Raising questions. Pursuing answers. Curating and categorizing. That’s how we support the QM system.

A founding principle that continues to drive Quality Matters is the need for QM Standards to reflect current academic research on effective learning. The initial standards and subsequent modifications have been 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. In addition, the QM Standards have been examined for consistency with the conclusions of the educational research literature regarding factors that increase learning and engagement and that improve learner retention rates.

QM Research is focused on curating and supporting research studies related to the impact and use of the Quality Matters model. Literature reviews to inform members of the Rubric Committees in their effort to assure that the Rubrics remains current with the research are also an important component of QM Research activities. If you are looking for guidance on conducting QM-focused research or finding studies to support the use of QM, we recommend starting with the resources listed in this section.


qm research library

Search our curated selection of literature bearing a relationship to the QM Standards by either keyword or the QM Standard number. References on teaching competencies can be found in the Online Instructor and Teaching Competencies Literature Review.


research toolkit

Get guidance on developing a research question that will make for a solid study and facilitate attaining information significant to online learning stakeholders.


qm-related research resources

See a curated list of studies and publications related to the primary categories of QM Research.

Need help with your search? Contact QM Research with your questions.


Looking for a recording or miss a session?

See a list of all archived recordings

Have an idea for a Research Webinar? Contact the Research team.

Research Webinars

Join the QM Research Colleagues and other researchers from the QM Community for presentations of research on the impact of quality assurance in online learning and other related topics. The webinars are free and open to QM Members as well as non-members.


February 9, 2021 — 1:00 pm to 4:30 pm Eastern
QM Research Online Conference: Active/Applied Research on Online Learning and Quality Assurance

A variety of presenters will disseminate research findings during this virtual conference.

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Join your colleagues as they present on a variety of topics ranging from accessibility to data collection for improving quality to teaching presence and self-efficacy. The half-day event allows you to select one session in each time slot and come away with elements that can be applied to your practice.

Here are just a few of the presentation options:

  • Developing a Framework for Quality Online Course Videos: What Does the Research Say?
  • Student perspective 2.0: Where do we go from here?
  • Enhancing Accessibility of Online Courses: Course Development Practices and Tools
  • Implementing High Impact Practices on Campus and Online: Research, Resources, and Requests

Registration for this event has filled! Please email us with your full name and institution if you would like to receive recording links.



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