Center for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching

Online Course Design Review Team

What is the Online Course Design Peer Review Process?

It’s an opportunity to systematically reflect on all of the aspects of the course design that will help your online students learn better, while at the same time gaining innovative ideas through cross-disciplinary collegial dialogue. Through your peer’s formative review of your course, guided by the IPFW Online Course Design standards, (PDF) you will also receive documentation of your teaching and a Certificate of Completion. Many faculty members have found that they can use what they learn from the review in their classroom teaching, too.

Who are the peer reviewers?

The peer reviewers are IPFW faculty members who have received training in using the nationally recognized Quality Matters ™ rubric, a research-based set of standards, which, when followed, result in a high quality course design that supports learning in an online environment. The peer reviewers have adapted this rubric for use at IPFW. The reviewers all have extensive online teaching experience and are recognized by their peers as excellent teachers. Two of them have been recognized nationally as Subject Matter Experts for online teaching in their fields. The team has reviewed over 50 courses since 2009.

The review team members are:

  • Benton Gates, Continuing Lecturer, History
  • John LaMaster, Senior Instructor, Mathematical Sciences
  • Craig Ortsey, Continuing Lecturer, Political Science
  • Rachel Ramsey, Clinical Assistant Professor, Nursing

What are people saying about the online course design review process?

“I am writing not just to inform you about the completion of the work, thank you, but share my success with you. I don't believe I would have come this far without you all behind me. I celebrate you all.” IPFW faculty member

“I've talked about online teaching at various times with Michelle Drouin … and found the discussions quite helpful. For that reason, I'd be delighted to have … [her] serve as the peer reviewer for my course.” IPFW faculty member

“[IPFW Online Course Design Standards and Peer Review Process] is an exceptional document. We are just starting our first cohort of faculty developing online courses. I would really like to provide a copy of this document to them as a model for what kind of Quality Assurance process they could consider.” An IU Teaching Center Director

“Thank you for asking Ben to look over my course. I know that he has been a successful online instructor for some time now and am looking forward to his comments.” IPFW faculty member

“It was a learning experience for us both.” Online course design peer reviewer

Other Online Course Design Standards

Listed below are rubrics or criteria that have been used to evaluate the quality of online course design for both formative and summative purposes.

California State University Chico has made its popular online course design rubric available online.

Here is the Rubric used to judge entries Blackboard’s Catalyst Award competition.

The Quality Matters Rubric is a research based, practitioner tested comprehensive course design rubric comprised of 40 standards which is used in a standardized peer review process. IPFW peer reviewers have shortened this rubric to use in reviewing online course design.

The Creative Commons licensed Blended Course Peer Review Form from the Blended Learning Toolkit focuses on blended courses, and may be modified or adapted under the terms of the Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license.

The iNACOL (International Association for K-12 Online Learning) standards focus on K-12 online course design, teaching, and programs.

The Sloan Consortium is a professional organization that advocates for the integration of online and blended learning into higher education. The 5 Pillars of Quality, developed by Sloan-C® provides a wholistic view from which an institution may evaluate its online programs.

Exemplary Courses

Portfolios of IPFW DECCO (Distance and Distributed Education Coordinating Committee) award winners, all of whom underwent the online course design review process, are available by clicking on the links below.

Ken Johnson, Continuing Lecturer in Music, 2011 winner of the DECCO Award for Innovative Online Teaching for his online course in MUS Z101 Music for the Listener. View his course portfolio here. (PDF)

Michelle Drouin, Associate Professor, Psychology, 2011 winner of the DECCO Award for Innovative Online Teaching for her online courses in PSY 369 Development Across the Lifespan and PSY 235 Child Development. View her course portfolio here. (PDF)

Matt Kubik, Associate Professor, Interior Design, 2010 winner of the DECCO Award for his online course in Freehand Sketching. View his course portfolio here. (PDF)

Adam Dircksen, Continuing Lecturer in Communication, 2009 winner of the DECCO Award for Innovative Online Teaching for his online courses in COM 318 Principles of Persuasion and COM 248 Introduction to Media Criticism and Analysis. View his course portfolio here. (PDF)

Winners of Blackboard’s Catalyst Award may be viewed at Blackboard’s web site.

Exemplary Blackboard Course tour of PY 321 Leadership at Avila University. For selected exemplary course tours see Online Teaching Resources Indexed to Student Rating Issues on the Online Learning Evaluation Form (survey distributed by the Division of Continuing Studies).