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Distance Educators attend the inaugural Peer Online Course Review Training for the California Community Colleges Online Education Initaitive.The recent two-day, inaugural California Community Colleges (CCC) Online Education Initiative (OEI) Peer Online Course Review Training was a huge success, according to the event’s organizers.


Thirty distance education professionals from across the state, representing 28 community colleges, were chosen from more than 300 applicants to be the first group of course reviewers to participate in the training that was held Oct. 3 and Oct. 4 at the Sheraton Marina Hotel in San Diego.

“We felt that bringing people together in a face-to-face environment instead of online would be valuable to build a strong community and enhanced experience,” said Anna Stirling, @ONE educational project coordinator, and co-organizer of the peer review workshop. “It was great to see all the different insights that came from faculty from all different disciplines, all different areas of the state, all different walks of life—the diversity in the room was phenomenal.”

Course Design Rubric ‘Pushed and Prodded’

The two-day workshop included a thorough review and discussion related to the OEI Course Design Rubric that has become the standard for the development of exceptional online courses. Since the rubric was approved in July by the OEI Steering Committee, DE Coordinators, administrators and faculty across the system have started to employ the course-design standard at a variety of colleges. The rubric can be found at via the Professional Development link and is available for anyone to use.

"Pushing and Prodding"  the OEI Course Design Rubric“As online leaders and pioneers, we wanted everyone to have a chance to look at, think about, and test the rubric,” explained event co-organizer Lené Whitely-Putz, @ONE online teaching certification program coordinator. “Their interpretation of the rubric was an important part of the workshop. The group worked together in an amazing collaboration that pushed and prodded the rubric, but also developed a rich understanding of what we, as a team of colleagues, expect from robust online courses.”

“It was a great way to get to know people from all over the state and put a face to folks I have been working with on projects for years,” said online course reviewer Alexis Alexander, distance education coordinator at Merritt College. “The training was really well organized and hit all the right notes in terms of working with us professionals who are passionate about online course design and delivery.”

“We all felt honored to have been selected to participate,” added online course reviewer Melissa Colón, distance education coordinator at Columbia College. “There was a sense that something special and important was taking place that will change the face of distance education for the state of California and for our students.”

OEI Executive Director Pat James, OEI Professional Development Work Group Director Michele Pilati and @ONE Educational Project Coordinator Micah Orloff were also on hand to assist with facilitation of the workshop.

News about initiative progress is available from the OEI website at and announcements are distributed via the OEI listserv.

Sandoval Chagoya is the TechEDge Executive Editor, Director of Outreach and Communications
for the Online Education Initiative, and a Project Manager for the
California Community Colleges Technology Center and the California Virtual Campus.