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Evaluation of Course Shells

In addition to the process of evaluating a course for online modality through the curriculum process, course shells will be evaluated before the course can be offered online. Any new course needs to be submitted to the Distance Education Subcommittee prior to being placed on the course schedule. The DE Subcommittee is also working with current faculty to review courses that are already taught online.

Since the spring of 2015, approximately 35 course shells have been reviewed using the OEI's extensive evaluation rubric (Updated OEI Rubric May 2015 (Links to an external site.)).

Course review is an important part of maintaining a quality DE program and is mandated by Title 5: 5CCR 55206 Separate Course Approval

If any portion of the instruction in a proposed or existing course or course section is designed to be provided through distance education in lieu of face-to-face interaction between instructor and student, the course shall be separately reviewed and approved according to the district's adopted course approval procedures.


Before any faculty can teach an online or hybrid course for the first time, the course must be formally reviewed and approved by the DE Subcommittee to ensure the course meets all COD policy requirements, accreditation guidelines, State and Federal laws, and accessibility compliance.

  1. The faculty member teaching the course is responsible for providing the DE Subcommittee the following materials at least two months prior to the beginning of the semester.

  2. At least 4 fully-developed weekly units (modules, assessments, etc.) with assignments.

  3. Projects for the entire course.

  4. Evidence that course materials are accessible.

  5. The faculty member will be notified if their course is cleared for teaching or if changes are needed at most one month after the materials are received.

  6. In the event that the DE Subcommittee has not completed the approval of a submitted shell by the second week before the beginning of Flex, the shell will be granted a one-semester temporary approval for delivery.

  7. Faculty members using an unaltered approved Model Course, do not need to submit any material to the DE Subcommittee. If changes are made to the Model Course, the faculty member needs to submit a list of the intended changes along with any new content.

Model Courses

A course can attain the title of Model Course if the following are completed:

  1. Receives department approval.

  2. All 16 fully-developed weekly units are submitted to and approved by the DE Subcommittee.

In order to complete the review, faculty should follow the process outlined below:

  1. Complete a self-evaluation using the attached OEI Rubric. Online Course Evaluation Rubric Self Eval

  2. Based on your self-eval, make any changes you want/can to your course (if you don’t want to change your already live courses, I can make a shell for you for this work).

  3. Optional: update your self-eval to reflect changes.

  4. Send completed self-eval to the DE Coordinator and tell her which course/section you want the DE Subcommittee to review by the date of your schedule review. I then copy the course (no student data comes). And we review and the DE Coordinator will return that review to you with resources to help you address any big gaps.

If you would like to meet face-to-face to begin the review process, just contact Matthew Calfin at