Center for Learning, Experimentation, Application, and Research

Course Review Initiative

Course Review Process

Beginning in 2019, in accordance with the UNT Review and Approval of Online Courses and Programs Policy, every three years CLEAR will review your online course using standards provided by Quality Matters (QM), a non-profit, international organization that is recognized as a leader in quality assurance for online education. We use course reviews as an opportunity to assure consistency and quality in course design. CLEAR’s iteration of the QM Rubric provides a shared knowledge base and common language for administrators, faculty, instructional designers, and staff.  Importantly, when we review your course, we will not assess your subject matter or your delivery of that subject matter; we will only assess design, or in other words, how course components align and contribute to the student learning experience.

Why Quality Matters?

From our course review rubric to the procedures we recommend for online course design, CLEAR anchors online delivery at UNT with best practices prescribed by Quality Matters (QM). All facets of QM’s quality assurance recommendations are grounded in peer-reviewed, academic research that are cultivated by a community of faculty and learning professionals in both K-12 and higher education.

In accordance with QM, UNT quality standards are based on “the insights of teams of experienced online instructors and instructional designers and on the best practices standards promulgated by accrediting bodies and national and international organizations. QM regularly undertakes a revision process to update the QM Rubric that includes input from the QM community, research about QM Course Reviews and a review of the current research literature.” Moreover, “the QM Standards have been examined for consistency with the conclusions of the educational research literature regarding factors that improve student learning and retention rates, as well as activities that increase learning and engagement.”
We encourage you to review the Quality Matters Standards for Higher Education.

In relation to the current process, you are undergoing to develop your online course, the QM tenets described in the above link heavily influence both overall course design and the course review process.

What the Review Process is Intended to Accomplish

Course Review Objectives & Outcomes: We are here in order to:

  • produce online courses that meet a consistent and respected quality threshold
  • improve student engagement/expectations through learning objectives/outcomes
  • promote ongoing faculty professional development through online pedagogy
  • improve student retention
  • produce a systematic, continuous quality assurance process that is aligned with the most recent best practices and quality standards


Misconceptions/Myth-Busting: We are NOT here in order to:

  • police/regulate your course content
  • create a series of cookie-cutter, homogeneous courses
  • prevent courses from being offered online through bureaucracy and red tape

If you have questions about the Course Review Project, please contact Dr. Rudi Thompson, 940-891-6713, rudi@unt.edu