Using collaborative course development to achieve online course quality standards


  • Ining Tracy Chao Royal Roads University
  • Tami Saj Royal Roads University
  • Doug Hamilton Royal Roads University



Course Development, Course Development Team, Online Course Quality, Quality Standards, Instructional Design Standards, Distance Education, Online Learning, Online Education


The issue of quality is becoming front and centre as online distance education moves into the mainstream of higher education. Many believe collaborative course development is the best way to design quality online courses. This research uses a case study approach to probe into the collaborative course development process and the implementation of quality standards at a Canadian university. Four cases are presented to discuss the effects of the faculty member/instructional designer relationship on course quality, as well as the issues surrounding the use of quality standards as a development tool. Findings from the study indicate that the extent of collaboration depends on the degree of course development and revision required, the nature of the established relationship between the faculty member and designer, and the level of experience of the faculty member. Recommendations for the effective use of quality standards using collaborative development processes are provided.

Author Biographies

Ining Tracy Chao, Royal Roads University

Ining Tracy Chao is an instructional designer in the Centre for Teaching and Educational Technologies at Royal Roads University. She collaborates with faculty members to develop and teach online courses. She has an MA in Educational Technology from Concordia University, Canada, and Certificate in Management Skills from Royal Roads University, Canada. Ining has been involved in distance and online learning since 1995. Her experience ranges from TV production, print-based learning materials, to e-learning courseware. She has published papers in technology and language learning, ICT and education, Learning Management System, and course quality standards.

Tami Saj, Royal Roads University

Tami Saj is the Faculty Support Associate in the Centre for Teaching and Educational Technologies at Royal Roads University. Having joined RRU in September 2003, her work focuses in the areas of faculty development and quality assurance. She has an extensive background in post-secondary and public sector administration, research, and teaching. Prior to Royal Roads, she worked in various capacities at the University of Victoria, and as a Telecommunications Assistant with BC’s Ministry of Environment. With an Honours BA in Political Science, and having completed the coursework for an MA in Political Science, she is also a certified Executive Coach.

Doug Hamilton, Royal Roads University

Doug Hamilton is the Chair of Faculty Development at Royal Roads University. Prior to this role, he served as Associate Dean of the Organizational Leadership and Learning Division as well as Director of the MA Program in Leadership and Director of the MA Program in Distributed Learning. His scholarly interests include research into learning innovations that bridge the gap between academic study and the workplace, such as action learning, authentic assessment, and problem-based learning. He’s particularly interested in supporting and engaging in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. He has a PhD from the University of Toronto and an MA from the University of Saskatchewan as well as over 15 years of experience in educational planning, research, and technology.



How to Cite

Chao, I. T., Saj, T., & Hamilton, D. (2010). Using collaborative course development to achieve online course quality standards. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 11(3), 106–126.



Research Articles