Quality Essentials Course Review

Introducing Quality Essentials Review

With guidance from the Online Learning Advisory Council and recipients of the Excellence in Online Teaching Award, an internal course review process has been established based on the Quality Essentials standards. Using this process, faculty are able to conduct a detailed self-review of their own courses, then submit that review for additional review and feedback by a CITL staff member. Courses that meet all the Quality Essentials will be recognized as NIU quality online courses.

Submit Your Course for Review

See review details for information on submitting your course for review!

Review Details

NIU Quality Essentials badge A course that has met researched quality design standards is more likely to support student success. The course review phase of Quality Essentials was developed to provide NIU faculty with an opportunity to have their online courses reviewed independently by a trained CITL staff member. The course review phase takes place after faculty complete their self-review of the online course and is conducted in the same online platform. There is no need to duplicate efforts, requesting a external review is just one click in the system. Once the faculty request the external review, they will be assigned a CITL staff member or peer reviewer to review their course design, provide feedback, and verify that the course meets Quality Essentials standards.

Review Process

Utilizing a dynamic online platform, the review process will include automated review management and personalized feedback. As part of the review process, additional resources and opportunities for professional development and one-on-one assistance will be provided. The basic workflow of the review process is as follows:


Faculty Login

Faculty accesses the review platform and creates profile. 


Complete Self-Review

Faculty initiates review, providing course information and completing self-review.


Request External Review

When ready for course to be reviewed by CITL staff, faculty selects Ready for Review, includes details of course and section to be reviewed.


External Review Conducted

CITL Admin assigns reviewer (CITL staff member or peer reviewer). Reviewer reviews self-review and Blackboard course.


Feedback Provided

Reviewer provides feedback, makes determination if course meets Quality Essentials standards.

If more information is needed or the course doesn’t meet Quality Essentials standards:

  • Faculty notified and have the opportunity to revise course and/or self-review.
  • Reviewer then conducts follow-up review and provides additional feedback as needed.

Recognition for Quality

Once course meets Quality Essentials, recognition is provided.

Benefits to Quality Essentials Review

  • Qualified courses will be recognized with a course badge which can be displayed on the course banner or course syllabus
  • Department leadership will be formally notified by the Office of the Provost of the accomplishment and the designation of the course as meeting Quality Essentials standards.
  • Faculty and courses will receive positive acknowledgement and recognition with other NIU Quality Essentials Online Courses.
  • Documentation will be provided to faculty on their achievement and commitment to quality course design for the tenure track review process.
  • Faculty and courses can proceed to higher levels of recognition, including the Quality Matters review, the Exemplary Course Program and the NIU’s Excellence in Online Teaching Award.

Frequently Asked Questions

Excellence in Online Teaching Award

Contact Us

Center for Innovative
Teaching and Learning

Phone: 815-753-0595
Email: citl@niu.edu

Back to top