Created by OCAP, Centers for Teaching and Learning, eLearning Design Services
Structure & Purpose
The IU Online Course Quality Checklist document outlines the essential elements an online instructor should check before opening their online course to students. The checklist is divided into four aspects of course design:
- Course Orientation and Policies
- Universal Design for Learning and Interaction
In these sections, instructors are prompted to check if they have included select features in their online course that add up to provide a quality learning environment to our online students.
This checklist is not comprehensive. It is a starting point for discussion regarding quality assurance between you and your campus Center for Teaching and Learning. We encourage you to use this document for a self-review of your online course and hope that it will be a stepping-stone as you consider taking your online course through the QM-certification process.
The target audience for this checklist are all online instructors, deans and program coordinators at Indiana University. This checklist also links to the following useful resources that are freely available to IU faculty:
- IU Canvas Studio
- IU QM Syllabus Template
- Teaching for Student Success – An Evidence-Based Approach Canvas Course
- Technology Tool Finder
- "How do I Make my Class Accessible?" document
- IU Interaction Standard
- Creating an Accessible Syllabus using Microsoft Word
Instructors are not limited to the resources above. We encourage faculty to work with their Center for Teaching and Learning for templates and other helpful resources, as well as one-on-one support. If you choose to use the QM Syllabus Template document for your course syllabus, you will meet 10 QM-standards out of the 42 standards.
If you have questions regarding this document or the QM-certification process, please consider reaching out to your Center for Teaching and Learning for additional information.
Course Orientation & Policies
- The course provides clear instructions on how to get started in the course, locating key course components like the syllabus and course schedule. You can find course homepage templates in Canvas Studio.
- Instructor and students introduce themselves at the beginning of the course.
- Syllabus posted in Canvas two weeks prior to beginning of the term with the following information. You are welcome to use the QM Syllabus Template as a resource.
- Course title and number.
- Semester, year, and course section.
- Credit hours.
- Name(s) of instructor(s) and contact information for instructor (e.g. email address, phone, Zoom room, office location, etc.).
- Office hours – indicate when and how you will grade/provide feedback, respond to student questions, meet with students online, etc.
- Course description from catalog.
- Demonstrate alignment between course & module learning outcomes and course assessments. A table is one method of demonstrating alignment.
- Link or reference with specific department, program, general education, or program outcomes, if applicable.
- Required and optional course materials (e.g. textbooks, webcam, microphone, software, etc.).
- Grading policy (breakdown of all assignments with point/percentage value for each, grading scale, expected instructor response time to grading assignments and providing feedback, and late work/makeup exam policy).
- Student participation and etiquette expectations (e.g. netiquette policy).
- Link to IT Helpdesk for student technology support.
- Minimum technology requirements for the course.
- Links to accessibility statements and privacy policies for course technologies.
- Links to campus-specific policies, including academic integrity, grade appeal, etc.
- Links to academic support services, such as a writing center or math tutoring.
- Link or statement regarding students with disabilities and acquiring accommodations.
- Explicit and consistent organization and pace of the course (e.g., use of modules with a weekly landing page and assignments located in modules). You can find examples of modules in Canvas Studio.
- Include estimated time students should spend on course material each week.
- Course learning outcomes are measurable, specific, stated from the student’s perspective, and align with the course description. You can learn more about measurable learning outcomes in the Course Design module within the Teaching for Student Success course.
- Module/unit-level learning outcomes are measurable, specific, and align with the course-level learning outcomes.
- Assignments in each module align with the module-level learning outcomes. You can learn more about alignment in the Course Design module – What is course alignment? in the Teaching for Student Success course.
- Grading criteria (e.g., rubrics) for each assignment are clearly stated. You can learn more about rubrics in the Assessment module within the Teaching for Student Success course.
- Instructional materials and learning activities in each module align with the module-level learning outcomes. You can learn more about alignment in the Course Design module within the Teaching for Student Success course.
- Technology tools support student achievement of stated learning outcomes and promote active learning. You can use the Technology Tool Finder to locate tools that support your learning outcomes.
Universal Design for Learning & Interaction
- Course design reflects Universal Design for Learning principles (e.g. heading styles used to create structure in pages and documents, accessible tables, alt-text or transcripts for images, closed captions or transcripts for videos, scripts for narrated PowerPoints). You can learn how to incorporate accessible course design in the How do I Make my Class Accessible? document. Also, see the Course Design module within the Teaching for Student Success course to learn more about Universal Design for Learning.
- A variety of instructional materials and technology tools used in the course (e.g. textbook, scholarly articles, videos, podcasts, simulations/games, etc.).
- Interaction statement that describes how and when the instructor will regularly interact with students in the course, including response time to emails and other communications. You can learn more about IU interaction requirements in the IU Interaction Standard document.
- Description of faculty-initiated interaction that will be substantive (relating to the course content) and regular (weekly). You can learn more about IU interaction requirements in the IU Interaction Standard document.
- Student-to-student interactions support active learning (e.g. discussions, group work, etc.). You can learn more about creating engaging interaction in the Effective Student-to-Student Interaction module within the Teaching for Student Success course (coming soon).