We have reviewed the models for assessing and assuring quality in the field of online learning and have put together this summary of some of the work done in the area. After review and discussion, the eLearning Academic Council has proposed the use of the Quality Matters rubric to assure quality in online courses. Originating from a grant project, Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE), Quality Matters (QM) is a faculty-centered process designed to certify the quality of online courses and online components. QM, sponsored by MarylandOnline, Inc., has received national recognition for its approach to quality assurance and continuous improvement in online education. The latest research in support of the Quality Matters Rubric standards from the Quality Matters literature review can be found here.
QM created a set of forty specific elements, distributed across eight broad standards, by which to evaluate the design of online and hybrid courses. The eight broad standards include: Course Overview and Introduction, Learning Objectives, Assessment and Measurement, Resources and Materials, Learner Engagement, Course Technology, Learner Support, and Accessibility.