How do I use the Quality Matters Self-Review Tool?

The Quality Matters Higher Education Rubric (6th edition) is a set of 8 General Standards and 43 Specific Review Standards used to evaluate the design of online and blended courses. The Rubric is complete with Annotations that explain the application of the Standards and the relationship among them.

UMBC instructors or staff with a QM account have access to the Self Review Tool in the Quality Matters Course Review Management System (CRMS) to conduct a review of an online or blended course. The Self Review Tool provides a list of each General Standard with links to detailed Annotations that describe the Standard and provide examples. During the Self Review, you may take notes along the way in the CRMS Tool for later reference. You may also start and stop at any time in the Self Review process, saving it before completing it. The Self Review is a reflective process to allow instructors to explore if and how a course meets QM Standards, or to determine a plan of refresh to improve the design. 

After completing the Self Review you may view, email, or download a PDF version of the final report. No one except you has access to the Self Review unless you choose to share the results. You may start and complete as many QM Self Reviews as you would like. 

Show Me

Tell Me

  1. First, you must have a Quality Matters account. See → How do I create a Quality Matters account?

  2. If you've logged out, log back into your QM account.

  3. Click on the CRMS icon at the top of the landing page. Then, under Preferred Program, select Higher Education.


  4. At the next screen, click the 'Start a Self Review' bulleted item (halfway down) to initiate this process. 


Create a descriptive title for your QM Self Review. For example, include identifying information such as Course ID, term, and your last name, e.g.: ENGL 101_QMSelfReview_FA2022_Smith. See the example below. 


    • Pro Tip: If you plan to review your course more than once, perhaps following a series of revisions, consider adding information to the review title to help you identify the version of the course you reviewed (e.g., ENGL 101_QMSelfReview#1_FA2022).

  2. Begin the Self-Review by reviewing each QM General Standard in the context of your course. You will want to identify evidence in the course that helps you determine if it Meets or Does Not Yet Meet a specific QM Standards. If you determine that the course Does Not Meet a General Standard, use the Annotation language and examples to identify what steps you might take to move towards a decision of "Met." We encourage instructors to be reflective and rigorous in this process that is centered on best practices for effective online/hybrid course design from the learner's perspective. Consider putting your course into "Student Preview Mode" as you navigate the Self-Review and experience the course as students do. 

    • As you complete the Self-Review, remember to click the annotation link to get more information about effective practices. Additionally, most annotations also include information to help instructors apply QM Standards to hybrid/blended courses.


  3. As you select Met or Not Met for each Standard, enter helpful notes for your reference. Provide as much detail as you can at this stage. For example, if you find a broken link in Module 2, specify where it is so you can find (and fix) the broken link quickly when you are ready to work in the course. Remember the notes you take are seen only by you, unless you choose to share them with colleagues or others during a revision process. 


  4. It is not necessary to complete the QM Self-Review in one sitting. Instructors may start and stop the review at any time. Regardless of how many times you start and stop, always click "Save Self Review" after completing each General Standard. 


  5. When you have completed the Self Review, the CRMS will generate the total score and the status will appear on the screen. 


  6. Remember that you may email your self-review to a colleague or an instructional design specialist/technology by entering the person's email address and clicking EMAIL REVIEW. You may also obtain and download a PDF copy of the completed Self Review by selecting VIEW.