Online Course Review and Certification Program (OCRC)

The Online Course Review & Certification Program (OCRC), developed by Online@JSU, officially launched in January 2023 after undergoing an extensive pilot process. This new initiative serves to achieve the following goals:

  1. Provide a university-wide, standardized process of developing online courses that leads to course certification
  2. Comply with federal guidelines provided by the U.S. Department of Education for online (distance education) courses
  3. Provide a framework to encourage faculty to use best practices and strategies when engaging with and teaching students in online courses/ programs.
  4. Collaborate with JSU faculty as subject matter experts
  5. Create an apparatus for continuous course review and evaluation of course effectiveness
  6. Improve student satisfaction with online courses and programs at JSU
  7. Increase student retention in online courses and programs at JSU
  8. Create student enrollment and recruitment opportunities

Review and enhancement of courses are based on several aspects, including:

  • Best practices in course design
  • Best practices in course build
  • Best practices in teaching online courses
  • Local JSU requirements at either the university level, school level, departmental level, or program level
  • Federal guidelines

Read and review the "Online Course Certification Guide: A Guide for Administrators and Faculty" to learn more about the OCRC Program.

The Course Design Workbook: A Guide for Faculty was developed to assist faculty in preparing online courses for a successful review and certification. The workbook is divided into the following chapters:

Step 1: Learning Objectives

Step 2: Assessment & Learning Activities

Step 3: Regular & Substantive Interaction (RSI)

Step 4: Creating a Course Map

Step 5: Course Review & Development Options

Appendix A: Worksheets

Appendix B: Worksheet Samples

Appendix C: Course Review Rubric (Instrument) - No Longer Applicable

Added September 2023 - Course Review Rubric (Current, Up-to-Date - September 18, 2023)

More Resources

OCRC Workshops are offered throughout the academic year and are delivered online through Microsoft Teams. 

Register for a Workshop

Archived Workshop (Video) Sessions from Fall 2022

Canvas Course Packages

  • Created by Online@JSU
  • Intended to help you get started in developing your course

Online Course Review Requests

Instructors can submit an online course for review at any time. A successful review certifies a course for three (3) years. Instructors are expected to do the following prior to requesting a review:

  1. Review the Course Design Workbook & Certification Rubric.
  2. Make all reasonable efforts to prepare your course for review prior to submission.

Request a Course Review

Online Program Requests

Deans, department chairs/heads, and program chairs/directors can submit a request for a complete program review at any time.

Request a Program Review

Online Programs Currently Under Review

  • Master of Science in Sport Management - Spring 2023
  • Master of Science in Education (Physical Education) - Spring 2023

Online Programs Scheduled for Review

  • Master of Science in Manufacturing Systems Technology - Summer 2023/Fall 2023 (Review Begins May 16, 2023)
  • Bachelor of Science in Emergency Management - Spring 2023/Summer 2023
  • Master of Science in Emergency Management - Spring 2023/Summer 2023
  • Master of Science in Education - Early Childhood Education P-3 - Spring 2023/Summer 2023/Fall 2023
  • Master of Science in Education - Early Childhood Special Education P-3 - Spring 2023/Summer 2023/Fall 2023
  • Master of Science in Education - Reading Specialist P-12 - Spring 2023/Summer 2023/Fall 2023
  • Master of Science in Education - Elementary Education K-6 - Spring 2023/Summer 2023/Fall 2023

* Scheduled program review timelines may be adjusted due to a number of variables.

  1. How is the Certified Online Instructor Course (COI) connected to the OCRC?
    • The COI is an optional professional development course that certifies instructors. The OCRC is a program that certifies courses
  2. How long does a certification last?
    • Once a course is certified, the certification lasts for three years. Once this period concludes, the course will be reviewed again.
  3. Is this program for my course?
    • The OCRC is for ALL online courses at JAX state, including synchronous and asynchronous courses.
  4. Am I required to attend the OCRC workshops?
    • No, the workshops are optional. All information needed can be found in the Online Course Certification Guide and the Online Course Design Workbook.
  5. When are the OCRC workshops offered?
    • Currently, the workshops are offered once a semester via Microsoft Teams. All workshops are recorded and archived, however.
  6. Can I meet with an instructional designer to discuss this process and my online course(s)? 
    • Absolutely! We will be glad to meet with you. Email us at We can meet in person or online in Microsoft Teams.
  7. Does this process infringe on my academic freedom as an instructor?
    • Absolutely NOT! At no point in time will the process require an instructor to teach content or exclude content. YOU are the expert in your field.
  8. Can I schedule a workshop or series of workshops specifically for my program or department? 
  9. How long does it take to complete an online program review?
    • The timeline varies from program to program and depends on a number of variables. 

Please direct all questions about the OCRC to Online@JSU at  or 256-782-8172. Our office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to Noon, and 1:00 pm to 4:30 pm.