Quality Matter Rubrics Seventh Edition Updates

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Quality Matters Rubrics Seventh Edition Updates

written by Ariful Shanil and edited by Nancy Fischer

With the release of the Quality Matters (QM) 7th Edition Higher Education Rubric, MB Hub has outlined seven changes our partners and QM practitioners will be pleased to see. Several of the changes bring clarity to the terminology used within QM. Further changes are very grounded in our Manitoba post-secondary context and align with values shared by partner institutions across the province. Specifically better integration of academic integrity and inclusion within the rubric.

Seven for the seventh

Synchronous online course and Continuing Education (CE) course review

Synchronous online courses and Continuing Education (CE) courses could be reviewed using the seventh edition. Post-secondary institutions may use the Higher Education Rubric to review both the credit-bearing and non-credit-bearing courses.  

Adopted use of the term: hybrid

The term hybrid has been adopted instead of blended to describe courses that take place partly online and partly in-person. Additional change related to hybrid courses concerns the inclusion of evidence for courses undergoing review. Activities and assessments that take place in real-time are needed on the course site for the reviewer’s evaluation.  

Clarify the use of the term: objectives

For ease of readability, the term objectives has been used throughout the seventh edition for describing competencies or outcomes.  

New Specific Review Standard (SRS) for academic integrity

A new SRS is included to help learners understand how academic integrity policies are applied in their assessment. This 1-point important relative value SRS enables instructors to describe when learners might collaborate on assessments, use open notes, or when they need to complete an assessment individually. 

Incorporation of a focus on inclusion and belonging

A focus on inclusion and belonging was integrated throughout the seventh edition to emphasize the importance of enabling students to recognize themselves as belonging in the course and increase their persistence. For instance – new varieties of instructional materials are included in SRS 4.5 that have a variety of perspectives and representations, in addition to a variety of materials themselves.  

Increasing SRS on accessible materials

Previous SRS 8.3 has been split into two separate SRSs. Specific Review Standard 8.3 is going to look for the accessibility of text. SRS 8.4 will look at the accessibility of static images, and SRS 8.5 (formerly SRS 8.4) has been revised to address video and audio content accessibility. Overall, a total of 10 points is in the seventh edition for supporting instructional materials accessibility and learner support. 

Creating a distinction between activities and assessments

A clear distinction has been made between activities and assessments, with activities being used to help learners prepare for assessment. Assessment is the measurement of achievement in the learning objectives.  

The change in SRS points

Though the General Standards remain the same in the seventh edition, with the addition of the new SRS for academic integrity, the number of specific standards and corresponding points is increased from 43 to 44 and 100 to 101, respectively. The summary of the scoring is outlined in the table “Summary of SRS and Points in 7th Edition Higher Education QM Rubric” with the change at the important relative value.

Table: Summary of SRS and points in 7th Edition Higher Education QM Rubric

Relative Value StandardsPoints value per standardPoint subtotal
per relative value
Essential 22 66
Very Important 13 26
Important 1 9
Total44 n/a101

The following two criteria must be achieved during the review in order for the course to meet the Quality Matters review expectations:

  1. All 3-point Essential Standards (total of 66 points) must be met.
  2. A total overall score of 86 or higher is achieved.


​​Quality Matters. (2023). Quality Matters Higher Education Design Standard for Online and Hybrid Courses (Seventh ed.). Annapolis, United States of America: Quality Matters. 

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