Course Development | Albright College

Digital Learning and Innovation

Course Development
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Digital Learning and Innovation – Course Development

Digital Learning and Innovation provides support to individual faculty, faculty groups, and departments for the creation and continuous improvement of fully online and blended courses.

Explore the programs and offerings below:

Quality Matters LogoQuality Matters

Quality Matters (QM) is a faculty-centered, peer review process that is designed to certify the quality of online and blended courses. QM is a leader in quality assurance for online education and has received national recognition for its peer-based approach and continuous improvement in online education and student learning.There are many factors that affect course quality. QM reviews course design only – not delivery or faculty performance

Since 2014, Digital Learning and Innovation and Albright Faculty have been working together to provide faculty developers with a voluntary process for designing/developing their courses using this nationally recognized program.

There are three primary components in the Quality Matters Program:

  • The QM Rubric
  • The Course Review Process
  • QM Training and Support (Professional Development)

Benefits of Quality Matters


  • Provides a road map to follow during the process of course development
  • Support to redesign existing online courses to ensure the development and delivery of quality courses
  • Exposure to instructional design and ideas for improving online courses
  • Opportunity to be trained as a QM Peer Reviewer and Master Reviewer (see Steps to Become a Peer Reviewer)
  • Development of critical assessment skills for examining online courses and materials
  • Professional Development courses to assist you in the design and delivery of online courses


  • Improved student learning outcomes and retention in online courses
  • Alignment of course outcomes and learning objectives to the critical course resources and materials within the curriculum
  • National recognition for University courses that meet Quality Matters standards
  • Access to the QM Learning community for collaboration
  • Support for the College’s commitment to excellence in teaching and learning

QM is a set of standards and a peer review process that Albright College has adopted to ensure quality in the design of its online and hybrid courses.

Implementing Quality Matters (QM) across Albright College will assist in the development of a common course design language across both the day and evening programs.  QM is based on current research and best practices in instructional design.

Over 400 institutions nationwide use QM to certify online and hybrid course design..

No.  QM is not a student evaluation of the faculty member’s delivery of the course.  It is a peer evaluation of the design (not the content) of the course.

There are eight general standards and 42 specific standards.  The eight general standards are:

  1. Course Overview and Introduction
  2. Learning Objectives
  3. Assessment and Measurement
  4. Resources and Materials
  5. Learner Engagement
  6. Course Technology
  7. Learner Support
  8. Accessibility

There are several QM reviews that will be utilized by Albright College:

  • Internal Reviews – Unofficial reviews managed by the Quality Matters Coordinator (QMC); not eligible for QM recognition.
  • Self-Review Tool – QM provides an online, interactive version of the Reviewer Worksheet for anyone with a MyQM account for individual use to review and improve his or her own courses. Results can be emailed. Self-Reviews are confidential and the Final Reports are available solely to the individual conducting the review. Automatic notifications are sent to your QM Coordinator(s) when a Self-Review is initiated or saved. These member-requested notifications are purely informational and are meant to provide visibility to your QM Coordinator(s) on the use of Self-Reviews.  These are also done via a form provided by the Department of Online and Digital Learning.
  • QM-Managed Reviews – Official course reviews that are managed by Quality Matters (QM) staff in compliance with QM course review process and procedures; receives QM recognition.  We do not currently participate in these reviews, but look to in the future.

The standards are based on the principles of instructional design, research literature, and best practices.

No.  Courses do not have to be “perfect” in that they meet every single standard.  However, courses do need to meet all essential standards and earn a minimum of 85 out of 100 points (85% in order to meet expectations.)

The QM process is designed so that all courses will eventually meet expectations.  If a course does not meet expectations upon an initial review, the faculty course developer received detailed feedback from a team of peer reviewers and have an opportunity to revise the course with the help of an Instructional Designer with the Department of Online and Digital Learning.  The revised course is then submitted to the Team Chair for approval.

The peer review team consists of three members: The Course Designer, Instructional Designer and an Albright College faculty member who is a certified Peer Reviewer with Quality Matters.  Each peer reviewer has online teaching experience and has been trained and certified by QM to conduct reviews.

