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About Course Design Review

Why Launch a Course Design Review Process?

First and foremost, the CCRI Distance Learning Policy states, “CCRI will establish, publish and encourage best practices for exemplary online courses based on research and past experience.” Secondly, as a member of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA), CCRI is committed to abide by a set of shared guidelines for course quality. Thirdly, as highlighted through our cultural guiding principles, we at CCRI champion equity and strive for excellence and results. A foundational set of guidelines for quality online course design and review process embodies those principles.

What is OSCQR?

The Course Design Review (CDR) Working Group supported adopting the SUNY Online Course Quality Review (OSCQR) as a set of shared guidelines for course design quality. OSCQR is non-evaluative and self-reflective. Conceptually, the rubric approaches course design review and refresh as a professional development exercise, to guide faculty in their understanding of improving course design from an effective practice perspective, rather than as a course evaluation, certification, or quality assurance procedure.

OSCQR is licensed under a Creative Commons CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license and can support reflective practice and continuous course design improvement.

SUNY Online describes the process of developing the OSCQR in this way. “Working with multi institutional teams of SUNY online instructional designers, librarians, distance learning directors, and technologists, Open SUNY COTE staff started with the Chico rubric, 20 years of SLN research-informed best online practices, the SUNY office of general counsel’s memorandum on accessibility considerations, and conducted a gap analysis with Quality Matters and iNACOL. The resulting rubric was also informed by the Community of Inquiry model (Garrison, Anderson, and Archer, 2000), The 7 Principles for Good practice in Undergraduate Education (Chickering & Gamson, 1987), The Adult Learner (Malcom Knowles, 1973), Bloom’s Taxonomy (Bloom et al., 1956) and How People Learn (Bransford et al., 1999), and mapped to the SUNY Online COTE fundamental competencies for online teaching."

History of Creating the Course Design Review (CDR)

In the fall of 2019, the Learning Design Center reach out to faculty, chairs, and staff to create a Course Design Review (CDR) working group to inform the development of a course design review process with goals to:

  • Increase faculty awareness of, confidence in, and adoption of evidence-based effective online course design principles.
  • Create faculty satisfaction with and completion of reflection process.
  • Gather and share examples of effective online course design principles in practice.
  • Increase quality of student experience.

Over a few months, the working group selected OSCQR and generated a subset of criteria for the initial review. They evaluated the 50 items in OSCQR against the criteria of whether the item is aligned with the above goals and whether the items would support completion of the review within a term with faculty satisfaction and would increase faculty confidence in & adoption of effective practices. 

Once 13 standards were selected by consensus, the working group established a review process to be piloted in Fall 2022.

Our thanks to the working group for their thoughtful input and generous contribution of time.

JoAnn Warren (BUSN) Christine Turenius-Bell (BIOL) MaryAdele Combe (CIT)
Laurie Sherman (ENGL) Leslie Kilgore (SOCS) Mish McIntyre (LDC)
Walter Orellana (HMNS) Soudabeh Valicenti (MATH)