What is UCF’s Quality Initiative?

Quality Course Badge

Although CDL has promoted quality of the online teaching and learning experience for over 20 years, UCF’s Quality Initiative more closely aligns CDL’s efforts with the State University System of Florida’s 2025 Strategic Plan for Online Education.

The Instructional Design team is offering opt-in Quality and High Quality course reviews for faculty teaching online courses in W, RA, RV, and V modalities. These reviews are intended for continuous improvement rather than evaluation. Reviews explore course components proven to be best practices in online course design, rather than simple page formatting or aesthetics. Eligible faculty include those who have completed IDL6543, DLI7836, OFRA, or TLC professional development offerings.

Engaging in a course review demonstrates that you are continuously improving the learning experience for your students. Students will benefit by engaging in an effectively designed online course that provides seamless structure and navigation, up-to-date syllabus information, and activities that encourage meaningful learning.

If your online course is designated as Quality (Q) and/or High Quality (HQ), you will receive:

  • A digital badge which can be displayed within your online course
  • The opportunity for your course to be identified in the FloridaShines online course catalog. This functionality is expected to be in place by the end of the 2019 calendar year. As state administrative processes are put in place, there may be a period of adjustment during which existing designations are verified.
  • Eligibility to apply for the Dziuban Award for Excellence in Online Teaching  (High Quality only)
  • An acknowledgement letter from the vice provost of the Division of Digital Learning, for faculty that engaged in a collaborative review with an Instructional Designer

“I was inspired to add more activities to promote student interaction.”

“The accessibility of my course was greatly improved.”

“The review resulted in better navigation for students.”

– Participating UCF Faculty Members

How does an online course earn a Quality and/or High Quality designation?

The instructional designer reviews the design of the online course with an instrument created at CDL, which is based on nationally recognized rubrics and align with the state quality initiative. The items are focused on the basic tenets of effective online course design rather than teaching. After this initial review, you and the ID discuss any recommendations to improve the overall quality of the course design and develop an action plan together to make the enhancements.

If the online course meets the design standards specifications, the course is designated as Quality. The process is designed so that all courses reviewed have the potential to achieve a quality designation upon further revision, if the course has not already achieved that status.

If your online course earned a Quality designation, you then have the option to request a High Quality review. Requesting a High Quality review means that you are also committing to engaging in the High Quality review process as a third reviewer. The first and second reviewers in this process are both Instructional Designers at CDL. Third reviewers must have earned the HQR4444 credential.

Sample Quality and High Quality Items

CategoryQuality ItemHigh Quality Item
Course OverviewThe course has an explicit pace to which the students are introduced.An orientation, introduction, or overview is provided for the course.
Course ContentThe course offers a variety of instructional materials and media, aligned with learning objectives and/or goals.The course content and media are copyright compliant and appropriately cited.
Assessment and InteractionMultiple methods and opportunities for students to demonstrate learning are offered.Students are given multiple opportunities to self-assess and/or reflect on their learning throughout the semester.
Accessibility and Universal DesignAlternative means of access to course materials is provided.Text is formatted with titles, headings, and other styles to enhance readability and improve the structure of the document.

Quality Course Review Items High Quality Course Review Items

Design with Quality in Mind

The Quality and High Quality items can serve as a guide as you are designing a new course, or can be a good review for a course you’ve already taught. Want to learn more about the items, and see how other faculty are fulfilling them? Explore the categories below to discover ideas on how to improve your students’ online learning experience, as well as your online teaching experience.

Course Overview and Introduction

This category showcases items that support students to get started in your online course. Items related to the syllabus, policy statements, and expectation-setting are included.


This category showcases items that aim to provide students with high-quality, accessible course materials. Items related to online course structure, copyright, and accessibility are included.

Assessment and Interaction

This category showcases items that address meaningful interaction among course participants, as well as effective grading strategies. Items related to higher-order thinking, academic integrity, and student-to-student interaction are included.

Act Now!

Interested in earning a Quality and/or High Quality course designation for one of your online courses? Complete the Online Course Review Request Form to start the conversation with your instructional designer. CDL encourages and supports faculty through the course review process. It requires only your commitment to succeed with enhancing your course.

The nature of the personalized consultation process requires that the instructional designer coordinate and schedule multiple steps in the course review process. We strive to coordinate these requests in a timely fashion. Please note that priority may be given to courses with time-intensive needs (applying for the Dziuban Award for Excellence in Online Teaching, online program accreditation, etc.).