Tools for Critical Reflection: Course Design Rubrics for Distance Education

  • Course design rubrics provide a tool to assess online course design. While Quality Matters is currently the preeminent rubric used to assess online course quality, there are a variety of course design rubrics available.

    Quality Matters Standards — Quality Matters Rubric Standards 2018 (6th Edition) with Assigned Point Values

    California State University Quality Learning and Teaching (QLT) Informal Review Instruments —  are designed to help support and identify exemplary practices for the design and delivery of online, blended, and flipped courses. The informal review instruments can be used by instructors, peer reviewers, and students to provide informal feedback.

    Blackboard Exemplary Course Program Rubric — The Blackboard Exemplary Course Program defines key characteristics of high quality courses within the framework of Course Design, Interaction and Collaboration, Assessment, and Learning Support.

    Illinois Online Network Quality Online Course Initiative Rubric and Checklist (multiple versions) — Two versions of the rubric have been created. The first one is a complete rubric with checkboxes for evaluation and room for comments. The second version leaves out the evaluation marks or comments and serves only as a checklist for those wishing to design or redesign a course with these criteria in mind. The second version is much shorter in length and ranges from seven to eight pages; whereas, the complete rubric is approximately 25 pages long.