Course Improvement Grant

Course Improvement logo

The Course Improvement Grant is a professional development program for faculty who teach online/hybrid modalities. The faculty builds upon their existing knowledge and skills while improving one of their courses. The collaborative program includes a cohort (group) of faculty peers and faculty mentors working together to design a course that meets the nationally-recognized standards of the Quality Matters Higher Education Rubric.

Course Improvement Grant Objectives

  1. Apply research-based course design strategies to an existing online, for-credit course at NC State.
  2. Improve an existing course based on the Quality Matters standards which include:
    • Course Overview and Introduction
    • Learning Objectives
    • Assessment and Measurement
    • Instructional Materials
    • Course Activities and Learner Interaction
    • Course Technology
    • Learner Support
    • Accessibility and Usability
  3. Conduct an informal course review of a faculty peer’s online course according to the QM Higher Education 7th Edition 2023 Rubric.
  4. Prepare for an official QM course review of an improved online course.
  5. Evaluate the Course Improvement Grant’s impact on online course design.

Who should participate?

Any faculty who teach a course of eligible modality. Each participating faculty member will choose one specific course to work on.

What courses are 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 a Course Improvement Grant.


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

Length and delivery

The Course Improvement Grant consists of a professional development course that runs from September to April and is delivered in a blended (hybrid) format. The total time commitment expected for the program is at least 60 hours, including the following components:

Participants will be expected to devote approximately an hour a week to the online portion of the course within Moodle. It is self-paced with multiple opportunities for interaction, including an online learning community.

There are 16 scheduled, 60-minute cohort meetings. These meetings will be used for peer feedback on course improvements, workshopping, and roundtable discussions on current research and trends in online learning.

Participants will meet individually with a DELTA advisor for one hour every other week to review progress and work through improvement challenges. Meetings may be via video conference or face-to-face.

Participants are expected to perform an internal review of another cohort member’s course. In turn, participants also will have their own course internally reviewed by a member of the cohort prior to submission for an official QM review. The feedback from internal reviews will contribute to the improvement of your online course.

Participants will need to set aside time (minimum 25 hours) over the course of several weeks to make improvements to their courses. This time will be dedicated to applying the best practices covered in the online training portion as well as feedback from peers and coordinators. Participants will be expected to submit their newly-redesigned online course for an internal course review. Participants will make improvements based on the internal review prior to formal submission to Quality Matters.

Incentives for Completion

  • $8000 Award
  • DELTA covers the cost for the official Quality Matters course review and certification, to be submitted upon program completion (value $1,300)
  • Aggregated feedback from internal and official peer reviews of the online course
  • National and institutional recognition for the course when it meets Quality Matters standards
QM logo

A course receives Quality Matters Certification once it meets QM Rubric Standards at the 85% threshold or better and meets all essential standards during a QM-Managed Official Course Review. The Course Quality Team will provide the course representative with a letter certifying the course for QM Certification, including a certification of completion and a QM Certification mark to display on their course or program website. A copy of this letter will be forwarded to the department chair and college dean for their files.

View Quality Matters Certified Courses at NC State

How to Apply

The Course Improvement Grant is administered through the DELTA Grants process.

View DELTA Grants application information

For more information specifically about the Course Improvement Grant, please contact Bethanne Winzeler.

Please direct any questions about the submission process or DELTA Grants generally to