I. Course Design Principles>C. Assessments

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.

Values Supported



It is very important for students to know how to submit their work. While it might be obvious to the instructor who is familiar with the course management system, students need explicit instructions. Furthermore, you must provide backup methods for submitting assignments, to prevent the handy excuses that students may be tempted to use if running late on assignments.

Transparency and Responsibility are supported when students know they are expected to adjust to unfavorable circumstances, such as if and when the course management system is not available. Technology is supported when instructors plan for alternative methods, and don’t depend entirely on a primary method, which though generally highly reliable, may fail in particular circumstances.


Faculty need to be clear about procedures and need to have a back-up plan for what to do if course system is down. As an example, students should know they may e-mail assignments if they can’t obtain access to the course management system.


This element is consistent with the good teaching practice of communicating assessment plans and methods to students.
See:"Using Classroom Assessment Data to Improve Student Learning"