The Quality Matters (QM)™ process is used to validate quality online curriculum design through research, national best practices, and external peer review. Quality Matters is a faculty-centered, peer review process that examines 40 specific course design elements, under eight broad standards, to assess the quality of online and hybrid courses. Ashford University is the first university in the nation to be recognized by Quality Matters for its institution-level implementation plan.
Through the use of quality standards documented by Quality Matters, Ashford University has purposefully woven instructional best practices into the fabric of its online instructional design. A quality course begins with well-defined, measurable learning outcomes. Ashford University's course development process ensures that outcomes are appropriate, that all components align with and support the learning outcomes, and that the learning activities are developed at a level appropriate to the subject matter and course level within a program. Ashford University has more courses certified by Quality Matters than any other institution in the nation.
Ashford University was awarded the Quality Matters 2011 Making a Difference for Students Award. The award recognizes Ashford University for its coordinated, multi-year Quality Matters initiative demonstrating a large-scale, positive impact on the quality of online courses. The Making a Difference for Students Award recognizes individuals and groups who exemplify Quality Matters' focus on student learning through the implementation of Quality Matters standards, and the best practices that embody these standards and lead to student success. Award nominees must provide evidence of success—statistical or anecdotal—including a clear demonstration of positive outcomes for students.