This checklist rubric has of course evolved over time, based on our experience, but also as a result of learning about standards and rubrics used by other institutions.
Some items were originally from the Cal State Chico rubric, some from the Quality Matters project developed at Maryland Online, some from an article that Shirley Waterhouse wrote for Educause Review, and some are entirely our own, with particular emphasis on issues and policies specific to FDU.

Other sets of standards, checklists or rubrics are available. Among them, we find the following of particular interest:
From Northern Arizona University

From Utah State University - USU Quality Course Standards

See also: Blackboard's Exemplary Course Program

Organization and Design Elements

Criterion Met
I.A.1. The course is broken into meaningful learning modules. In a typical semester-length course, modules may represent single class sessions, a week of classes, or units of two to three (or more) weeks duration.

I.A.2. Each learning module begins with a specification of observable learning objectives for that module.

I.A.3. The learning objectives for each module should be consistent with curriculum requirements for this course, as determined by the college Educational Policy Committee (EPC), and/or the program or department, as appropriate.

I.A.4 Each learning module includes a brief orienting statement or paragraph. This statement should explain to students how the readings, activities, and assessments are intended to help achieve the learning objectives.

I.A.5 Each module includes transitional material connecting it to the prior modules.

Total number of checks for Design: _

Content Elements

Criterion Met
I.B.1. Any content or learning activities are closely aligned to the learning objectives.

I.B.2. The content and activities foster student engagement with the material.

I.B.3 The content and activities are appropriately targeted to the level of the learners.

I.B.4. The content and activities convey high expectations to the students.

I.B.5. The content and activities help develop student critical thinking abilities.

I.B.6 The amount of time students are expected to spend on the content and activities is reasonable given the level of the class and student preparation.

I.B.7 In a blended class, at least 50% of the student’s time devoted to this class will be spent in online activities. In a fully online class, 100% of the student’s time devoted to this class will be spent online.

I.B.8 The content and activities foster the global education mission of FDU.

Total number of checks for Content:


Criterion Met
I.C.1 Any assessments (exams, quizzes, papers, lab reports, or other graded work) are closely aligned to the learning objectives, and to the module content and activities.

I.C.2 The grading scheme to be used for any assessment should be transparent to the students. For example, rubrics should be provided for any essays or other open-ended activities.

I.C.3 Assessments are designed to provide effective feedback to the students.

I.C.4 The types of assessments selected are appropriate for the distance learning environment (for example, a fully-online course).

I.C.5 The method required for submitting each assignment is clearly articulated. A secondary method is provided in case the primary submission method fails.

I.C.6 A sufficient number of assessments are included to obtain a fair and valid measure of students’ achievement. However, instructors should also make sure that students are not over-burdened with too many assessments.

I.C.7 Students are encouraged to reflect on their learning in the course.

Total number of checks for Assessment: _

Interactivity Elements

Criterion Met
I.D.1 Students are requested to introduce themselves to the class.

I.D.2 Learning activities foster student-student and faculty-student interactivity.

I.D.3 Course materials should be designed to encourage and support interactivity.

I.D.4 Course activities should be designed to encourage students to explore external resources, especially for upper-level courses.

I.D.5 Any interactive activities, such as discussions, group projects, and the like are guided by the module’s learning objectives.

I.D.6 For each interactive assignment, requirements for the quantity and substance of interactions are clearly articulated (required if discussion board is used).

I.D.7 A rubric is provided if online discussions are part of the students’ grades (required if discussion board is used).

Total number of checks for Interactivity:

Legal Standards

Criterion Met
II.A.1 All non-original materials used in the course have been cited using a citation format appropriate to the course discipline (e.g. APA, MLA). Copyright clearance has been obtained where necessary.

II.A.2 Web pages hosted outside of FDU’s course management system (Webcampus) must load into a new window (necessary for copyright compliance).

II.A.3 Course materials are aligned with ADA technical standards for accessibility.

II.A.4 Web pages have links that are self-describing and meaningful (assists the screen readers).

Total number of checks for Legal:

Usability Standards

Criterion Met
II.B.1 Course materials are designed with ease of maintenance in mind (e.g., page numbers, due dates and the like are in a centralized location rather than scattered throughout the course content).

II.B.2 Written material is concise and easily scannable, if intended to be read online. Page design minimizes the need for scrolling. Longer content-heavy pieces are also included in a printer-friendly format.

II.B.3 The course includes navigation cues, such as graphic signposts or other indicators for students to use when finding their way through the course.

II.B.4 For each link that opens up in a new window or tab (depending on the browser), the text informs students prior to opening the link.

II.B.5 All technological elements (e.g. media, web links, and the like) are in place and function properly at the time of evaluation.

II.B.6 A conversational form of writing is used whenever appropriate.

Total number of checks for Usability:

Multimedia Standards

Criterion Met
II.C.1 All course content will run on computers with the current minimal technology standards, and has been designed with student technology limitations in mind. For example, many of our students still rely on dial-up connections to access the Internet.

II.C.2 Students are given information and links to download any software, players, or plug-ins required to operate any technological elements included in the class.

II.C.3 Students are provided with information on receiving training and support in the use of any special technologies (i.e., other than the Webcampus shell) required for the class.

Total number of checks for Multimedia:

Required Structural Elements

Criterion Met
III.1 An introductory greeting in the Announcements content area welcomes students to the class.

III.2 The “Course Information” area includes Syllabus, Contact information and statements concerning Course Policies.

III.3 The syllabus includes the basic course information, curricular information, course information, course resources, and other information as required by your academic department, school, or college.

III.4 The policy statement includes relevant information pertaining to the course.

III.5 The course includes a Faculty Information section.

III.6 The course includes a Student Resources section.

Total number of Required Elements present: