Quality Online Course Review

How Does an Online Course Earn a 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.

Quality Review Items

Download Quality Course Review Items [PDF]

Course Overview and Introduction

Students are provided an overview of the course and access to course policies, and are offered the opportunity to meet the instructor.

  1. The course provides a clear starting point for students to begin accessing vital course components, such as syllabus, course schedule, course content, and assignments.
  2. The syllabus includes the following Provost-required course information:
    1. Course title and number
    2. Semester, year, and course section
    3. Credit hours
    4. Course modality (W/M)
    5. Name(s) of instructor(s)
    6. GTA names (if applicable)
    7. Methods of contact (e.g., email address, phone number)
    8. Office location
    9. Office hours (face-to-face or online)
    10. Prerequisite and/or co-requisite courses (if applicable)
    11. Course description from undergraduate or graduate catalogue
    12. Course objectives and/or outcomes
      1. Course objectives and/or outcomes are measurable and clearly stated
      2. Reference or link with specific program, department, college and/or accreditation standards (if applicable)
    13. Course purpose
    14. Required and optional texts/course materials
    15. Grading policies (point/percentage breakdown of assignments, grading scale)
    16. Makeup exam policy
    17. Link or reference to course schedule
  3. Information about academic integrity/honesty (UCF Golden Rule), campus policies, and FERPA are provided within the syllabus.
  4. Up-to-date information for students with disabilities to connect with UCF’s Office of Student Accessibility Services (formerly Student Disability Services) to provide within the syllabus.
  5. Statement regarding emergency procedures and campus safety are provided within the syllabus.
  6. Statement regarding accommodations for active duty military students is provided within the syllabus.
  7. General technical support information is provided for students (e.g., Webcourses@UCF Support contact information, Service Desk contact information).
  8. Links to the accessibility statements of third-party tools are included.
  9. Online etiquette (“netiquette”) expectations for course communication are clearly stated (e.g., discussion boards, email, chat, web conference).
  10. Expectations for instructor response time and feedback are clearly stated (e.g., questions, email, assignment feedback).
  11. Students are offered the opportunity to meet the instructor (e.g., introduction video, written instructor bio).
  12. The course has an explicit pace (e.g., a schedule) to which students are introduced.

Course Content

The course has an explicit structure, offers a variety of content, and course materials are provided in alternative ways.

  1. The course has an explicit structure (e.g., organized in modules, units, and/or topics; tools not pertinent to the course are hidden in the menu)
  2. The course offers a variety of instructional materials and media (e.g., external readings, assignments, discussions, videos), aligned with learning objectives and/or goals.
  3. Content is displayed in ways that support learning (e.g., chunking, Pages as opposed to Word docs and PDFs, etc.).
  4. Alternative means of access to course materials is provided.
  5. The course offers opportunities for students to engage with the content, stating connection to learning activities or assessments, to enhance learning.
  6. Technical support information (e.g. tutorials, instructions) for using technology tools are provided.

Assessment and Interaction

Objectives and grading criteria are clearly articulated to students, and students can demonstrate learning in multiple ways. The course offers opportunities for students to interact with other students and the instructor, to enhance learning.

  1. Module objectives and/or goals are measurable and clearly stated
  2. Module objectives and/or goals are aligned with learning activities and assessments.
  3. Grading criteria for each learning activity is described (e.g. rubrics).
  4. Multiple methods and opportunities for students to demonstrate learning are offered.
  5. Technology tools support learning objectives and/or goals.
  6. Technology tools support a variety of interactions (e.g., student-to-student, student-to-content, student-to-instructor).
  7. The course offers opportunities for students to interact with other students to enhance learning (e.g., discussions, group work).
  8. The course offers opportunities for students to interact with the instructor to enhance learning.

Act Now

Complete the Course Review Request Form to start the conversation with an instructional designer.

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