using professional standards to guide online course development

Using Professional Standards to Guide Online Course Development

Follow the instructions below.

The Quality Online Learning and Teaching (QOLT) Evaluation Instrument was developed by an academic community of course developers, faculty, and technical experts who sought to provide consistency and  high-quality learning experiences for online students across the California State University (CSU) system. The instrument takes a rigorous approach to an online course that addresses all aspects of best practices in online teaching.

Download and carefully review the QOLT instrument sections and the objectives under each section. 

After you have become familiar with the important elements of an online or hybrid course that must be present to ensure success, we will now download a copy of the QOLT instrument that has some of the sections and objectives grayed out. 

You will be using this abbreviated version of the QOLT instrument for the purposes of evaluating your own course for this discussion.

Some of the sections and objectives are grayed out because the online course you have developed is not a complete course, and you have not had a chance to deliver it to actual students. Therefore, some of the items are not relevant to your courses at this time. Below is a list of sections and objectives you will be assessing using the Abbreviated QOLT Instrument:

  • Course Overview and Introduction (all objectives but item 1.7)
  • Assessment and Evaluation of Student Learning (objectives 2.1-2.4)
  • Instructional Materials and Resources Utilized (objectives 3.2, 3.5 and 3.6)
  • Students Interaction and Community (address all objectives)
  • Facilitation and Instruction (skip this section)
  • Technology for Teaching and Learning (address all objectives)
  • Learner Support and Resources (objectives 7.1 and 7.2)
  • Accessibility and Universal Design (objectives 8.2, 8.3 and 8.5-8.7)
  • Course Summary and Wrap up (skip this section)

Once you have scanned your course for each of the objectives in the Abbreviated QOLT Evaluation Instrument, identify three objectives you feel you could have addressed better. Discuss the ways you could better implement each of those objectives into your course and how you plan to make changes to improve your course. Share ideas, wording, examples, and resources with your classmates as you work to collaboratively develop a high-quality learning experience for your students. 

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