Course Quality Review


About the NCCC Quality Review Initiative

  • The NCCC Quality Review process is a faculty-driven, collegial course design review process. The rubric does not evaluate the faculty member or the faculty member’s content expertise.
  • The review makes use of the SUNY Online Quality Review process and rubric known as “OSCQR”
  • This quality review will help NCCC maintain and enhance the quality of its online courses through a process of continuous improvement.
  • This review process is not a part of NCCC’s faculty evaluation process, we have the online course observations for faculty evaluation purposes. The reviewers  will use the OSCQR rubric specifically targeting the online course design. The OSCQR rubric is unique and differs from other online course quality rubrics in several ways. It is not restricted to mature online courses. The rubric can be used formatively with new online faculty to help guide, inform, and influence the design of their new online courses, and, it is non-evaluative.
  • The review process is completely voluntary, however, if you teach online, hybrid, blended, or hyflex courses and request to develop/teach another, you must have the first course reviewed and ensure it meets the standards set forth in the OSCQR 3.0 course design rubric, before teaching the next one. In addition, Academic Affairs may not approve the course modality if it doesn’t meet the OSCQR standards.
  • Faculty find this review extremely helpful and in most cases the review and refresh process helps save you time teaching and managing your course.

 What is the NCCC’s Course Design Review Process?

1. The interested faculty member requests a copy of the OSCQR course design standards rubric the Online Learning Department. This rubric guides the review.

2. When the course is ready for review, the faculty member requests a course design review. The faculty will fill out a pre-review support sheet providing reviewers with course resources, third-party content, prerequisites, assessments and any other additional information that would help the reviewers when reviewing the course.

3. Two trained peer reviewers, members of NCCC’s faculty, use the rubric to review the course design. They communicate with the instructor as needed during this process (approximately three weeks).

4. Peer reviewers offer suggestions and recommendations for enhancements to the course design.

5. The faculty member reviews the suggestions, determines what modifications to make, and may request that peer reviewers look over a revision of the course.  The Online Learning staff will help you make updates and revisions.  You are not in this alone!

6. A course meets NCCC Quality design expectations when all of the OSCQR standards are met.

7. The faculty member receives the recognition that the course was Peer Reviewed – Quality Design Assured with a Quality Assured NCCC Certificate.

 Why have your course reviewed?

  • Improve the design of your online courses as a way to increase student learning, success, and retention.
  • Supports the process of aligning Student Learning Outcomes (SLO’s) in the course to activities and assessments. This supports our community of assessment and commitment to continuous improvements and closing the loop.
  • Gain new ideas for structuring and teaching your course.
  • Build a network with other online faculties.
  • Learn, grow, and excel at teaching Online Learning courses.
  • Receive recognition that your course was Peer Reviewed — Quality Designed Assured Certificate.
  • Save time managing your course.
  • Show your commitment to continuous instructional improvement.

This faculty-driven process has been very successful.  Faculty find they not only improve the design of the courses but see positive impacts on student success and retention.  They gain new ideas for structuring and teaching the courses, build a network with other  faculty outside of their silos, and have become better online educators.

Faculty Comments

Below are a few quotes from faculty that have completed the process and received their “stamp of approval.”

The NCCC Quality Peer Review project is one of the best professional development activities I have done at NCCC. I learned several ideas to improve my own online course just by going through the training to be a reviewer. We as faculty have few opportunities to examine other online courses in depth, so simply going through a course from another campus was interesting and inspiring. When the chance came up in this NCCC project to be a reviewer, I was assigned to review a psychology course, and not being familiar with the content, I was very focused on how the course was designed and operated. I came away with a wealth of ideas for improving my course as well as the satisfaction of helping a fellow faculty member. When my own course came up for review, I went through my ENG 101 course following the reviewer’s rubric and making dozens of changes to meet the standards before opening the course to my colleagues. My two peer reviewers made excellent suggestions, as did the E-learning staff. Not since the course was designed a decade earlier had it been so thoroughly reviewed and revised. The process made the course more effective, and the improvements carried over into my in-person classes also. I gained so much from the process that I reviewed a second course in my own discipline during the next round of reviews, and I look forward to reviewing more courses in the future. What makes this process stand out is that unlike a classroom observation, which is a snapshot of one lesson, this process examines the design and management of the entire course. The holistic, faculty-driven approach makes this review process satisfying, enriching, and highly effective.

Robert Morris, Professor of English

When the e-Learning Department offered me the opportunity to have my course reviewed as part of the NCCC Quality Peer Review process, I jumped at the chance to get some feedback.   I felt that I may have gotten too involved in the content of the course and perhaps overlooked some of the simple things in my course design or structure that might really impede a student’s progress.  I have to admit, I was a little anxious while waiting for the reviewers to finish, but my fears quickly vanished once we met and started going through some of the feedback.  Their comments ranged from some very simple fixes (one of my clip arts was not labeled correctly) to suggestions on how to better utilize my student learning outcomes in ANGEL – all things designed to make things easier on a student allowing them to focus on course content not technical or navigational issues.  It was a very productive session, for I not only received some great feedback but also had the opportunity to discuss alternative design methods, best teaching practices (as both my reviewers had taught online courses), etc.  I firmly believe the NCCC Quality Peer Review process played a significant role in helping me promote a higher success rate with my online students; so much so, that I’ve completed the necessary courses allowing me to continue to participate in this process as a peer reviewer.  

 Cheryl Chunco, Accounting

How to get Involved

If you would like your course reviewed or interested in become a reviewer , please contact Donna Simiele or Lisa Dubuc by emailing

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