Criterion 1: Course Introduction and Overview
Instructions make clear how to get started and where to find course components.
- Course name & number are prominently displayed at the top of the course.
- Professor contact info. is clearly stated at the top of the course.
- There is a self-introduction by the instructor.
- Learners are asked to introduce themselves to the class.
- Instructions make clear how to get started and where to find various course components. Learners are introduced to the purpose and structure of the course (e.g. Welcome Video).
- Netiquette for online discussions, email, and other forms of communication are clearly stated.
- Course and/or institutional policies with which the learner is expected to comply are clearly stated, or a link to current policies is provided.
- Prerequisite knowledge in the discipline and/or any required competencies are clearly stated.
- Instructions in the LMS make it clear to learners that the course is a blended course, with both online and on-ground components and activities.
- The purpose of both the online and on-ground portions of the course is clearly explained to learners to help them understand how and why both formats are important to the learning process.
- The course schedule lists both the online and on-ground portions of the course and clearly specifies the dates, times, and locations of on-ground class meetings.
Criterion 2: Learner Support
Materials provide an explanation of the institution’s resources that attribute to student success and how to access them.
- A clear description of the institution’s support services (e.g., disability office, tech support, portal, bookstore) and how to obtain them is provided, including contact information for key personnel).
- Links to academic support services and how to obtain them are provided (e.g., locations, operating hours, and contact information for proctored test sites).
- A link to the institution's library is provided, including how to gain access to library materials and databases, and how to contact a librarian.
- A link to the institution's accessibility policy, if a policy exists, is provided.
- A Course Verification Choice is provided, as appropriate to the course.
- A Student Statement of Academic Integrity Quiz is provided, as appropriate to the course.
- Institutional policies, especially those specific to online (Federal Attendance, TEACH Act, and Withdrawal) are provided.
Criterion 3: Navigation & Ease of Use
Course navigation facilitates ease of use.
- Assignments and discussion forums include all resources (rubric, points, due date, clear directions, etc.) necessary for completing and submitting work at point of need.
- Consistent layout and design are employed throughout, making instructional materials, tools, and media easy to locate from anywhere in the course. Design elements are used repetitively, increasing predictability and intuitiveness.
- Learning activities are presented in a logical learning progression.
- Assignments are clearly marked whether they are to be completed online or in the on-ground classroom.
Criterion 4: Outcomes & Objectives
The course learning outcomes & objectives are aligned, are stated in measurable terms, and can be assessed at the appropriate level.
- The course and/or program outcomes are written in measurable terms, i.e., they begin with measurable action verbs.
- The module/unit learning objectives are written in measurable terms.
- The module/unit learning objectives are aligned with the course and/or program outcomes.
- All measurable verbs correlate to the appropriate level on Bloom’s Taxonomy.
- Outcomes and objectives are available online for all learning activities.
Criterion 5: Assessment & Measurement
Assessments measure the stated learning objectives.
- The course grading policy is stated clearly.
- Points/percentages for all assignments are given along with a course total.
- The LMS gradebook is visible to all learners.
- Specific and descriptive criteria are provided for the evaluation of learners’ work and are tied to the course grading policy.
- Each module/unit learning objective aligns to at least one learning activity/assessment. The activities/assessments measure performance at the same Bloom’s level as the corresponding objective.
- The requirements for learner interaction are clearly stated, e.g., discussion forum includes post dates, reply dates, word count and number of replies expected.
- A link to a complete credit hour compliance sheet is provided, showing appropriate seat & homework hours for the number of credit hours being offered.
Criterion 6: Presence, Community, & Active Learning
Course includes purposeful opportunities for the instructor’s presence to be known.
- Learning activities provide opportunities for interaction, support active learning, and create a sense of community.
The instructor’s plan for prompt response times and assignment feedback is clearly stated.
- Instructor presence is planned throughout the course. Examples:
- Welcome video
- Weekly videos
- Synchronous opportunities
- Discussions and other collaborative activities are adequately paced, providing ample time for substantive dialogue.
- The course provides collaborative opportunities for the students to build community, e.g., peer reviews, group discussions, group projects, team problem-solving.
- Activities provide purposeful interaction and engagement among learners, instructor and content.
- A variety of active learning opportunities are provided, e.g., PDAS (Prepare, Discover, Analyze, Share) strategy.
Criterion 7: Technology & Course Materials
Technologies and materials are readily obtainable, current, and promote active learning.
- Technologies align with assignment and course objectives and support active learning, e.g., real-time collaboration apps, webinars, virtual reality, wikis, animations, games.
- All required technologies (e.g., hardware, software, plugins) are easily obtainable, through download, purchase, or other means.
- Directions for obtaining required technologies are provided.
- Course materials contain minimal errors in spelling, grammar, punctuation, word choice, and syntax.
- Document and page formatting is professional and consistent.
- All course materials are current.
- All links are active.
- Course content contains a balanced mix of text, images, audio and video.
- Instructions make clear which materials are to be used on-ground and which are specific to the online portion of the course.
- The connection between online and on-ground activities is evident and clearly explained.
Criterion 8: Accessibility
The learning management system and course content are accessible to all learners.
- Text is clearly distinguishable from the background, giving proper color contrast.
- Font style and size are selected to maximize on-screen legibility; simpler fonts are chosen over more ornate fonts, and the number of font families is limited to one or two.
- Colors alone are not relied upon to convey meaning. The meaning is also conveyed in another way.
- Sufficient white space is provided to aid in comprehension and reduce eye fatigue that occurs with large blocks of text.
- Images are appropriately sized and can be viewed in their entirety without scrolling.
- Graphics and animations are used to enhance instructional materials and illustrate ideas without causing distractions.
- Links, files and images are labeled with easy-to-understand, self-describing, and meaningful names. Images used as links are also labeled with meaningful text (not merely “Click Here”).
- Files in the PDF format contain selectable and searchable text (not image scans) for screen reader compatibility.
- Videos and animations are accurately captioned.
- Audio recordings provide transcripts.
- Long videos and audio files (longer than 10 minutes) are broken into shorter segments.
- Multimedia elements provide user playback control.