Scorecarding: A First Step towards Evaluating Online Courses and Faculty

Concurrent Session 2

Session Materials

Brief Abstract

In this session, we will share experiences with course design and peer observation scorecards based on appropriate online learning heuristics for a fully online MBA program. We will perform active demonstrations of each scorecard and discuss their development, roll-out, faculty feedback, and potential impacts for tenure and promotion.

Sponsored By


Gregory Smith is a Professor and Chair of the Business Analytics & Information Systems Department in the Williams College of Business at Xavier University. Dr. Smith holds a B.S. in Mathematics, a M.A. in Actuarial Science, and a Ph.D. in Business Information Technology from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

Additional Authors

I teach Information Systems and have taught online courses for the past 15 years.  My research interest is Accessibility.

Extended Abstract

As the number of online courses and programs continue to grow, so, too, does the need to properly assess course design and faculty who deliver online courses.  Recently, Xavier University in Cincinnati, OH launched several fully online programs, including a fast-growing online MBA program where dozens of courses were created and distributed in a short period of time by a wide array of faculty.  In fact, two sizeable events happened as a result of this growth.  First, the overall MBA program size nearly doubled in the last two years due to the fully online option.  Second, the number of MBA classes offered online has significantly eclipsed the number of in-person classes due to demand among all MBA students for online courses.  These events created an environment where many faculty in the College of Business are suddenly teaching online classes as part of their path to tenure and promotion.  Unfortunately, the course evaluation instruments employed to assess online teaching are not properly addressing quality and provide little-to-no appropriate feedback for review.  In many cases, the instruments for online are exactly the same as in-class instruments and provide some bizarre responses from students.  So, in an effort to build a better mouse trap, the Instructional Design Team at Xavier, in cooperation with business school faculty, developed several instruments capable of addressing quality for online course design and delivery which will provide feedback and artifacts for merit, tenure and promotion review.

In this session, we will introduce these home-grown scores cards for online course design and peer evaluation and show how they have been applied in the emerging online MBA program at Xavier University.  We will discuss the scorecard development, roll-out, feedback from a pilot study, and the role the instruments will play in the tenure and promotion process.

During our session, we plan to perform a demonstration of each scorecard using our Learning Management System, Canvas, as the backdrop.  For course design, we will perform a live scoring of a course and discuss the score outcomes.  For course observation, we will use a point-in-time approach to review and rate an instructor and discuss the score outcomes.

The three presenters represent three distinct views for this project.  Within the team, we have representation from course design, program development and faculty review.  This collective perspective has allowed the initiative to evolve into a position of strength that can now be used throughout the University when evaluating online teaching.  Each will address their role in the process and provide their thoughts on the effectiveness of the tools.

Attendees should, at the conclusion of the session, be able to download a copy of each of the scorecards, easily adapt to their needs, and utilize them in their own programs.  This session would benefit anyone who is in need of evaluation tools for online courses and the faculty who teach them.  It will be applicable to all audience levels.