Students often find online learning more challenging than face-to-face courses due to the need for stronger self-directed learning skills and greater difficulties in enabling effective interpersonal interactions. How can online courses be designed and implemented in a way to better address these challenges? The Online Course Quality Rubric developed by the Online Learning Research Center aims to provide a systematic and descriptive benchmark for researchers and practitioners who are striving to develop a culture of high-quality college-level online courses.
This rubric differentiates itself from others as it identifies the unique challenges associated with learning in a virtual environment and provides details and examples of how to optimize the design features and instructional practices to ease the challenges in a more deeply-reflective fashion than is required by a yes/no checklist.
The full version of the rubric provides an overall description of the quality expectations and concrete examples. The abridged version only includes quality expectations to make it easier for the course instructor or evaluators to go through all the elements quickly.