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About Virginia Western :: College Policies

I-9: Distance Learning Peer Review Process

Policy Number: I-9
Last Reviewed: October 11, 2012
Responsible Dept.: Vice President of Academic & Student Affairs

A signed copy of this policy is available in the President's Office.


To establish a process for the Peer Review of Asynchronous Distance Learning Courses

Policy c. Asynchronous Distance Learning Courses - In the case of asynchronous distance learning course offerings or hybrid courses that employ a mix of traditional contact hours and learning activities with students and faculty separated by time and place, colleges must demonstrate through faculty peer review that content and competency coverage and student outcomes are equivalent to those of traditional sections of the same class. In the event the only section of the course being taught in the VCCS is an asynchronous or hybrid course, faculty peer review will be employed to confirm that content and competency coverage and student outcomes are appropriate for the course credits awarded.


The distance learning course peer review process will be conducted through a committee, with each course being reviewed by three faculty reviewers.

Purpose of the Peer Review
  • Continuous improvement in a supportive environment and not for evaluation purposes
  • Create a vision and purpose for quality assurance for online course
  • Create faculty-centered, peer-reviewed quality assurance process
  • Positively impact student learning
Establish Peer Review Teams
  • The chair of the Peer Review committee for each course will serve as the Coordinator of the Peer Review process for that course.
  • Each course will be reviewed by three faculty reviewers. This number includes the Coordinator.
  • Course reviewers will be selected on a volunteer basis or recommended by school deans.
  • To maintain transparency, course reviewers will not review anonymously, but will sign their comments once the reviews are completed.
  • Notification of team members would be sent to all involved parties
Selection of Courses to be Reviewed
  • Every Fall or Spring semester, about 120 distance learning courses are offered at VWCC. To maintain a manageable number of courses in the peer review process, a minimum of ten percent of distance and hybrid courses per semester will be selected from each school for review. Courses would be selected on a volunteer basis as much as possible; additional courses would be selected by the deans as needed.
  • All distance learning faculty members will be given the Distance Learning Peer Review Form for reference.
Access to the Course Being Reviewed

The peer review group members will access the courses to be reviewed using a generic account with role of course builder which has no access to Grade Center: vwtrain01.

Review Process
  • Each faculty will review courses within the time frame as established by the peer review committee.
  • Reviews will be forwarded to the faculty member once the reviews are completed.
  • Faculty who wish to respond formally to the peer review should submit the responses within two weeks. These will be returned to the committee chair, and added to the review documents.
  • The completed review documents will be gathered by the chair of the peer review committee and forwarded to the Institutional Effectiveness Office to keep on file.
Peer Review Criteria

Peer review of distance learning courses offers faculty the opportunity to receive constructive feedback regarding their online classes from fellow faculty members. As you review each course, please use these statements to guide your responses.

  1. Consider the organization and structure of the course and offer feedback regarding these aspects.
  2. Consider the opportunities the course and instructor provide for communication and feedback.
  3. Examine the ways in which the content is presented and provide feedback.
  4. Explore the course orientation and provide feedback.
  5. Consider the ways that student work is assessed in the course and offer feedback.
  6. What is the greatest strength of this course as you see it?
  7. What additional suggestion(s) for improvement can you offer?
  8. The Faculty Member who created the course will be given the opportunity to respond to 1-7.

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