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 2014 (Fifth Edition) with Assigned Point Values

    University of Connecticut Course Design Rubric adapted from Quality Matters — Adapted for Internal Use at the University of Connecticut

    California State University, Chico Rubric for Online Instruction — California State University, Chico’s first strategic priority is to create and enhance high-quality learning environments. Academic technologies, especially online or Web-enhanced courses, have a significant role in the creation of those learning environments. The university’s strategic priorities challenge faculty and staff to use academic technologies to create and enhance high-quality learning environments in a demonstrable manner.

    New Mexico State University Guidelines Online Course Design Rubric Based on the Quality Matters 05/06 Rubric — As a form of self-review, you may want to apply this rubric yourself to your online course. Your written response can be used to fulfill the requirements for “evidence from the instructor” in the “Evaluation of Teaching” page in Digital Measures.

    Blackboard Exemplary Course Program Rubric — The Blackboard Exemplary Course Program (ECP) recognizes course creators whose courses demonstrate best practices in four major areas: Course Design, Interaction and Collaboration, Assessment, and Learner Support. Courses are evaluated by a peer group of Blackboard clients using the ECP rubric.

    Tennessee Board of Regents Online Campus Collaborative Course Development Standards

    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.

    Online Course Rubric — The Online Course Observation Rubric is one of several data sources for evaluating the effectiveness of instruction of online courses—distance education, hybrid, and Web-enhanced. It can be complemented with other sources of data such as on-campus observation forms, SEOI reports, syllabi, class handouts and projects, tests, etc.