Following the checklist, you’ll find a more detailed explanation of why these items signal course readiness, and what we are looking for in a quality online class.
You can also Download the CBU Online Course Checklist PDF here.
CBU Online Course Checklist
1) Course Overview
Course syllabus posted and accessible by student
Course calendar set
Course Support Information provided
Course Questions forum
Virtual Office Hours registered
Academic Services contacts
2) Course Assessments
Course has multiple ways of assessing learning
Assessments tie back to at least one learning outcome
All learning outcomes are assessed
Clear instructions for each assessment
All assessments have established due dates
3) Course Content
Content is easily accessible by student
Delivery varies through course (video, written, audio, etc.)
Content connects to learning outcomes
All digital content accessible
Video length follows best practices
Quality of digital content enables student engagement
4) Course Design
Course is navigable by all students
Course content and structure is coherently organized
Explanations and Definitions
The following is an explanation of expectations and definitions. A high quality online course will follow these guidelines. These guidelines were developed primarily from two resources: the Quality Matters Course Review rubric and the Online Learning Consortium’s Scorecard. The OLET team stands ready to help you in all of these areas and is here to alleviate concerns and barriers involving successful creation of a quality online course.
Our desire is that you have a good experience and are able to do what you do best – teach your students without the interference of technical glitches or problems that inhibit learning for your students. Following these guidelines is one of the best ways to ensure a positive learning experience for your students. As always, if you need any assistance, please contact the OLET team through either email or phone.
Email: OLET@CBU.EDU Phone: 901.321.4004
1) Course Overview
a) Course Introduction
i. Professor provides a welcome video to introduce self to students
ii. Professor provides a mini-biography in the “About Your Instructor” page
iii. Course Overview with explicit instructions for “getting started” and a description of the course structure are available on the course homepage.
iv. Course purpose (what can be found or addressed in this course; what is in it for them) found in both/either syllabus or overview page
v. Syllabus available for download
vi. Syllabus contains all necessary pieces, including textbooks with ISBN, other technology required, course assignments, other policies including grading scheme and participation expectation. All extraneous fees associated with the course, such as additional fees for remote proctoring or technology fees are disclosed at the time of course registration and included in the syllabus area of the LMS classroom.
vii. Text and materials (graphics, visuals) are relevant, current, aligned to course, and not distracting.
viii. Guidelines for written work if written assignments are required (resource citing, grammar expectations, etc.)
ix. Academic honesty and plagiarism policies are identified and available to the student.
x. Online gradebook setup
b) Course Calendar Set
i. Modules titled and/or dated
ii. Due dates posted
c) Course Support Information provided
i. Course Questions forum is available for student questions regarding the course
ii. Virtual Office Hours registered – Instructions and contact information for contacting the instructor is provided and is easily accessible
iii. Academic Services contacts (If CBU Online template used, these should be automatically in place)
2) Course Assessment
a) Course has multiple ways of assessing learning
b) Assessments tie back to at least one learning outcome
c) All learning outcomes are assessed
i. SLO’s are representative of the knowledge, skills, and attitudes that a learner should acquire over the span of the course (approximately 5-7 Student Learning Outcomes for undergraduate courses).
ii. Each module, or “grouping” of content should be defined by Student Learning Outcomes.
d) Assessments are presented in a logically sequenced order.
e) Clear instructions for each assessment
f) Clear expectations for the outcome of assignment should be explained. Having a rubric will be very helpful to use for this purpose.
g) All assessments have established due dates
h) Additional measures for integrity of the student grade should be used either through protective measures within the test/assignment or through the use of plagiarism detection software, proctored exams, etc.
3) Course Content
a) Content is easily accessible by student
b) Delivery varies through course (video, written, audio, etc.)
c) Content connects to learning outcomes
d) All digital content accessible
e) Video length follows best practices
f) Quality of digital content enables student engagement
g) Materials and resources should not be obviously outdated; this may vary for some courses/disciplines. (e.g. – microfiche, film strip, etc.)
h) Open educational resources (OERs) are vetted and maintain the appropriate level of Creative Commons (CC) licensing (See OER Selection Checklist).
i) Course media is related and appropriate to the course topics. Course media should be of good visual and audio quality. Audio must be clearly understandable and if visual is important to content, must be easily understood.
j) Course media should generally not be obviously outdated and should be relevant to the current research and culture – this may vary for some courses/disciplines related to classical types of media presentations.
k) All digital materials are accessible within the course structure and all links or videos outside the course structure open in a separate window to make navigating back to the course intuitive and easy or are directly embedded in the classroom.
l) All course material inclusions including documents, eBooks, images, videos, etc.… are attributed back to the source/creator.
m) Course content should be appropriate for methodology (To ensure courses do not lose their interactivity, faculty are highly recommended to intersperse concise video lectures with graphics, activity, and/or discussion question(s), when appropriate.)
n) Video lectures follow best practices, limited to an optimal length of 6 minutes with a maximum length of 10 minutes.
4) Course Design
a) Course is navigable by all students
b) Course content and structure is coherently organized
c) Modules have learning activities
d) All activities have necessary and understandable instructions with clearly identified locations and due dates and times for assignments
e) Learning activities may include discussion forums, team projects, case studies, presentations, research papers, capstone projects, mentoring, reflections, internships, skill demonstrations, brief activities and assignments, self-report assessments, surveys, etc.
f) The course includes at least two different types of interaction (engagement): a. Peer-to-peer; and, b. instructor-student interaction (using discussions, team projects, presentations, demonstrations, etc.).
g) Course pages are visually consistent and effective in design
h) Course pages are functionally consistent and effective
i) Includes adequate navigational directions for the overall course that students can follow for course readings, assignments, and general as well as specific expectations of students.