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EIU Faculty Development and Innovation Center

Quality Online Course Certification

The Faculty Development and Innovation Center (FDIC) would like to recognize the hard work and dedication of EIU faculty for their excellence in online education and quality online course design.

To recognize these efforts, the FDIC will award certificates for quality online and hybrid courses. Certificates will be awarded based on an internal course review using the Quality Matters Higher Education Rubric. Many faculty have already engaged with most of these standards in creating a course through the OCDi (Online Course Development institute). The FDIC is offering this certification process as a way to help faculty improve their course design with an eye to student success. Consultations and guides will be provided to help insure faculty success in the certification process.


  • Quality Online Course (QOC)
  • Quality Hybrid Course (QHC)

EIU online courses that meet the criteria listed below for online courses will earn the Quality Online Course certificate. EIU hybrid courses that meet the criteria listed below for hybrid courses will earn the Quality Hybrid Course certificate. Selection will be based on an internal course review using the Quality Matters Higher Education Rubric.  The QM Rubric is supported by national standards of best practice, research literature, and instructional design principles.  The review will address the quality of the online or hybrid course with the focus on course design. Course delivery (faculty performance) will not be evaluated.

The certification can be applied for and awarded at any time throughout the year.

Quality Online Course

The QOC certificate recognizes quality design for EIU online courses.  An online course, as defined by EIU, is “a course in which all course activity is completed online; there are no required face-to-face sessions within the course and no requirements for on-campus activity.”  The course must be asynchronous with few to no synchronous meetings.  Due to the nature of the review rubric, it is not possible to certify synchronous online courses.

Quality Hybrid Course

The QHC certificate recognizes quality design for EIU hybrid courses.  A hybrid course, as defined by EIU, is “a course which combines aspects of online and face-to-face instruction in a manner that reduces the number of face-to-face or traditional classroom meetings.”  The online portion of the course must be asynchronous. The review will include the online asynchronous portion of the course. Face-to-face and synchronous components of the course are not directly reviewed.  (Note:  A course that began as a traditional face-to-face course and was later moved online or vice versa is not considered a hybrid course.)

Course Requirements

  • The course must have been designed and developed in D2L Brightspace by the EIU instructor that taught the course.
  • The course must have been previously taught in the same modality (online or hybrid) for a minimum of two semesters with at least one of those course offerings within the last three years prior to certification giving the faculty member time to "fine tune" the course and to make management and content improvements.
  • The course must be fully developed containing all content and activities necessary to complete the course.
  • The reviewers must be able to access all content within the course (including any third party or external content.)

Application Process

  • EIU faculty interested in more information about the application process and the Quality Matters Higher Education Rubric should submit the QOC Inquiry Form.
  • After the inquiry form is received, the faculty member will be given access to the QOC site in D2L containing information about the certification process and the Quality Matters Standards.
  • The instructor may choose to complete a Quality Matters Self Review before submitting the course for the internal review.
  • The instructor must complete the Course Review Application form and the EIU Quality Online Course Review Worksheet on the Quality Matters website to submit the course for the internal review.
  • Courses may be submitted for the certificate at any time during the year.
  • An instructor may submit no more than two courses (online or hybrid) in an academic year.

Selection Criteria

  • To earn the certificate, the course must successfully meet the minimum requirement for the Quality Matters Higher Education Rubric in an internal review conducted by the FDIC.
    • by earning a score of at least 85 out of 100 (85%)
    • AND all 23 Essential Standards must be met.
  • Courses will be reviewed by the Director of Learning Innovation and the Instructional Designer from the FDIC.
    • The scores will be averaged to determine if a score of 85% has been met.
    • Both reviewers must verify that all 23 essential standards have been met.
  • The review process is intended to be diagnostic and collegial, not evaluative and judgmental.
  • If a course does not meet the minimum requirement, the course may be revised by the instructor and resubmitted for review.

Certificate Expiration

  • The certificate issued will be dated the month and year issued, for example, Quality Online Course, issued July 2021.
  • After three years from the issue date, the instructor may apply for recertification if all course requirements have been met.


  • The instructor will be awarded a certificate for the Quality Online Course or the Quality Hybrid Course. 
  • A badge will be awarded.
    Note: The certificate and badge are awarded to the instructor for that course and are not transferrable to any other instructor or course.
  • The course title, name of the instructor, certificate, issue date, and department will be listed on the FDIC website.
  • Certificate recipients will be recognized at the annual FDIC COOL (Celebrating Opportunities for Online Learning) Awards Ceremony held each Spring beginning Spring 2022.
  • Courses and instructors may be considered for future awards administered by the FDIC.
  • Courses or course components may be highlighted on FDIC webpages or in future activities such as a workshop or webinar.
  • Certificate recipients may be asked to present at future FDIC webinars or workshops



Julie Lockett at 
Director of Learning Innovation
Faculty Development and Innovation Center

Related Pages

Contact Information

Dr. Michael Gillespie, Director, FDIC

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Julie Lockett, Director of Learning Innovation

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Dr. Lu Ding,
Instructional Designer

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Faculty Development and Innovation Center

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