Faculty Peer Reviewers:  Karen Jogan, Bonnie Rohde, Mel Sensenig, Jerry Tartaglia, Julia Heberle, Randy Grove

The Department of Online and Digital Learning will give the Faculty Peer Reviewer “Instructor” level access to the master course while conducting the review.  This will be revoked after the course has completed review and no access to student data is given.

Brian Gall – QM Coordinator and Instructional Designer

Karen Rodgers – Online Course Development Lead and Instructional Designer

Dorothy Hoerr – Instructional Designer

You will be assigned to one of us to complete all parts of the course design and review process.

You can contact Brian Gall or Karen Rodgers about any questions relating to Quality Matters.

Quality Matters Logo

Quality Matters Course Design Process

The Quality Matters Course Design Process is a cohort-based 180 day cycle where faculty work one on one with an instructional designer to design or redesign online courses to meet Quality Matters Standards.  Quality Matters (QM) is a nationally recognized rubric and peer review program that provides guidance and best practices in designing online courses.  Digital Learning and Innovation partners with the day and SPS programs to identify faculty for the program, support course development and fund faculty participation.

Click the menus below for an overview of the process:

Working collaboratively with an instructional designer, the goals of the QMCD program are for you to:

  1. Develop skills in online course development and online teaching through project-based learning
  2. Create an online/blended course that meets QM Rubric standards
  3. Submit the new or revised course to Albright’s internal review system
  4. Submit course for review after incorporating internal review feedback and teaching the course at least one time
  5. Recertify QM courses every four years

The QM course design process is a stipended program with contracted responsibilities. Participation in the process requires sponsorship by the Department of Digital Learning and Innovation and Academic Affairs. Interested instructors should contact their department chair who can then contact our office on your behalf.

The QM process is designed to assist new and existing online instructors with the creation of new online courses or the revision of existing online courses.

The requirements of each course designer include:

  1. Signed Online Course Design Agreement
  2. Take and pass the Quality Matters Applying the QM Rubric (APPQMR) course
  3. Take and pass the Quality Matters Design Your Online Course (DYOC)
  4. Completion of midpoint responsibilities which include:
    • Course Map
    • Complete Module 1
    • IE Chart for Module 1
  5. Submission of course by assigned date
  6. Take feedback by internal review team (Instructional Designer and Faculty Peer Reviewer) and implement into course
  7. Teach course first time and make edits for next offering

The QM Course Design process is a structured 160 day program broken into the following parts:

  • Days 1-10: Course Planning and Design: Establish project goals; register and start QM APPQMR workshop, write or revise course objectives, identify module objectives (tie them to course objectives, complete a course map/plan of full course; attend online course design bootcamp
  • Days 11-80: Course Development Part I: Finish QM APPQMR workshop and DYOC workshop; Design and create assessments and activities, identify and create learning materials, develop Canvas components, design course navigation and student experience, revise or ensure accessibility of materials and activities, produce necessary instructional media and create IE chart for Module 1
  • Days 80-160: Course Development Part II: Design and create assessments and activities, identify and create learning materials, develop Canvas components, design course navigation and student experience, revise or ensure accessibility of materials and activities, produce necessary instructional media and create IE chart for rest of course modules
  • Before course begins: Course Finalization: Review feedback from instructional designer on course progress, integrate designer feedback and revise course elements

You will meet regularly with an instructional designer in either face to face meetings or online meetings to brainstorm ideas for your course and discuss phase deliverables.

Major deliverables throughout the development process include the completion of the course map, the completion of the draft of your complete course in Canvas (all activities, assessments, materials, and instructions), revision of your course based on feedback from your instructional designer, and submission of your course to internal review.

Expected time to complete the various deliverables of the QM Course Design process will vary based on your experience as an online instructor, your level of proficiency with Canvas, the amount of planning you’ve already completed for your course, how much of the material for the course is already identified or created, etc. However, you should expect to spend at absolute minimum 3-5 hours per week actively working on your course. Instructional design support is available for the contracted time.

Please contact Brian Gall or Karen Rodgers about any questions relating to Quality Matters.