Guidelines for BC Quality Online Course Rubric

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Guidelines for BC Quality Online Course Rubric

The

BC Quality Online Course Rubric

is based on the

Five Star Rubric for Online Instruction

developed by the University of West Georgia. That rubric itself is based on a number of well-researched national rubrics. The standards in the rubric reflect best practices for how online courses should be built. The rubric allows for great creativity and freedom in how courses are designed, but does require that certain standards be applied to all courses. Within those standards, course designers have freedom in how to build a course.

The Rubric is comprised of four categories, and within each, there are specific standards to be met.

Course Introduction and Information

Learning materials and content

Assessment and evaluation

Course technology and accessibility

The

BC Quality Online Course Rubric

is to be used by faculty to guide the development of a new course or a course being redesigned.

Subsequently, the Rubric serves as a checklist for Course Design Groups to use in evaluating courses. When a course is submitted for evaluation, group members review assigned courses individually or as a group.

Then as a group, they mark a Rubric form for each standard. For each, the standard is judged to either be met or not met. There is no partial credit given. Standards worth three points must be met for the course to pass the evaluation and a total score of at least 50 must be achieved for the course to pass. Read more about the process.

BC Quality Online Course Rubric

Course Introduction and Information

Standard

1.

“Introduction to the Course” module is first in the content and includes at minimum: a) b) an introduction to the course, an introduction to the instructor

(biography, photograph, and an appropriate self-introduction which c) d) presents the instructor as approachable and engaged), the course syllabus, at least one required student activity such as a discussion post or syllabus quiz.

3 points

Page 2

Further Explanation

A clear introduction which includes course guidelines, policies, and an introduction to the instructor—a real person—is an important part of getting students started in an online course. It is also good to have an introduction to the subject of the course to provide an overview and get students interested.

This module is used to determine a student’s attendance in the first week of the semester. Failure to complete this module results in a student being reported to admissions for “no-show.”

2.

Students are provided with an opportunity to introduce themselves to the class.

Student engagement with the instructor and other students is important in keeping them engaged with the course. An introduction that allows them to know who is in the class is a simple but important start in this process.

3.

The course syllabus is easily located, and provides complete and clear information pertaining to ALL of the following: general course outline, absence policy, grading policies and procedure (including course participation grade, if applicable), office hours and location, statement concerning plagiarism and class conduct, clear statement of all course requirements, clear statement of course objectives, requirements about purchase of textbooks, supplies, or other necessary materials, other relevant information as deemed essential by the faculty member.

1 point

These items are required by the college for all syllabi.

3 points

BC Quality Online Course Rubric

4.

The course calendar is utilized for assignments, assessments, and other due dates or a complete calendar is provided in some other form, or an outline of the course is provided in some form.

5.

Page 3

The calendar tool helps students keep up with assignments. At a minimum, a clear schedule should be provided somewhere in the course that can easily be found.

Instructions on how and where to receive technical assistance are readily visible and easy to understand.

1 point

This information for GeorgiaVIEW is provided in the Student Resources tab.

You can refer students there. If you use other technologies, such as My

MathLab, you should provide additional help information for that system.

6.

Information regarding other academic resources

(library, tutoring, testing services, etc.) is clearly visible in the syllabus and/or provided elsewhere.

1 point

This information is provided in the Student Resources tab, but you need to include anything specific for your course in your course guidelines.

1 point

7.

The instructor clearly states how often students are required to interact with one another and the instructor, the expected quality of such interactions, and how these interactions affect student grades.

This is about being clear with your expectations. This can be stated in the syllabus or elsewhere.

1 point

8.

Course guidelines provide expected response time to specific inquiries to the instructor.

This tells students how and when they can expect you to respond to emails or other inquiries, and what is your preferred method of communication. In online classes a 24 hour response window is ideal for work days.

9.

Course guidelines provide information as to when and how (email, discussion board, etc.) students will receive feedback on assignments, grades, and participation.

1 point

Students are often not sure how they will know if they are progressing well in the course. Tell them up-front how they will get this feedback. Doing this well will save you from answering a lot of questions later.

1 point

BC Quality Online Course Rubric

Page 4

Learning Materials/Content

Standard

1.

The course is well-organized and easy to navigate and is presented in a logical progression.

Further Explanation

Does the organization and progression make sense and can students find their way around the course easily? A well-organized course reduces confusion and potential frustration.

3 points

2.

Course content and materials are of sufficient breadth and depth for the subject.

Is the course content appropriate for a course of its level?

3 points

3.

4.

5.

Supplementary resources and links are available to students where appropriate and are labeled as optional.

Extra resources for learning more are provided throughout the course for those who want to learn more or provide another way of learning concepts. For example, you could include a Kahn Academy video as a supplement to your presentation if students want another explanation of a topic.

1 point

This answers the question, “why am I learning this” for students and ensures that course activity is relevant and geared toward course goals.

Each course module includes clear learning objectives tied to course objectives and module activities are clearly related to these objectives.

