Our goal is to ensure that all online courses meet quality instructional design and accessibility standards, and are regularly and systematically reviewed, refreshed, and improved to reflect campus guidelines and research-based online effective practices.

SUNY Online, in collaboration with campuses throughout the SUNY system, developed an online course design rubric and process that addresses the instructional design and accessibility of an online course. The rubric is openly licensed for anyone to use and adapt. The aim of the OSCQR SUNY Online Course Quality Review Rubric and Process is to support continuous improvements to the quality and accessibility of online courses, while also providing an approach to collect data that can be used to inform faculty development and support large-scale online course design review and refresh efforts systematically and consistently.

Open SUNY/OLC partnership history
OSCQR Version Development Timeline, History & the Open SUNY/ OLC Partnership.

Work on the design of the new Open SUNY Center for Online Teaching Excellence (COTE) was initiated in August 2013, as one aspect of the the new Open SUNY set of initiatives envisioned by (now former) Chancellor Nancy Zimpher’s bold strategic “system-ness” effort to take online education to the next level of scale at SUNY. Open SUNY+ was conceived and implemented as a set of  SUNY fully online degree programs specifically identified to meet New York State workforce development needs, and selected to receive certain centrally-provided supports and services and provide certain programmatic “signature elements” to qualify for the “+” designation, such as an online student “concierge, ” and early alerts system, and meeting online course quality standards, etc. OSCQR was developed as the focus of the Open SUNY COTE “Course Supports” work stream. To best meet the unique needs, scale, and context of the Open SUNY+ initiative, and taking the SUNY Learning Network’s long history, success, and expertise in supporting online course quality and online faculty development, it was decided to build an online interactive online course quality rubric, dashboard, and process, rather than adopting an existing product/model. OSCQR was designed with input from campus stakeholders, and its design was refined as it was implemented by the cohorts of pilot testers and users in the first 2 Waves of the Open SUNY+ programs. A full list of acknowledgements and participants can be found here. OSCQR was intentionally designed to be flexible, extensible, non-evaluative, and openly licensed. It was not conceived as an online course quality measure, or evaluation tool, it is intended as an online instructional design and faculty development resource and process to support the varied continuous improvement efforts of online instructional designers and online faculty in online course design and accessibility. How OSCQR uniquely differs from other tools ca is detailed here.

OLC Quality Scorecards



In November 2016, a partnership was formed between Open SUNY (now SUNY Online) and the Online Learning Consortium (OLC). OLC adopted OSCQR as one of their online quality scorecards to provide a course-level online quality process, tools, and resources for the systematic review, refresh, and continuous improvement of online courses. This allowed us the opportunity to share OSCQR with the broader OLC community and to partner with them on the next generation of the digital interactive OSCQR rubric and dashboard.

  • OLC OSCQR .pdf Rubric Downloads. From Feb 2019 to Feb 17, 2021 there have been 6,432 downloads of the OSCQR self-assessment rubric from OLC.
  • Number of people that have taken the OLC ID #4 OSCQR course. From August 1, 2019 to August 1, 2020, 107 people have successfully completed the ID4 course (117 total people participated in ID4, including completes and incomplete)
        • Overall ID4 completions since inception: 522 have been trained to use OSCQR by OLC via their Online Instructional Designer Certificate program (which was also adopted from SUNY).