Developing Faculty Experts: Starting with Course Reviews

Concurrent Session 2

Session Materials

Brief Abstract

A collaborative peer review program for online courses can cultivate expertise across campus and support a culture of quality online teaching. Learn to utilize a collaborative course review program as a source of professional development and to promote faculty leadership. Program structure, scalability, incentives, and recruitment strategies will be discussed.


Audrey Cutler is the Senior Instructional Designer at Towson University's Office of Academic Innovation. She has taught and consulted with faculty since 2000. She co-developed her university's customized course review process and online certificate program in online facilitation and course design. Additionally, she has coordinated faculty communities focused on Universal Design for Learning and online and blended teaching, as well as contributed to accessibility initiatives.

Extended Abstract

In order to ensure the quality of our large state university’s online courses, our faculty center called upon the expertise of experienced online instructors. While initially, this project was intended to focus on the review of courses, this review process became a significant segment of our professional development initiative for faculty.

We focused on a collaborative peer review program with abundant opportunities for professional development to both cultivate expertise across campus and support a growing culture of quality online teaching.  As a result, our faculty have disseminated best practices in online teaching and learning to colleagues in their disciplines and introduced a shared language about quality, course alignment, and student engagement across campus.

Using a growing pool of faculty experts as reviewers, review leaders, and professional development facilitators, we are creating a scalable model that allows us to support the increasing demand for the review of online courses. 

As part of this program, we require faculty to earn an internationally-recognized peer reviewer certification; this portable credential doubles as an incentive for participation in the program. 

Faculty participate together in an in-person and virtual community through networking opportunities and hone their skills through ongoing training. Faculty who have excelled in this process are then invited to lead reviews and facilitate online workshops for colleagues. 

Presenters will discuss the structure of the program, recruitment strategies, and ongoing program enhancements.  

Participants will be able to: 

  • Strategically use an internal review process to promote professional development. 
  • Identify strategies for cultivating faculty leadership.