Course pages and materials are consistent in appearance and organization.

3 points

Consistency provides some comfort as a student progresses through a course.

They do not have to figure-out where everything is or what is important and what is not as they go.

6.

Course materials are divided into appropriate sections or chunks, with all or most sections containing assignments/exercises involving recall or application.

1 point

“Chunking” content into meaningful units helps students understand the big picture of your course and gives them a road map of where the course is going.

Being sure each section has some kind of activity assures that you are assessing whether or not students are learning and lets students know the section is important because it is being assessed.

2 points

BC Quality Online Course Rubric

7.

Course materials are presented in various ways through the use of print, visuals, and real-life applications (when appropriate).

Page 5

You do not have to provide variety for every section of your course, but the course as a whole should provide opportunities for learning in different ways.

Whether or not you are a believer in the concept of learning styles, this variety appeals to students and helps hold their interest.

2 points

8.

Course activities and assignments promote studentinstructor interaction. Student-to-student interaction is fostered when appropriate to the academic discipline.

Student engagement with the instructor and other students when appropriate are an important part of keeping students engaged and working in the course.

1 point

Assessment and Evaluation

Standard

1.

The course includes a formative evaluation - soliciting student feedback regarding course quality- at or prior to the mid-point of the course.

2.

The grading policy is clear for assignments, assessments, discussions, etc.

Further Explanation

The formative evaluation appears at least by mid-term if not before. This provides the instructor with feedback on the course and guides the instructor in making any necessary changes to the course before it is too late.

1 point

These can be generally described in your policy statements but usually need to appear with each assignment as well.

3.

Performance standards, rubrics, and/or examples of quality assignments are provided.

3 points

Students need clear guidelines about what is expected. Clearly stated standards, rubrics and/or examples help do this.

4.

Self-assessment or practice tests/assignments

(games, quizzes, written work) are provided to enable students to measure their own progress.

2 points

Students should have the opportunity to know if they understand the content before a graded assignment or exam. Self-assessments do this.

1 point

BC Quality Online Course Rubric

5.

6.

The types of assessments are appropriate for the online learning environment and include forms of assessment other than basic exams.

Page 6

Online courses should have numerous authentic/application assessments where students demonstrate understanding by such activities as completing projects, analyzing case studies, and completing activities that demonstrate their ability to apply course concepts.

2 points

Assessments are clearly related to the course learning objectives.

If activities are not related to the learning objectives, they do not need to be in the course.

7.

Each activity and assignment is well-written; providing students with a clear understanding of what is expected and how they should submit their work.

2 points

Clarity is important in reducing frustration, increasing compliance and success in the assignment, and reducing the number of questions faculty have to answer.

2 points

Course Technology and Accessibility

1.

Standard

Course technologies are readily and easily accessible with the use of headings, alt tags, lists, meaningful links, labeled tables, and captioned video/transcribed audio.

2.

The course makes broad use of technology available within the course management system as appropriate.

Further Explanation

GeorgiaVIEW in general is accessible, but the content must be built for accessibility.

See the accessibility page for more information.

CTE staff will evaluate this standard.

3 points

This standard does not say you have to use every tool in the system, but suggests that you should make an effort to use a variety of tools as long as they are pedagogically useful.

3.

The course provides links to tools required for viewing course content (Acrobat Reader,

QuickTime, etc.), and includes instructions for using such tools.

1 point

These links are in the Student Resources tab in each course. If you use tools and software that are not standard, you must provide instructions for those extra items in your guidelines.

1 point

BC Quality Online Course Rubric

4.

Course content is enhanced as appropriate through audio and visual materials.

Page 7

For those with impairment in one sensory area, this variety helps. The variety also helps keep all student’s interested.

6.

The course uses appropriate formatting (font, color, etc.) to maximize readability, and does not use color alone to convey meaning.

7.

The course can adapt learning materials and activities to meet the needs of students with disabilities.

2 points

Text uses headers for section headings, backgrounds are light and text is dark.

CTE staff will evaluate this standard.

2 points

Is there anything in the course that cannot be adapted to learners with disabilities through annotation, transcribing and the like?

CTE staff will evaluate this standard.

8.

The course provides a statement telling students how to access ADA services on their campus.

2 points

This is provided for you to include in your syllabus.

9.

All external links are functional.

3 points

Desire2Learn provides a broken links tool to help you find broken links.

3 points

Total possible points: 59

____All standards with 3 points achieved (required). ____Total score. Must equal 50 or greater ( 85%). If any standard is not evaluated, subtract the standard’s value from 59. The total score must equal 85% of that total to pass. The QEP director will determine whether or not additional evaluation is needed.

CDG Review Group’s Recommendation:

Return to faculty with recommendations

Course meets course design standards

___

___

Adapted with permission from Department of Distance and Distributed Education (DDE), Online Learning at UWG: Five Star Rubric for Online Instruction, 2009 University of West Georgia

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