The Open SUNY Center for Online Teaching Excellence (COTE) has developed an openly licensed rubric and process that address both the instructional design and accessibility of an online course.

The aim of the Open SUNY Course Quality Review (OSCQR) Rubric and Process is to support continuous improvements to the quality and accessibility of online courses, while also providing a system-wide approach to collect data across campuses, institutions, departments, and programs that can be used to inform faculty development, and support large scale online course design review and refresh efforts systematically and consistently.

There are two components: the OSCQR Process and the OSCQR Rubric.


To help campuses ensure that their online courses are learner-centered and well designed, a team of COTE staff and campus stakeholders has designed the OSCQR Rubric, a customizable and flexible tool for measurement. The fifty incorporated standards focus on course design from the perspective of the Community of Inquiry (CoI) model, and help reviewers assess opportunities for social presence, cognitive presence, and teaching presence in addition to the overall online course educational experience. The OSCQR Rubric is intended to be used for reviewing course design rather than the actual course delivery.

The OSCQR Rubric has a number of unique features:

  • Dashboard function for easy customization to the needs of each campus or program by allowing for prioritization of the standards.
  • Additional standards that can be easily added.
  • Analytics that facilitate the overall tracking of course design issues and trends.
  • Action plan generation 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.

The OSCQR Rubric is licensed under a Creative Commons license and can be used by individual faculty members, instructional designers, or on ANY campuses as part of a more formal course review process.


Open SUNY is devoted to continuous improvement of the rubric and tools. If you would have suggestions or would like to contribute to future iterations, please let us know (ContactCOTE@suny.edu).