Ensuring Online Learning Quality: Perspectives from the State University of New York

Kristyn Muller, Kim A Scalzo, Alexandra M Pickett, Lisa Dubuc, Lawrence Dugan, Ryan McCabe, William Pelz, Donna Simiele


As online learning continues to grow within higher education, it is important for colleges and universities to ensure that they are delivering quality online courses and programs. This paper will discuss the evaluation and assessment of online learning from an institutional perspective. Open SUNY, the system-wide office of online education that supports and services the State University of New York (SUNY), has developed a process using the Online Learning Consortium’s (OLC) Quality Scorecard for the Administration of Online Programs to help SUNY campuses examine and improve the quality of online learning. The first half of this paper will describe the development of that tool and the implementation of the Open SUNY Institutional Readiness Process. The second half of this paper will explain the OLC Quality Scorecard standards for the Evaluation & Assessment section and provide examples of best practices from four different SUNY community colleges.


assessment; evaluation; administration

Full Text:



Bull, K. Z. (2015). Student characteristics that predict persistence and performance in online courses and the face-to-face equivalents at a four-year private northeastern university. Doctoral Dissertation, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY.

Jaschik, S., & Lederman, D. (2018a). 2018 survey of college and university chief academic officers: A study by Inside Higher Ed and Gallup. Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved from https://www.insidehighered.com/booklet/2018-survey-college-and-university-chief-academic-officers.

Merisotis, J. P., & Phipps, R. A. (2000). Quality on the line: Benchmarks for success in internet-based distance education. Institute for Higher Education Policy. Retrieved from http://www.ihep.org/Publications/publications-detail.cfm?id=69.

Middle States Commission on Higher Education. (2014). Standards for accreditation and requirements for affiliation (13th ed.). Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Retrieved from https://www.msche.org/documents/RevisedStandardsFINAL.pdf

Seaman, J.E., Allen, I.E., & Seaman, J. (2018). Grade increase: tracking distance education in the United States. Babson Survey Research Group. Retrieved from http://www.onlinelearningsurvey.com/highered.html.

Shelton, K. (2010). A quality scorecard for the administration of online education programs. Online Learning, 14(4). Retrieved from


Shelton, K., Saltsman, G. Holstrom, L., & Pederson, K. (2014). Quality scorecard 2014 handbook: Criteria for excellence in the administration of online programs. Online Learning Consortium.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.24059/olj.v24i2.2004

Copyright (c) 2020 Kristyn Muller, Kim A Scalzo, Alexandra M Pickett, Lisa Dubuc, Lawrence Dugan, Ryan McCabe, William Pelz, Donna Simiele

License URL: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/