Quality course reviews

Two women talking while looking at a laptop computer

Online courses should go through the Quality Course Review (QCR) process prior to being offered to students. Online courses that have previously completed the QCR process should undergo a quality course re-review every 5 years. The QCR process ensures that your course focuses on student-centered engagement and alignment and that it meets national accreditation and certification. 

To learn more about the UM System policy regarding quality course review, please visit the UM System website.

Before you submit

Before submitting your course for review:

  1. Review the 5 Pillars Review form to see what the reviewers will use to conduct the review. Items that end with an asterisk symbolize essential elements.
  2. Check that your course includes the basic components:
  3. If you need to revise your course in order to ready it for a review, we are happy to assist you. You may also find the Quality Course Review Guide for Instructors helpful in making the necessary revisions.

What to expect after you submit

After your course has been submitted, you will receive a confirmation of receipt from our QCR program coordinator. Additionally, an Instructional Designer will reach out during the submission window to guide you through the remainder of the QCR process.

Check the FAQ for more information

QCR Kickoff Windows

Quality course review requests are accepted year-round, but if you submit your course outside of a QCR Kickoff Window, the request will be held in a queue until the next window opens. Requests will be handled in the order they are received once a QCR Kickoff Window begins. QCR Kickoff Windows represent the time period that instructional designers will actively begin working with instructors on their review process, help them ready courses for review if needed, and begin reviews on courses that meet all baseline requirements for a review.

Winter

December 15 – January 31

Spring

March 1–31

Summer June 1–30

Fall

September 1–30

Note

Submitted courses must be ready for review by the end of the QCR Kickoff Window or they will need to be resubmitted for review during a subsequent QCR Kickoff Window.

Request a QCR

Thumbnail image for quality course review video
Video Url

Frequently asked
questions

Before submitting your course for review, check that your course includes the basic components needed to conduct a quality course review.

If your course is ready for review, you may submit your course. If you need to revise your course in order to ready it for a review, we are happy to assist you. You may also find the Quality Course Review Guide for Instructors helpful in making the necessary revisions.

During the submission window relevant to your submission, the Instructional Designer who will support you through the QCR process will also double-check that all the necessary components to complete a review are in place. If they aren’t, the Instructional Designer will reach out to work with you to get ready for review. You will have until the end of the submission window to have your course ready for review, or you will need to resubmit during a subsequent submission window.

QCR submissions will be accepted four times a year:

  • Winter (December 15 – January 31)
  • Spring (March 1–31)
  • Summer (June 1–30)
  • Fall (September 1–30)

Courses must be ready for review upon submission for work to begin in a timely manner. If courses are not ready for review, an Instructional Designer will work with the instructor to ready the course for review.

Note: Courses must be review-ready by the end of the submission window. If a course is not ready for review by the end of the submission window, the course will need to be resubmitted for review during a later submission window.

Once you submit a quality course review request, an Instructional Designer will reach out to you and guide you through the remainder of the process. This Instructional Designer will be your primary point of contact for the QCR process. The course will undergo two independent reviews: one from a qualified instructional designer and one from a quality course review-trained faculty member.

Once both reviews are completed, your Instructional Designer will collate the feedback and connect with you to review it. They will also be there to guide you through making the necessary revisions, if needed. The following graphic provides a brief description of each step in the process. Please email us at teachingonline@umsystem.edu if you have any questions or would like to learn more about the QCR process.

Image
A graphic showing the steps of the QCR process

During an active QCR kickoff window, the entire QCR process (from initial submission of a review-ready course to completion of revisions) should take no longer than 8 weeks.

(Courses submitted outside of a kickoff window will be not begin their 8-week review period until the next kickoff window begins.)

Typically, this will include approximately 3-4 weeks for the course to be reviewed and the supporting Instructional Designer to compile feedback from the reviewers. It also includes 4-5 weeks for instructors to make revisions post-review.

If a course is not ready for review by the end of the kickoff window — or if revisions for a reviewed course are not completed by the end of their 8-week QCR timeline — then the course will need to be resubmitted for review (or QCR completion) during a subsequent QCR kickoff window.

Instructors have a maximum of 8 weeks to complete the QCR process, from initial submission of a review-ready course to implementation of final revision. Because the review process takes an average of 3–4 weeks, most instructors will have approximately 4–5 weeks to complete revisions.

If revisions are not completed by the end of their 8-week QCR timeline, then they will need to resubmit their course during the next QCR window.

Instructors will have the benefit of Instructional Design support while they are working to implement revisions up through the end of the 8-week QCR time frame. Instructors who are unable to finish revisions during that 8-week time frame may continue to work on revisions independently and resubmit their course during the next submission window to work with a designer to complete the QCR.

Those returning to complete their QCR revisions will not have to have their courses re-reviewed, so long as the course was reviewed within the last 12 months and the course has not undergone significant revisions since the original review. However, new QCR submissions will take priority in the queue over returning QCRs that need to be completed. Instructional Design support will be available as capacity allows.

Faculty
Peer Reviewer Corps

The Faculty Peer Reviewer Corps consists of faculty members with extensive experience in online teaching, learning, and course design who have been trained to review and assess online course designs to ensure that they meet the UM System-wide quality standards, particularly focusing on the 5 Pillars of Effective Course Design.

  • Quality course review of online courses occurs on a 5 year cycle to ensure that online courses meet the University of Missouri System’s quality standards and to ensure continuous improvement. The course will be reviewed by University of Missouri faculty members who are not involved in the development and teaching of the course, but who are trained to evaluate courses using the System’s quality standards.
  • Members of the Faculty Peer Reviewer Corps receive specific training to perform Quality Course Reviews.
  • Additional compensation for faculty members who serve in the Faculty Peer Reviewer Corps for performing quality course reviews is $100 per student credit hour for each course reviewed. The additional compensation is outside of the teaching load; therefore, performing the reviews may not also count towards service activities.