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How to Apply for Quality Matters Course Redesign

 Request for Proposals: Athens State University Quality Matters Course Certification


Athens State University has been a member of Quality Matters (QM) since 2013.  Quality Matters is an international organization that is recognized as a leader in quality assurance for online education.  QM strives to promote and improve the quality of online education and student learning nationally and internationally through:

  • Development of current, research-supported, and practice-based quality standards and appropriate evaluation tools and procedures.
  • Recognition of expertise in online education quality assurance and evaluation.
  • Fostering a culture of continuous improvement by integrating QM standards and processes into organizational plans to improve the quality of online education.
  • Providing professional development in the use of rubrics, tools and practices to improve the quality of online education.
  • Peer review and certification of quality in online education.

We encourage individuals at Athens State University who are interested in developing online courses following the Quality Matters rubric and guidelines to take advantage of this request for proposals (RFP).  Candidates will determine the amount of support requested from the university.  Based on their selection, the candidate will be responsible for designing and developing their courses following university and Quality Matters guidelines.  Upon completion of course development and approval by the university, the university will prioritize the developed course and pay for certification of the course through the Quality Matters Peer Review Process resulting in a QM Certified course for the candidate.  Upon receiving the QM Certification, the candidate will be awarded travel / professional development allowances and a stipend / course release based on the amount of university support requested in the RFP.  Details on the awards are listed below. 


The chosen candidates will be responsible for:

  • Design and development of their submitted course in accordance with the level of support selected below. Regardless of the level of support requested, the university will be responsible for walking the candidate through the QM process.
  • If choosing the “No Development Support” level, completion of QM Certification within 5 months (3 months for development and 2 months for QM Review) is required.

Process for Application:

  1. Fill out the RFP form located at
  2. When filling out the form, be sure to choose which level of university support you are applying for. Levels of support are: 

    1. Development Support – In this process, an Instructional Designer from Athens Teaching & Learning Innovation Services (ATLIS) will work with you hand-in-hand throughout the entire design, development, and certification process. Generally speaking, the instructional designer and faculty member split the workload when developing the course.  This path is recommended for those who are relatively new to teaching online or new to course design and development in the online environment.  This path also works well for faculty members with time restrictions that would not allow them to otherwise participate in the course redesign process. 
      • Award – Negotiable travel / professional development funds up to $1,000
      • Number of Awards - Unlimited

    2. No Development Support – In this process, the faculty member takes on the design and delivery of their course. An Instructional Designer from ATLIS will help with navigating the QM Process and will be available for brainstorming and review, but they minimally assist in the actual development of the course.  The onus of project completion rests solely on the faculty member and the project must be completed within 5 months of being accepted as a candidate.  This path is recommended for those who are experienced with teaching online and have detailed experience experience in the certification process by participating first in the Development Support track, the “Applying the Quality Matters Rubric (APPQMR)” training offered by Quality Matters or the “What is Quality Matters” training offered by ATLIS.  Generally, the faculty member is expected to contribute 76-95% of the time and resources required for completion of the project.
      • Award – Negotiable travel / professional development funds up to $1,000 AND a choice of an $1,800 stipend or a course release in the next available semester following the receipt of the certification
      • Number of Awards – 6 in the fall semester and 6 in the spring semester.

 Process for Selected Candidates:

Candidates will need to complete the following items in order to complete the project.  Those who select the “No Development Support” option will need to complete the process within 5 months of being selected as a candidate.  Those in the other support levels will work with Athens Teaching & Innovation  Learning Services (ATLIS) Instructional Designers to develop a time frame in which project completion is to be expected. 

  1. Candidates will receive a development shell in Blackboard in which to build their course. The development shell will be available for the duration of the project and will be deleted at the end of the project.  Upon receiving QM Certification, a QM Certified Course Shell will be made available to the store the course throughout the duration of the certification (5 years).
  2. Throughout the development process, candidates may reach out to an ATLIS Instructional Designer for advice and input on course improvements. However, development and implementation of any ideas are dependent on the level of support as specified in the Process for Application section of this RFP.
  3. Upon completion of development of the course, ATLIS will begin the certification process (those selecting a “No Development Support Level” will need to notify ATLIS to begin the process). An ATLIS Instructional Designer will review the course to make sure it meets the minimum standards of the QM Rubric.
  4. Upon approval of the ATLIS Instructional Designer, the course will be reviewed by the candidate’s department chair and dean to ensure that any guidelines specified by the college and / or department have been met.
  5. Upon approval, the university will proceed with processing the QM Certification process. Once the process has begun, an ATLIS Instructional Designer and the candidate will work together until certification is completed.
  6. Upon receiving certification, the candidate will receive the awards as specified in the Process for Application section of this RFP.
  7. Upon completion of the project, the candidate may submit another RFP for a new course.

Application and Project Deadlines: 


      Application Date:   December 1

      Selection Date:      January 1

      Completion Date:   May 31


         Application Date:   July 1

         Selection Date:     August 1

         Completion Date:  December 31


Notes About the RFP and Process:

  1. The “Development Support” option will place courses in a general queue to be worked on one at a time by ATLIS Instructional Designers. These courses will be added to the queue in a first come first serve basis.  The provost and deans have the ability to reorder the queue if necessary to expedite university or college level goals.
  2. Only one course may be submitted per candidate per application date as listed in the "Application and Project Deadline" section. If a candidate already has a course in the queue, they may request to switch it to a different course.  However, if a new course is added, it will automatically be added to the bottom of the queue until their first course is completed.
  3. Upon receiving the RFP, ATLIS Instructional Designers reserve the right to review the course being worked on and make a determination if the level of support requested is feasible for the course. If needed, the Instructional Designer will meet with the faculty member and discuss whether or not another support level is needed.  Ultimately, if a determination is made that the support level be changed, a notification will be sent to the faculty member and the provost’s office so that the RFP can be amended.
  4. Only one version of a course will be designed and developed using the RFP process. Consequently, the course anchor / dept. chair will be responsible for specifying the individual responsible for building the course. 
  5. Although faculty and adjuncts are welcome to apply for the RFP, preference will be given to courses submitted by full-time faculty members.


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