GaAs/AlGaAs quantum wells (QWs), selectively disordered using an AlAs native oxide and thermal annealing technique, were studied using spectrally, spatially, and temporally resolved cathodoluminescence (CL). The spectral shift of the QW luminescence was determined as a function of annealing temperature in the oxide and nonoxide regions. Time-resolved CL was used to assess the impact of defects and the built-in field near the oxide/nonoxide transition region on the carrier lifetime. Spatially resolved CL spectroscopy was used to examine changes in the QW luminescence intensity near the transition region. The carrier lifetime was found to increase in the transition region, owing to the enhanced spatial separation of electrons and holes in this region. From CL images and line scans of three samples annealed at different temperatures, a partial dead region is found between oxide and nonoxide regions. Details of the native oxide formation are discussed.