Assessing Online Course Quality
Online course design requires careful planning. Instructional design staff on each campus offer numerous resources for faculty to ensure the design and delivery of high-quality courses.
There are several rubrics for evaluating the quality of your online course. We'll introduce some of the more popular options.
Campus-Designed Quality Checklists
Some NU campuses have developed resources specific to their needs.
UNK: Online Course Development Checklist
UNO: Digital Learning Course Design Rubric
UNMC: E-Learning Module Development Checklist
Common Quality Checklists
OLC OSCQR Course Review Scorecard
The OLC OSCQR Course Design Review Scorecard is a course-level quality rubric for reviewing and improving the instructional design and accessibility of online courses based on online best practices. Thanks to a new partnership with the State University of New York, OLC members now have an easy way to review and improve quality in the online classroom1. (2020, Online Learning Consortium)
Access the scorecard:OLC OSCQR Course Design Review Scorecard
Quality Matters2 is an international organization that is recognized as a leader in quality assurance for online education.
For Higher Education, the QM Rubric aids in evaluating and constructing courses. Institutions that subscribe to QM can also submit courses for independent review, highlighting areas for improvement. A score of 85% (with Essential Standards being met) qualifies a course to receive a QM Certification for quality course design.
Quality Online Course Initiative (QOCI)
The Illinois Online Network and Illinois Virtual Campus developed the QOCI rubric3, a tool for online course design, development, and review. Visit the ION website for more information about the original initiative. Currently, Illinois Central College faculty and staff have, with ION’s permission, reformatted the QOCI rubric to preserve the rubric’s characteristics but shorten the rubric form, making it more efficient for course developers and reviewers. See the links below to ICC’s version of the QOCI rubric.
QOCI Rubric [PDF printable]
QOCI Rubric [PDF fillable]
University of Nebraska – Instructional Design Contacts
If you have questions about quality standards, we encourage faculty to enlist further guidance from campus Instructional Designers, especially for anyone moving a course to a distance educational delivery for the first time.
Please contact the following for Instructional Design support:
UNK: Steve McGahan email@example.com 308.865.8341
UNO: Rick Murch-Shafer firstname.lastname@example.org 402.554.3539
UNL: Nick Monk, Ph.D. email@example.com 402.472.4307
UNMC: Peggy Moore firstname.lastname@example.org 402.559.8082
Melissa Diers email@example.com 402.559.4688
1. Online Learning Consortium (2020). OLC Course Design Review. Retrieved from https://onlinelearningconsortium.org/consult/oscqr-course-design-review/
2. Quality Matters. (2018). About. Retrieved from https://www.qualitymatters.org/about
3. Illinois Central College. (2017, May 4). Quality online course initiative (QOCI). Retrieved from https://icc.edu/faculty-staff/teaching-learning-center/teaching-online-at-icc/qoci-quality-online-course-initiative/