The Center for Teaching Excellence has created a program to support and enhance the quality of the universities online course offerings. Over the past year, the Center has developed a program centered around a Quality Review Tool for Online Courses (QRT). The QRT contains 56 standards over 7 categories all aimed to improve and maintain the caliber of the courses that are reviewed. This tool was created to review the design of the online course before student engagement. Additionally, the QRT is directed at fully online courses both asynchronous and synchronous with fully developed Cardinal Learn (Blackboard) courses. Instructors can view the standards in the Quality Review Tool (standards only) document.
The Quality Review Program for Online Courses has been created to ensure the online courses offered at The Catholic University of America are built and maintained at the high standards expected from the University. Course Quality impacts many areas of the university, including student learning outcomes, retention, and program satisfaction.
The primary goal of the Quality Review Program is to identify courses that meet the quality standards for online courses set forth by the Quality Review Tool (QRT) for Online Courses. Additionally the program will identify courses or sections of course that need addressing to meet these standards. The QRT, in conjunction with the Quality Review Program, will aid the university in raising the quality of online courses across all programs.
Methods of Engagement
There are multiple ways to engage with the Quality Review Program. Each finishes with a sense of where a course is currently standing in relation to the Quality Review Tool (QRT).
An instructor can use The Quality Review Tool (standards only) to review courses on their own. This process does not include a quality designation upon completion.
Guided Individual Review
An instructor will engage with the Center for Teaching Excellence and will go through a solo review process. The instructor will have a short meeting with an instructional designer to discuss how to use the QRT. This process does not include a quality designation upon completion.
An instructor will engage with the Center for Teaching Excellence and will go through a review process with an Instructional Designer. This process is designed to review one course at a time. This process will result in a quality designation for the course when the criteria is met.
Dual Review Guidance
Course must be Online Synchronous (100% Online), Online Asynchronous (100% online) Instructor Directed, or Online Asynchronous Low Residency to be involved in the Quality Review Program.
Instructors will be engaging in approximately 4-5 hours of time throughout the course review process. This time is estimated and could be longer depending on the number of meetings and the amount of changes needed
The Quality Review Program should be scheduled and completed before the first day of the running of the course. This is due to the fact that student information (e.i. grades) will not be affected by any changes, and the Quality Review Tools is framed around the course's design among other elements that become difficult to change while a course is being run.
Instructors will only be reviewing a single course through the Dual Review at one time, but are encouraged to take the infomation from thier first review and apply it to other courses they have before starting that process.
All courses being reviewed will be copied over to another course created for the Dual Review, to prevent lose of student work from previously run courses. The CTE team member will give complete details in the inital meeting.
The Quality Review Tool (standards only) will be available to all Catholic University instructors on the Center for Teaching Excellence’s website.
Dual ReviewFor a more visual overview of the dual review process, view the Quality Review Process Flowchart.
- An instructor will initiate the review process by submitting a request via the CTE Service Request form.
- On this form you will indicate the desire to engage with the Quality Review programs Dual Review Process.
- The Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) will assign a team member to reach out to schedule an initial meeting, based on the schedules of both parties.
At the initial meeting
- The CTE Team member will begin by describing the entire process to the instructor.
- The CTE Team member will walk the instructor through how to use the Quality Review Tool.
- The CTE Team member and the instructor will agree on a review timeline (See Example Timeline 1). The recommended time between meetings is approximately 10 business days.
- The CTE Team member will answer any initial questions the instructor may have at this point.
Review Period (approximately 10 business days).
- During the Review Period the instructor should not make changes to the course.
- The instructor will review all components of their course using the Quality Review Tool.
- The instructor is encouraged to take notes during the review period.
- The CTE Team member will review all components of their course using the Quality Review Tool.
- The CTE Team member will take notes during the review period.
- In the review meeting the Instructor and the CTE Team member will review and compare findings from both parties.
- The Instructor and CTE team members will devise a Revision Plan for any improvements that will need to be made in order to meet the quality designation.
- Revision Plan will include
- Course items that need to be addressed
- How these course items can be improved
- A deadline for all Revision Plan items to be completed
- Complete Revision Plan submitted for Review before final review meeting, if needed.
- A date for the next scheduled review meeting with a CTE team member.
- If improvements or adjustments are required for designation, another review meeting will be scheduled, allowing enough time between meetings for the instructor to make the needed changes.
- Revision Plan will include
- When the criteria for a Quality Course designation are met in this meeting, the course will receive the Quality Course designation.
- January 10 - Instructor submits a request to the CTE Service Request form for a Dual Review of a course
- January 11 - A Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) team member will be assigned and will contact the instructor to determine a start date for the Dual Review process.
- January 18 - Initial Meeting - The Instructor and CTE team members meet and discuss the process in detail and how to use the Quality Review Tool in the review process. They also set up the review period timeline .
- January 19 - 31 - Review Period - The instructor and CTE Team Member will review the course independently.
- January 31 - Review Meeting #1 - The instructor and CTE Team member will meet and review their findings and create a Revision Plan, including a deadline of completion for the items on the Revision Plan.
- February 1- 9 - Revision Period - The instructor will work to make the changes included on the Revision Plan. The CTE team will be available for consultations if that is needed for assistance.
- February 9 - Review Meeting #2 - The instructor and the CTE team member will meet and review the newly adjusted course to ensure that the Revision Plan has been completed. Then the course will be eligible to receive a Quality Course Designation.
Quality Course Designation
The Quality Course Designation can be received by completing the Dual Review process as described above. Anyone can engage in the individual review process, but a designation will not be received, by that review alone.
- Quality Course Designations must be reviewed and recertified after 2 years.
- To receive a Quality Course Designation a course must receive proficient or higher on all standards, after the review process is completed.