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Quality Assurance and Best Practices Checklist

Quality Assurance and Best Practices Checklist

Online Teaching and Learning Summer Program

 Quality Assurance Guidelines and Best Practice Checklist

Click here for a downloadable copy of the Quality Assurance Guidelines and Best Practice Checklist. 


The Quality Assurance Guidelines and Best Practice Checklist is a self-evaluation based on established quality assurance measures for digitally delivered courses developed from decades of research and practice that have been affirmed and promoted by nationally recognized organizations including the Online Learning Consortium™ (OLC) and Quality Matters™ (QM). 


The Online Teaching and Learning Summer Program committee recommends that as part of the preliminary course design and development process that an instructor review and use the following checklist for guidance in helping provide consistency to help enhance the student experience. A good “rule of thumb” as an instructor in assessing your course is to work through your course framework, learning activities and assessments as if you are a student.


The following checklist is designed to serve as a guide and is broken up into several major components.


First Impressions


●  Course opens to a “Start Here” module or page.


●  Brief and clear introduction about the course and any pre-requisite requirements (including an announcement).


●  An instructor Introduction audio (but preferably a short video) clip.


●  Clear instructions to students outlining where to start and how to navigate the course.


●  Easy access to a downloadable course syllabus and an online syllabus. 


●  Clear directions of how the instructor and students will communicate, including response time expectations.


●  Clear expectations for online student-instructor and student-student interactions and behavior.


●  Clear course learning objectives and/or competencies that are measurable.


●  Clear instructions and links on how students can access technical support.


Design Components


●  Consistent and intuitive navigation pathways.


●  Learning materials segmented into manageable sections.


●  A mix of text, graphics, and media appropriate to the content and objectives of the course.


●  Assignment due dates clearly displayed on the Canvas Calendar.


●  Synchronous activities are clearly visible and outlined in the syllabus.


Learning Activities and Instructional Materials


●  Learning activities and instructional materials meet the same learning objectives as the face-to-face course.


● Activities are designed to ensure regular and continual student engagement.


● Directions for students to obtain learning support are clear and accessible. (For example, the Writing Center, the Center for Academic Resources.)


● Use of Open Educational Resources is used when appropriate (encouraged but not mandatory).


● Course outcomes are supported by the weekly learning objectives.


●  Materials and resources include source acknowledgements.


Assessment Components


● Assessment components have the appropriate sequencing and are aligned with course learning objectives and/or competencies.


●  A variety of assessment instruments are used which are appropriate and aligned with course learning objectives and/or competencies.


●  Grading policy is clear. (For example, the late policy and grading scheme.)


●  All assignments appear in the gradebook.


●  Assessments are appropriate for the level of the course and designed to ensure academic integrity.


●  A descriptive explanation of the relationship between instructional materials and learning activities is provided.


Technology Components


●  All links are validated (Can use Validate Links in Content under settings).


●  All videos and audio files play.


●  Course technology requirements are clearly displayed and outlined.


●  An appropriate variety of technology is used in the course.


Student Support and Accessibility


●  Course is ADA compliant including all videos and audio captioned and transcribed. (This can be done automatically in MyMedia).


● The course format and text coloring ensures readability.


●  PDF documents are screen readable.


●  Hyperlinks are descriptive rather than the nondescript “Click Here” option.


Equity and Inclusion


●  Statements on equity and inclusion for all students with specific mention of groups which have historically been marginalized from higher education is included in the course syllabus.


●  Online resources for addressing mental health; food insecurity; bias incidents; sexual assault and harassment; academic supports such as advising, tutoring and the Writing Center; supports for students with disabilities; and assistance with technology are included in the course syllabus.


●  Equitable and inclusive language is used in learning activities, instructional materials and course assessments.


●  Opportunities are provided for students to share their challenges with technology.


●  Strategies and resources are provided for students who are experiencing technological obstacles to participating in the class.


●  At least two course activities show the relevance of students’ learning to their own lives and communities.


●  Representation is diverse and reflects the diversity of students within the course and on campus.



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