Online Course Review

Online Course Review Process – How Does it Work?

QM Review Process Chart

Course Review – Overview of review process

The online course review process at Kennesaw State University is an internal institutional review conducted by a team of three certified faculty peer reviewers utilizing the Quality Matters Rubric. The underlying principles of QM are centered on four central themes:

  • Continuous Improvement – all courses will eventually meet standards
  • Centered – focused on research, student learning and quality
  • Collegial – faculty driven and diagnostic
  • Collaborative – flexible and not prescriptive

An online course review team consists of a faculty review chair and two additional faculty peer reviewers. Reviewers are full-time faculty members with experience designing and delivering distance education courses who have completed the Applying the Quality Matters Rubric training. The Review Chair is a member of the Peer Review Leadership Team and is experienced in designing, teaching and reviewing online courses. The purpose of the Chair is to ensure the timeline is followed, answer questions about the rubric from the review team, and communicate with the faculty developer.

There are two options for comprising a review team for the centralized review process:

  • Option 1: DLC assigned review of three available reviewers 
  • Option 2: The faculty developer can choose three of the following to make up their review team: 
    • themselves, to serve as a self-reviewer (does not have to be certified KSU peer reviewer) 
    • an Instructional Designer 
    • a Departmental Colleague* 
    • an Academic Discipline Subject Matter Expert* 
    • a team of Academic Discipline Subject Matter Experts (up to three)* 
    • a specific individual(s) based on my choices above* 

*The faculty developer can specify a person to be on their review team and be designated as a departmental colleague or academic discipline subject matter expert, if that person is a qualified peer reviewer. (See below).

It is the goal of the Distance Learning Center to make the review process a positive, collaborative experience, while maintaining the high quality of online course design and delivery at KSU. If you are interested in becoming an online course peer reviewer or have questions about the review process, please contact Dr. Tamara Powell.

Online Course Review Process

Step 1:  Starting the Review

  • Once your online course is ready for review, complete and submit the QM Course Worksheet:
    • The institutional representative will review the worksheet and approve it if complete.  The Course Worksheet provides a place for the Faculty Developer to communicate with the review team to inform their review.  If information is missing, the worksheet will be returned for modification.
    • Based on the preferences stated in the Distance Learning Course and Review Request form, a team of three KSU faculty peer reviewers will be assigned to the course, and the DLC will provide the faculty peer reviewers access to the course in D2L Brightspace. At that point, the review will begin.
    • Course Reviews generally take 2-3 weeks to complete.
    • The Faculty Developer will receive an email from the Review Chair via the QM Course Review Management Systems when the internal course review is complete.

Step 2:  Closing the Review

  • Courses that successfully complete the review process by meeting all 23 Essential Standards and earn at least 85/100 points on the QM Rubric are unconditionally approved.
  • An email will be sent asking the Faculty Developer to visit the Quality Matters Course Review Management System to access the review report.
  • The Faculty Developer should complete the Review Outcome Response Form, indicating their acceptance of the review results, as soon as possible. The review will not be completed and closed until this form is complete and submitted. Instructions for completing this form can be found here.
  • Once complete, the Distance Learning Center will provide the Faculty Developer with a letter certifying the course and a certification of completion. A copy of this letter will be forwarded to the Department Chair for their files.
  • If a course does not meet all 23 Essential Standards and earn at least 85/100 points, the Faculty Developer can work with the review team to make necessary revisions before the final review is submitted. If the Faculty Developer needs more time to make revisions, the review will be closed and revisions may be submitted at a later date (See Step 3).

Step 3:  Course Revisions and Resubmission for Courses that do not Meet Standards

  • Courses that do not meet all 23 Essential Standards and earn at least 85/100 points on the QM Rubric may be revised and resubmitted within the same review cycle.
  • The Course Review Final Report will provide specific information on the revisions requested. For an additional consultation, you may also contact the Distance Learning Center and Review Chair.
  • Once revisions are made, please submit the Faculty Amendment Form to describe and delineate revisions to the Review Chair.
  • Using the completed Faculty Amendment Form as a guide, the Review Chair will determine if the course meets standards and will adjust the QM scored as appropriate. 
  • Please note, online courses may not be opened for registration without successfully completing the QM Internal Faculty Peer Review process.

Online Course Re-Certification Process

A course is ready for re-certification every three years. Notification of the three-year re-certification comes from the Distance Learning Center. It is the responsibility of the current faculty teaching that online course to complete the review process.

In addition to the standard three year re-review, online courses must be submitted for re-review if more than 15% of the course is changed.  Such changes include:

  1. More than 15% of ANY of the following changed:
    1. Course level objectives (Std 2.1)
    2. Module level objectives (Std 2.2)
    3. Assessments in the course (Std 3.1)
    4. Instructional materials (Std 4.1)
    5. Learning Activities including assignments (Std 5.1)
    6. Tools used in the course (Std 6.1)
  2. If more than 15% of course AS A Whole has changed.
  3. The textbook has been changed AND the course design was constructed around the textbook.
  4. Any of the Alignment Standards are changed due to a textbook update or a new textbook.
  5. The credit hours for the course have changed.