Course Supports

Faculty are central to providing the distinctive SUNY experience to all our online students. Our mission in the Center for Online Teaching Excellence (COTE) is to ensure that faculty have the support necessary to provide a rich, dynamic, and stimulating online environment in which to teach and learn.

Open SUNY Course Quality Review (OSCQR) Model

What design components should a high-quality online or blended course have?  How can instructional design and pedagogical best practices be applied to online courses for course review and improvement?

A team of Open SUNY Center for Online Teaching Excellence staff and campus stakeholders set out to answer those questions. The result is a course review and enhancement model that is campus driven and builds on current research and best practices to offer a team approach to the continuous improvement of online courses.

There are two components of the model: the customizable OSCQR Rubric, which has 50 standards addressing design and accessibility, and the OSCQR Process, which is a collaborative, flexible approach to improving the instructional design of an online or blended course. It is campus driven and focused on continuous improvement, and is not intended to be an instructor or course evaluation. The review for Open SUNY + courses is designed to be conducted by a team on your campus that comprises a variety of perspectives. These can include those of the faculty member who teaches the course, an instructional designer, multimedia/technologist, librarian, faculty colleague or subject matter expert, or student, depending upon the campus preference. Additionally, an individual faculty member, instructional designer, or peer teams can use the OSCQR Rubric to review a course.


The OSCQR Rubric has a number of unique features:

  • Dashboard function easily customizes to the needs of each campus or program by allowing for prioritization of the standards and creation of additional standards.
  • Analytics that can be used by the campus for future planning of course development are produced via the review.
  • An action plan that is automatically generated and based on reviewer feedback that details suggestions for course improvement. These are chosen from a menu of options by each reviewer.

The action plan automatically aggregates the feedback generated during the Course Review and provides recommendations and examples of enhancements for improvement for the next part of the process, the Course Refresh.

The Course Refresh is the actual improvement process undertaken by faculty in concert with campus stakeholders such as instructional designers, librarians, and educational technologists and is guided by the action plan generated by the OSCQR Rubric.

The newly refreshed course is delivered and followed by a Learning Review that initiates the continuous online improvement cycle.

The OSCQR Rubric

The Open SUNY + OSCQR Process

Resources for Course Refresh