course quality review team is committed to providing helpful feedback to university partners. These reviewers were and reviewers are trained by Quality Matters to identify frequently encountered accessibility issues and propose solutions for instructors. Accessibility checks for frequently seen issues include using: 

  • Built-in accessibility checkers in Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel to review documents in the course 
  • Built-in accessibility checker in Adobe Pro to review PDFs in the course 
  • Built-in accessibility checkers within the LM 


Although AP remains dedicated to prioritizing universal design as a review service, we cannot guarantee accessibility in all instances. In some cases, students with unique disabilities or the use of third-party, publisher content/technologies within courses may pose challenges that extend beyond the scope of our review services. 


The Final Checklist

An on-demand webinar to help you prepare for your upcoming quality review.

Quality Review Preparation

An easy-to-use checklist for faculty preparing for quality review.

Tips for Commonly Missed Standards

Tips for commonly missed standards and challenging encountered in an LMS.

QM Standard 2.1

A deep dive into one of the most challenging aspects of the course quality review.


AP Reviews are not official Quality Matters reviews but indicate how the course might do on a full QM review. AP reviews are accomplished using a single reviewer whereas the QM process uses three with one of the QM reviewers serving as a Subject Matter Expert (SME). The AP process does not include an SME review. 

Meeting QM Specific Review Standards regarding references and permissions does not guarantee or imply that specific copyright laws of any country are met.

Meeting Specific Review Standard 5.3 does not guarantee or imply that regulations of any country regarding regular and substantive interaction are met.”

Meeting QM’s accessibility Standards does not guarantee or imply that specific country, federal, state, and local accessibility regulations are met. Please consult with an accessibility specialist to ensure that accessibility regulations are met.  

Please reach out to [email protected] with any questions or concerns.