Quality Matters

The University is committed to adhering to the highest possible standards in online education—just as we do on our physical campuses.

That means ensuring that every course SMU offers provides value to our students. We do this by delivering content and assessment in ways that fit the medium and enhances student learning. Plus, we provide our faculty with the tools to help them assess and fine-tune their online classes.

Quality Matters (QM)


The University has chosen the Quality Matters Rubric  to help ensure we meet our goals in online instruction.

Quality Matters is a nationally recognized, faculty-centered quality assurance process for online and blended courses. Its peer-based approach to continuous improvement in online education and student learning enables us to create and deliver online courses that Southern Methodist University can be proud to offer. 

SMU QM Syllabus Template

This syllabus template  is customizable but intended to help faculty meet several of the QM standards (1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6, 6.4, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 8.6). We invite faculty to edit the content to fit their courses. A Word document version of the SMU QM Syllabus Template can be downloaded directly or can be found in searching for "SMU QM Syllabus Template" in the Canvas Commons. By using Canvas Commons, you are able to import the syllabus directly into your courses and copy the information to your Syllabus page.

Quality Matters and You

The Quality Matters tools can support you through every stage of the course planning, design, delivery, and evaluation process.

You can take advantage of a wide range of tools, including:

  • Rubrics for applying quality standards to course design
  • Professional development workshops and certification courses for instructors and online learning professionals
  • Faculty-centered, continuous improvement models for assuring the quality of online courses through peer review 

Quality Matters Courses

You can take a basic Quality Matters course to take your online courses to the next level. The course teaches you how to use Quality Matters principles in course design. If you are interested, please contact the QM Coordinator about opportunities.