Online Course Review

The Stearns Center for Teaching and Learning is pleased to invite application from George Mason University faculty members for review of their online courses. These reviews will provide faculty members with feedback on the quality, design, and delivery of their online courses.

Faculty Benefits

  • Formative feedback from experts on online course design and delivery
  • Registration for virtual attendance to one Online Learning Consortium (OLC) conference or registration for one online OLC workshop
  • Letter from the Stearns Center acknowledging participation in the online course portfolio review process
  • Competitive selection for the Stearns Center's Online Course Excellence Award (includes $500 stipend) based on overall course quality
  • Competitive selection for the Blackboard Exemplary Course Program Achievement Review

Eligibility Criteria

  • Course must have been taught 100% online in Blackboard LMS in the past year at Mason. The online course section to be reviewed must be a completed course (i.e., the Blackboard section is not an active course site)
  • Faculty member must plan to teach the online course again at Mason in the next two years
  • Course can be an undergraduate or a graduate course offered at Mason
  • Full-time and adjunct faculty who have developed and taught online courses at Mason are eligible to apply (Please note: full-time faculty will be given priority in participation selection)
  • Faculty who teach multiple online courses may submit an application for only one course
  • Faculty may not submit an online course for which they received an online course development stipend (from Digital Learning or Distance Education at Mason).
  • Faculty who participated in previous Open Call Portfolio Reviews are not eligible to submit the same course for review again

Application deadline: Monday, February 18, 2019


Please apply through online application portal at:

Timeline and Participation

The Stearns Center Digital Learning will select 10-15 applications for online course reviews. Those who are selected to participate must (1) attend an Online Course Review orientation (webinar), (2) submit required Online Course Review documents, (3) grant reviewers access to the Blackboard course, and (4) submit an action plan.

Deadline to submit Application

Monday February 18, 2019 

Select applicants will be invited to participate

Friday, February 22, 2019
Online Course Review Orientation Session (webinar)

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Deadline to submit Online Course Review Documents

Monday March 18, 2019

Receipt of Completed Online Course Reviews from Reviewers

Monday April 21, 2019

Deadline to submit Action Plan

Tuesday May 28, 2019

Action Plan feedback sent to faculty participants

Friday  June 7, 2019

Online Course Review Documents

Participants must prepare course review documents that include (a) an online course summary sheet, (b) an online course self-assessment, and (c) a faculty reflection. Thoughtful preparation of course review documents typically requires three to five hours. The Stearns Center will provide training and guidance for preparing and submitting the Online Course Review documents.

Online Course Review documents must be submitted by Monday, March 18, 2019

Review Process

Online Course Review documents and the Blackboard course will be reviewed by the Stearns Center review team using common evaluation criteria for evidence of quality in online course design and online teaching. The rubric focuses on evidence of quality in course design, interaction & collaboration, instructor presence, assessment and feedback, learning support, and accessibility.

Action Plan

Following receipt of the completed review report, the faculty will consult with the Stearns Center team to create an action plan. The purpose of an action plan is to identify the steps and resources needed for achieving a faculty member's specific and focused goals for online course improvement. The faculty is able to create and use the plan however they wish. Action items may relate to reviewer recommendations, student evaluations, online course self-assessment, faculty reflection, or a combination of the four.

The action plan must be submitted by Tuesday, May 28, 2019

For more information, please contact us at or 703-993-6200