The QM Course Certification Process

IMPORTANT NOTE:  Due to the new focus on Quality and the requirement for hundreds of online courses to meet standards in a Quality Matters Fundamentals Review, external QM certifications will be secondary until the Canvas implementation is complete.

This page covers the Certification Process with Quality Matters. Information on the Recertification Process can be found here. 

The QM course certification process is:

  • a faculty-driven, peer review process with the emphasis on continuous quality improvement
  • a collegial review process, not an evaluation process
  • a supportive and effective framework to improve the quality of course design for online and blended courses
  • a team-based approach consisting of the faculty developer and three trained faculty peer reviewers

Who is Eligible?
Full-time faculty and adjuncts, who complete the ATC Quality Course Program required training, are eligible to apply for Quality Matters certification of their fully online or blended courses. To meet quality expectations, a course must meet all of the Essential Standards (3-point standards) in the QM Rubric AND achieve a score of at least 84 out of 99 possible points. To request a fully annotated copy of the QM Rubric, or if you are interested in submitting your online course for a QM peer review, contact Cindy Mersereau at, ext. 3291 in Pensacola, or ext. 6912 in FWB.

First Step: Preparing for QM Certification 

The following checklist can help you determine if a course is ready to be submitted for review:

  1. Has the Designing a Quality Online Course been completed by the Instructor?
  2. Has Option 1 or 2 in the Quality Course Program been completed by the Instructor
  3. Are all course activities, including all audio-visual components, available to the review team? Sometimes instructors make assignments "not available" after a specified "due date." All such assignments will need to be available to the review team.
  4. Are all content items and assessment tools available for review by the team? The review team will need to be able to access discussions, email correspondence necessary to the course, quizzes, exams, and tests, and it would be beneficial to the review team to also have access to the grade book as it is set-up for the "student view."
  5. Can the review team see and experience the course as a student would?

ATC encourages faculty to use the QM Self-Review tool, which allows users to conduct reviews of their own courses, prior to submitting their courses for certifications. Use of the Self-Review can show you where your course might not be meeting the standards of the Quality Matters Rubric.  This video shows how to access and use the Self-Review tool.


Second Step: Submit Your Course

Once you have completed QM Fundamentals and either Option 1 or 2 in the Quality Course Program you are eligible to submit your course for a QM certification. See the Reservation Desk in MyUWF for upcoming course dates.

Once your course has met the standards of a QM Review, the course receives the UWF Quality Online Course Seal. The course certification process is conducted by a team of trained Quality Matters peer reviewers.

Not all courses meet quality expectations in the initial review, however, faculty are given a reasonable timeframe to make the recommended amendments to the course and resubmit for approval. Instructional design assistance to prepare for a QM course certification is available through ATC.

When you are ready to submit a course for certification, complete the academic department chair approval form and submit it to Cindy Mersereau,

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

Source: Quality Matters Rubric Standards