This is a guest post by Faculty Distance Learning Coordinator Carol Impara

laptop computer on a desk with Canvas dashboard and yellow quality review ribbon

You’ve been teaching online for a while now.  Do you ever wonder if your course is all it could be?  If you are teaching a fully online, asynchronous course, Mt. SAC’s Distance Learning program invites you to have your course “quality reviewed” to align it with the California Virtual Campus (CVC) Course Design Rubric.

The CVC Professional Development Workgroup established a method of ensuring that “students in the California Community College system have access to high-quality online courses designed to support student learning and success” (  The CVC-created Course Design Rubric ensures advanced course design, regular and effective contact, and adherence to stringent accessibility guidelines in asynchronous online courses.  Research shows that course design has a significant positive impact on students’ learning and satisfaction for all students including historically underrepresented students (Joosten & Cusatis, 2019).

Align your Course to Improve Performance & Increase Visibility in CVC

Courses undergo a peer review process:  Peer Online Course Review (POCR – pronounced “poker”).  POCR-aligned courses are identified as “Quality Reviewed” in the California-wide Student Exchange (, and have been found to perform at “+4.9 percentage points above the statewide average for online success” ( Aligned courses are also listed first in the CVC online course listing. This means students see these classes first, along with the “quality reviewed” icon designation when they search the CVC.

laptop computer with Canvas dashboard and POCR symbol of a red poker chip surrounded by words peer online course review

Mt. SAC is a Local POCR Certified Campus

Earn a Stipend for Completing the POCR Review Process by June!

Mt. SAC has a certified “local POCR” team consisting of trained reviewers who are experienced in teaching online at Mt. SAC.  That means that you will be working with your peers!  This year, we have received a special grant that will supply a small stipend to professors who complete the Quality Review process by June 2022, and that also allowed us to hire an accessibility specialist to help speed the process of getting a course aligned.  Accessibility fixes have traditionally been the most time-consuming tasks to accomplish.  Our knowledgeable and courteous accessibility specialist will help get a course up to Quality Reviewed standards quickly!

Attend a Session & Learn More about Course Review Nov 5

If you would like more information about this process, please join Mt. SAC’s local POCR team on Friday, November 5 from 10-11 a.m. for an online orientation to the CVC Course Design Rubric called “Make Your Course Exemplary with CVC Course Review.”  You can sign up for this in POD Connect.

Learn more about going through the local POCR review process on the CVC Local POCR website.


Academic Senate for California Community Colleges. (2021, April). Effective student-centered online education using CVC-OEI Online Course Design Rubric and local POCR. 

Hutto, P. N. (2017). The relationship between student retention in community college courses and faculty employment status. Community College Journal of Research and Practice, 41(1), 4–17. 

Joosten, T. & Cusatis, R. (2019). A cross-institutional study of instructional characteristics and student outcomes: Are quality indicators of online courses able to predict student success? Online Learning, 23(4), 354-378.

Do you have questions or comments about participating in the POCR review process? Want to learn more about the CVC’s student exchange? Wonder how to become a Peer Online Course Reviewer? Leave a comment below! 

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