Quality Assurance & Review

In order to ensure the quality in online courses, a nationally-recognized quality standards rubric (created by Quality Matters or QM) was recently adopted to evaluate the design of existing and new online courses. The rubric evaluates the design of the course and not its delivery.

The evaluation rubric includes eight major standards with forty-three specific criteria in the following areas:

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

Course Review Process

Course Review ProcessA peer-review process is utilized in which two faculty reviewers and an instructional designer use the DSU QM rubric to review an online course and provide feedback and suggestions for improvement.


Reviewer Qualifications

Faculty Peer Reviewers must be a DSU QM Approved Reviewer in order to be selected for a course review. Any direct costs associated with DSU QM Reviewer Certification will be covered by the Office of Distance & Digital Learning (DDL).

To be a DSU QM Approved Reviewer, a faculty must successfully meet and complete the following:

  • Be an active full-time DSU faculty member in good standing
  • Taught successfully online for more than 1 year
  • Successfully complete the DSU Online Teaching Certification requirements
  • Participate in the Applying the DSU QM Rubric Workshop (online, facilitated by QM, APPQMR)

Reviewers are selected by DDL based upon review activity and availability.


Course Improvements

If the course doesn’t meet the DSU QM standards, the course is given a modification period of up to one full semester or subscription period to make the needed adjustments. The timeframe for revisions will be determined by the review committee, department chair and associated faculty.

Course versions that do not meet the DSU QM standards after the modification period will not be allowed to be offered until corrections are made. This is the responsibility of the assigned course lead (selected by Department Chair and DDL).


Review Schedule

All existing online courses will be informally reviewed during the next 3 years (2018-2020) using the QM rubric to help faculty and departments identify areas of improvement.

Effective Fall 2019, all online courses will be formally reviewed every 3 years, along with an annual check-up. Courses will be reviewed based upon enrollment, starting with the highest enrolled courses.

Significant changes to the course design prior to the formal review date would also necessitate a review. Courses will be reviewed based upon their enrollment, beginning with higher enrolled courses first, organized into a 3-year course review schedule.



DDL will cover the faculty reviewer compensation costs associated with up to two online course versions, including a “master” version to be used in online program offerings.

Academic departments will be responsible for associated costs for any additional versions.