Within the College of Arts and Sciences, online course reviews are conducted by eTech. This review is meant to guide faculty in the use of research-based, effective practices in online instruction. It is not merely an evaluation or quality assurance measure but also a collaborative approach to improving instructional design and accessibility, focused on continuous improvement throughout the life of a course.
eTech uses the A&S Online Course Review Checklist to evaluate the quality of an online course. The checklist covers items in six broad categories:
- Learning goals and outcomes
- Syllabus and introductory materials
- Course content
- Assessments and activities
- Grading policies and procedures
- Accessibility and usability of course materials
The review team includes the content expert (course developer), eTech’s faculty technology liaison (Nathan Loewen) and editorial manager (Jessica Porter), and at least one reviewer from the department (usually the department chair). All reviewers should be familiar with the review checklist.
Around the time of the initial experience with CCS, eTech’s editorial manager emails the content expert to set up a meeting. This meeting covers the review process, the checklist used to evaluate courses, relevant policies, and the content expert’s plans for the course.
After the initial experience, the content expert works with an instructional designer to develop a course outline and manuscript. CCS shares the finished manuscript with eTech’s technology liaison and editorial manager, who use the checklist to do a preliminary review. eTech then shares this feedback with the content expert, and he/she has the opportunity to edit the course before it is transferred to Blackboard.
Once the course is complete, CCS notifies eTech that the course is ready for a final review in Blackboard. Both eTech and the department chair will evaluate the overall course design, observing how well it meets College and department standards. eTech shares the review with the content expert, and he/she makes final edits to the course, where necessary.
At this point, the course is usually approved by eTech and the department, and CCS moves the course to its live shell.