QM Essentials Pathway

The QM Essentials Pathway is a professional development pathway in which faculty apply the essential Quality Matters standards to one of their current online or blended courses. This pathway includes an internal review of the course by a team of NC State peer reviewers and results in QM Essential Standards Recognition for the course.

The QM Essentials Pathway is for faculty who:

  • currently teach an online or blended course
  • have little to some experience with online course design and pedagogy
  • are interested in applying the Quality Matters Higher Education Rubric in the design of an online course
  • are seeking a course review by NC State faculty peers

What are the requirements?

APPQMR Workshop

The APPQMR workshop is the starting point for the QM Essentials Pathway. It is offered every fall and spring semester in both online asynchronous and face-to-face (or online synchronous) formats by a certified facilitator from DELTA.  

  • Prerequisite: Experience teaching or course development for online and blended courses
  • Workshop Delivery: Face-to-Face (or virtual synchronous) or Online Asynchronous
  • Workshop Length: 8 hours (synchronous) or 2 weeks (asynchronous)

You can register for APPQMR by clicking one of the buttons below.

If there are no sessions currently available for registration, click on “Add to watchlist” to be notified of upcoming sessions.

Register for APPQMR Face-to-Face workshop Register for APPQMR Online workshop


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Quality Matters Essential Standards Program (QMESP)

What is the Quality Matters Essential Standards Program?

The Quality Matters Essential Standards Program (QMESP) is a professional development opportunity for faculty who currently teach online who seek to build new knowledge and skills in pursuit of improving one of their online courses. The program is delivered as a semester-long online blended course that is individually focused. Participants will complete an online workshop, attend course quality consultations, and complete course improvement tasks to help them design a course that meets the essential standards of the research-based and education driven Quality Matters Rubric for Higher Education.

Who should participate?

Full-time faculty currently teaching an online or blended course. (There is a 5-person maximum for the program). Each participating faculty will choose one specific course to work on.

What course is eligible?

Eligible courses include any online or blended/hybrid for-credit NC State course for which the faculty is the instructor of record and has taught online or in a blended or hybrid form at least twice.

Definition of “online”: 76% or more of the content and instruction is provided in an asynchronous online format and is mediated by technology. 

Definition of “blended” and “hybrid”: Approximately 25-75% of the course takes place in a face-to-face (or online synchronous environment). Seat time is reduced proportionately to the percentage of the course delivered online.

Courses that are not eligible: Please note that face-to-face, remote learning, and web-enhanced courses in which 100% of the instruction occurs in regularly scheduled synchronous sessions (either in person at a campus location with the instructor on a regular basis or in a real-time setting mediated by technology) are NOT eligible for QMESP.

Program Objectives

  • Apply research-based course design strategies to an existing online or blended, for-credit course at NC State.
  • Improve an existing course based on the Quality Matters essential standards which include the following areas of concentration:
    • Course Overview and Introduction
    • Learning Objectives
    • Assessment and Measurement
    • Instructional Materials
    • Course Activities and Learner Interaction
    • Course Technology
    • Learner Support
    • Accessibility and Usability
  • Submit a course for internal review and peer feedback according to QM Sixth Edition 2018 Rubric.


All participants are required to successfully complete the Applying the Quality Matters Rubric (APPQMR) workshop to participate in QMESP.

Program length and delivery

QMESP is a semester-long program that is delivered as an online course through Moodle. The total commitment of time expected for the course will be at least 45 hours. This includes completing an online workshop, attending synchronous meetings and applying improvements to your online course according to the course schedule.

Participants are expected to devote 5-6 hours per week during this three-week online asynchronous workshop. It is facilitated by a DELTA Course Quality team member and includes multiple opportunities for interaction, including discussion forums and assignments.

Participants will attend one orientation session and two group consultations facilitated by a DELTA Course Quality team member and a Course Quality Faculty Lead. Meetings will be held via Zoom.

Participants will meet individually with a DELTA Course Quality advisor a minimum of three times to receive feedback on their course improvements. Meetings may be via Zoom or in person face-to-face.

Participants will need to set aside time (minimum 23 hours) over 11 weeks to make improvements to their courses. This time will be dedicated to applying the best practices covered in the online training portion and incorporating feedback from the consultations. Participants will be expected to complete course improvement tasks and assignments according to established deadlines. After completion of the QMESP course, participants will be expected to submit their newly-redesigned online course for an internal course review.

View QMESP application information


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Internal Course Review

Once a course has been through QMESP and the faculty member has made the recommended improvements, it is eligible for an internal course review. The internal course review process at NC State University is an internal institutional review conducted by a team of three certified peer reviewers utilizing the Quality Matters HE Rubric. The underlying principles of QM are centered on four central themes:

  • Continuous Improvement – all courses will eventually meet standards
  • Centered – focused on research, student learning and quality
  • Collegial – faculty driven and diagnostic
  • Collaborative – flexible and not prescriptive

An online course review team consists of a faculty review chair and two additional peer reviewers. Reviewers are full-time faculty members and instructional support staff with experience designing and delivering distance education courses and have completed either the QM Essentials or QM Certified Course pathway.

QM Essentials Course Recognition

Once an internal review has been conducted and the course reviewed have met all guidelines for recognition, the Course Quality Team will provide the faculty with a letter certifying the course for QM Essentials which includes a certificate of completion and a badge to display in their course or program website. A copy of this letter will be forwarded to the Department Chair for their files.

View QM Essentials Recognized courses at NC State


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