Course Design Rubric

Courses that are part of the Online Education Initiative (OEI) are required to meet standards relating to course design, instruction, and accessibility. The following course design rubric assists faculty in designing and teaching online courses that promote a quality learning environment.

The full rubric

Below is a light version of the rubric prepared by Aloha Sargent, TLC Co-Coordinator, and OEI course reviewer. Many of the items are easy “fixes” that can have an immediate impact on the quality of your course.

A. Course Design
Objectives, Content Presentation, Learner Engagement

  • Objectives are made available within the syllabus and each individual learning module
  • Content is “chunked” in distinct modules, with intuitive/logical progression, and resources provided where they will be used in the course (reduce the “labor-intensity of learning”)
  • Clearly labeled tutorial materials for Canvas and the course are included
  • Learners have the opportunity to give anonymous feedback to the instructor regarding course design/content both during course delivery and after course completion

B. Interaction and Collaboration
Communication Strategies, Development of Learning Community, Interaction Logistics

  • Contact information for the instructor is easy to find and includes multiple forms of communication
  • Expected response time for email replies (or other communication tool) is included
  • Instructors initiate contact prior to the course and at regular intervals during the course
  • Student-to-student interactions are required, and students are also encouraged to initiate communication with the instructor

C. Assessment Expectations, Assessment Design
Grading rubrics, descriptive criteria, and/or examples of “good” work are provided to illustrate desired outcomes

  • Assessment activities occur frequently throughout the course, and multiple types of assessments are used (projects, quizzes, discussions, etc.)
  • Opportunities for student self-assessment are included, and provide feedback that allows students to seek additional help when necessary

D. Learner Support
Supplemental Software, Course/Institutional Policies & Support

  • Clear explanations of required and optional software are provided within the course, with links to where it can be captured and installed
  • Institutional policies (i.e. plagiarism policies) and links to institutional

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