Quality Forward Initiative

Image of Quality Matters logo

Quality Forward Initiative (QFI) is the official learning design and quality assurance process to increase quality assurance in the design and delivery of online courses at Howard University.

This initiative is a partnership between the Office of Digital and Online Learning, The Center for Excellence in Teaching, Learning & Assessment and HU-Learn.

During this initiative courses are transitioned from their various course modalities to the online course modality.

Individual courses as well as approved academic programs must successfully complete this process to be designated an online course. Any courses that have not successfully completed this process are not considered an official Howard University online course.

The QFI learning design and quality assurance process gleans from Quality Matters (QM), the global organization leading quality assurance in online and innovative digital teaching and learning environments. The QFI uses the QM rubric which is intended for use with courses that are delivered fully online or have a significant online component. Course Designers use the Rubric to aid in the creation of courses designed to meet Standards.

The eight General Standards of this Rubric are:

  1. Course Overview and Introduction
  2. Learning Objectives (Competencies)
  3. Assessment and Measurement
  4. Instructional Materials
  5. Learning Activities and Learner Interaction
  6. Course Technology
  7. Learner Support
  8. Accessibility and Usability*


Each General Standard includes several specific review standards.

Subject Matter Experts serve as course representatives and work in a collaborative manner with Instructional Designers who have completed specific Quality Matters trainings and also have expertise in online learning.

Once the course has been redesigned, it will undergo a review by certified Quality Matters peer-reviewers. All courses will ultimately meet standard, however, some courses may have components that require revision.

If you are interested in having a course go through the QFI process, please email dol@howard.edu for more details.