Quality course reviews

Two women talking while looking at a laptop computer

Online courses should go through the Quality Course Review (QCR) process before 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.

Request a QCR

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 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 to guide you through the remainder of the QCR process.

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.

You may submit your course for review at any time. 

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 you to ready the course for review.

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.

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

A graphic showing the steps of the QCR process

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

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 2-4 weeks for you to make any needed revisions post-review.

If a course is not ready for review by the end of the current 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) at a later date.

You have a maximum of 8 weeks to complete the QCR process, from the start of a window for 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 2–4 weeks to complete revisions.

If revisions are not completed by the end of your 8-week QCR timeline, you will need to resubmit your course again.

You will have the benefit of Instructional Design support while you are working to implement revisions up through the end of the 8-week QCR time frame. If you are unable to finish revisions during that 8-week time frame, you may continue to work on revisions independently and resubmit your course later.

If you are returning to complete your QCR revisions, your course will not have to go through the entire review process, so long as the QCR process was started within the last 12 months and the course has not undergone significant revisions since the original review. However, first-time QCR submissions will take priority over returning QCRs that need to be completed with Instructional Design support available as capacity allows.

It does not. The course must use the same learning objectives. It may have a different schedule and due dates. If the course uses a weekly format, weeks will be combined to accommodate the accelerated schedule. Because the credit hours awarded remains the same, students will be expected to complete the same amount and level of work. Because the content and general structure remains the same, a new review is not necessary.

Yes, you may use another instructor’s reviewed course, provided you have permission from the instructor who originally developed the course. In the University of Missouri System, courses are considered the intellectual property of the author unless they are expressly contracted to write a course for general use.

If using another instructor’s course, it is not recommended to change any assessment and we strongly recommend against modifying any of the instructional content. All information regarding the original instructor will need to be changed and any non-instructional policies (e.g. late work policies) may be modified. Everything else must remain in the same condition it was reviewed.

For courses reviewed under a prior rubric or process, we provide an expedited review process. The course is reviewed by one instructional designer, as opposed to an instructional designer and a faculty peer reviewer. Because fewer reviewers are involved, we are able to review the course faster than a traditional review.

The submission process is mostly the same. Complete the QCR submission form as usual. On the fourth page of the form, please indicate the option “It has been almost or more than 5 years since this course has last completed QCR.” This will put the course into the expedited process. Please also respond to the brief reflection questions provided.

For an up-to-date list of all courses you’ve submitted for QCR review previously, please visit the self-check dashboard. It will provide your Online Teaching Certificate status and Quality Course Review status. If you have questions about your certification status, please contact your chair.

Department chairs, deans, and provosts have access to a campus dashboard with the status of every course offered. If you are a department chair, dean, or provost, you can access your campus’s dashboard here:

If you are a department chair, dean, or provost and unable to access that dashboard, please contact Scott Gossett.

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.

Request a Quality Course Review

Ready to submit your course for a Quality Course Review or have a question about the QCR process?