Teaching Commons > Programs > DePaul Online Teaching Series > Course Review
Quality Matters is a review process that is designed to certify the quality of online and blended courses. The Quality Matters website provides a portal through which instructors can submit a course to be reviewed by instructional designers and faculty at DePaul.
Course review is the last phase of the DOTS program following training and course development. The goal of the review is to ensure courses developed as a result of the DOTS program meet the quality standards of online and hybrid courses. Note: This is a DePaul internal review. Official Quality Matters reviews require a fee and must have reviewers external to the university.
The DOTS course review process was established in order to confirm and improve the quality of the online/hybrid courses developed by DOTS participants. The course review is exclusively formative in nature, as its primary goal is to give faculty participants extensive feedback aimed at enhancing the design of their courses.
The course(s) indicated in the DOTS Course Development Agreement for faculty to develop as the result of the training are subject to the review.
The review will focus primarily on the design of the course, offering observations and suggestions on, for example, how well the course is structured, how easy it is for students to navigate, whether the teaching and learning activities are well aligned with learning objectives, how appropriately the instructional strategies and technologies are being used, and the extent to which materials are made accessible for students with different learning needs.
This review process is not intended to evaluate course content, nor will it review faculty performance during the delivery of the course.
The DOTS course review rubric is based on the QualityMatters standard with added elements to address a high-degree of student engagement and high-level of instructor presence, which represent the distinctive pedagogical features of a DePaul online course.
1. Syllabus Requirements
2. Course Outcomes
3. Course Structure and Alignment
5. Instructional Materials
6. Instructor Presence and Student Engagement
7. Student Support
Please reference DePaul Guidelines for Online Course Review for a more detailed explanation of the standards.
The reviewer for DOTS courses will be selected from instructional designers, teaching and learning experts, and/or faculty members who have been through Quality Matters course review training. Although the review does not include content area, faculty from related disciplines and subject areas may be selected to participate in the review because of their discipline-specific instructional knowledge.
DOTS courses should be reviewed either prior to the official offering date or after being taught for one term. Successfully passing course review is the final and a required step for DOTS completion. It is highly recommended that the instructors work with their instructional designers to conduct a quality-assurance check before submitting their applications for official course review.
The review process consists of the following steps for faculty to take:
Step 1: Submitting a Course Review Application
If an account with QM has not been created, this will need to be done first. Please see Creating an Account for instructions. Once the account has been set up, a course review application can be submitted. Please see Submitting a Course Review Application for instructions.
Step 2: Completing a Custom Worksheet
After the application has been submitted, users will receive an email titled "Quality Matters - MyCr Custom Worksheet Created." Please see Filling out the Custom Worksheet for instructions on what to do once the email is received. It is very important to fill out the worksheet as soon as possible because the review cannot begin until the worksheet is submitted. It is strongly advised to fill out the worksheet with an assigned instructional designer.
Step 3: (Course Reviewers) Conducting the Review
Upon receiving the custom worksheet, the QM admin will assign reviewer(s) to conduct the review.
Step 4: Receiving a Review Report
As soon as the chair of the review team submits the final review report, users will receive an email notification with the report. If the course passes the review, a notification will also be sent the office of Online Learning and Global Engagement, who will verify contract requirements and process DOTS completion notification.
Step 5: Conducting Course Revisions (for courses that did not pass the DePaul Internal QM Review)
In the case that a course did not meet the standards in the first review, users will be able to see reviewer comments on the standards not met and have the opportunity to make the appropriate changes to the course site. An Outcome Response Form will need to be completed, and the appropriate changes will need to be made to the course site. Then, an Amendment Form can be submitted. The revised course will be reviewed again and a new score will be issued to the items that did not pass the review during the first round. Please see Responding to a Course Review for instructions on submitting the faculty response form and the amendment form.
Faculty should carefully review the report, and if revision is needed, work with their assigned instructional designer to make revisions based on the reviewers’ feedback.
The review is a formative, feedback-gathering process. The report will only be made available to the faculty member and the DOTS administrator.
Depending on the availability of the reviewers, the process may take one to three weeks.