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Online Course Standards: Rubric

Online Course Standards at Loyola University New Orleans

Online Course Standards Rubric

Loyola University New Orleans Online Course Design Quality Review Rubric

Updated on 10/26/2018
This review rubric is guided by and adapted from the official Standards from the Quality Matters Higher Education Rubric, 6th Edition. (2018). Quality Matters. 
Please be noted that this is not an official Quality Matters (QM) Rubric and the review is not an official QM Review.
Pass:  >=85: Revise without a 2nd review, may be subject to a spot check. (Help is available from the Online Learning Team if asked)
Conditional Pass: >=60 and <85 : Revise and go through a 2nd review without formal training. (Help is available from the Online Learning Team if asked)
Revision and Resubmission: < 60:  Formal Training required. Revise and resubmit for a 2nd review.
* Starred Items (e.g. 2.3*, 2.4* ) indicate that they need to get "All Met" or at least "Most Met" (if applied) in order to pass, regardless of the final score. 
Items (E.g. 1 is a 1st level, 1.1 is a 2nd level.) 1st Level Total Points 2nd Level Total Points All Met Most Met Some Met Not Met
1. Blackboard Standard Content Areas and Settings
(OFLC Week 4)
1.1 Announcements (set as default landing page)   0.5 0.5     0
1.2 Orientation   0.5 0.5     0
1.3 Syllabus (including Part I and Part II)   1 1 0.5   0
1.4 Self-Introduction   0.5 0.5     0
1.5 Student Lounge   0.5 0.5     0
1.6 Weekly Learning Modules    1 1 0.5   0
1.7 Weekly Discussion Boards (Best practice is to hide the content area and link each forum to appropriate place in the course)   1 1 0.5   0
1.8 Student Resources   0.5 0.5     0
1.9 HELP    0.5 0.5     0
2. Course Orientation and Introduction (with 2 Starred Items)
(OFLC Week 1, 4)
2.1 Pre-written announcements include Welcome, Week 1 Introduction, Week 1 Conclusion, Week 2 Introduction, Week 2 Conclusion, etc... The open dates are pre-set.   3 3 2 1 0
2.2 Orientation includes Instructor’s professional self-introduction. The Orientation also walks students through the course navigation and layout in the Blackboard Learning Management System (LMS), and makes clear where and how to find various course components and post course questions, etc.    3 3 2 1 0
2.3* Syllabus Part I follows the University Online Course Syllabus Template.   5 5 4 3 0
2.4* Self-Introduction includes a pre-created thread with the title “Introduce Yourself! (Click Here and Reply to This Thread)”. The instructor includes an initial self-introduction post (more casual compared with the one in Orientation), and instructions for students’ self-introduction. e.g. Please include the following information in your self-introduction:  your name, background, department, college, grade level, why you took this course, and what you expect from this course. The instructor requires all students complete this activity via Blackboard on the first day of class.   2 2 1   0
2.5 Student Lounge is set up as an open discussion board forum where students can post questions about course. Instructioins for the purpose, creating a new thread, and expectations of communication are clearly stated.   2 2 1   0
3. Course and Weekly Module Learning Objectives
(OFLC Week 1)
3.1 The course learning objectives match the level of the course, are measurable, written from the student’s perspective, and are clearly stated in the Syllabus.   2 2 1   0
3.2 The weekly module learning objectives are measurable, aligned with the course learning objectives, written from the student’s perspective, sequenced by order of  learning levels, and are clearly stated at the beginning of each week.   8 8 6 4 0
4. Course Grading Policy and Weekly Module Assessments (with 3 Starred Items)
(OFLC Week 1, 4)
4.1 Course has multiple assessment methods (discussion board forums, assignments, tests, etc.) and are clearly listed with percentage points accurately calculated and add up to 100% in the Syllabus. And the course grading policy is clearly stated in the Syllabus.   1 1     0
4.2* The Grade Center is properly set up and represents the Grading plan and policy listed in the Syllabus as well as the weekly assessment methods.   3 3 2 1 0
4.3* A Week One assessment is required to be completed via Blackboard by midnight by the end of the first week.   1 1     0
4.4 The weekly assessments are suited to the level of the course and align with the stated weekly learning objectives.    3 3 2 1 0
4.5 The weekly assessments are well designed, sequenced, and varied.   8 8 6 4 0
4.6* Specific rubrics and criteria are provided to evaluate student's work in each week. Examity procedures are made clear to students if the course is using Examity.   8 8 6 4 0
4.7 The course includes instructor’s clearly stated plan for timely feedback on assignments and provides learners with multiple opportunities to track their learning progress.   1 1     0
5. Course Instructional Materials and Resources (with 2 Starred Items)
(OFLC Week 1)
5.1* The instructional materials and resources in this course align with the stated course learning objectives and match the syllabus and the course adoption.   3 3 2 1 0
5.2 The instructional materials and resources are up-to-date and varied. And any instructions for purchase of course materials should be clear in the course.   3 3 2 1 0
5.3* Specific instructional materials and resources are clearly identified to help complete specific weekly learning activities.   8 8 6 4 0
5.4 The course cites source references and provides permissions for use of instructional materials.    3 3 2 1 0
6. Learning Activities and Interaction (with 4 Starred Items)
(OFLC Week 1, 2, 4)
6.1 The weekly learning activities align with the weekly learning objectives.    3 3 2 1 0
6.2* The weekly learning activities provide students with opportunities for both student-student interaction, and instructor-student interaction.   8 8 6 4 0
6.3* The instructor's role, availability, and plan for interacting with students in the course are clearly stated.    1 1     0
6.4* Communication expectations for online discussion, email, and other forms of online interaction are clearly stated.    1 1     0
6.5* Instructions, directions, expectations, and due dates for all activities are clearly stated and set up correctly in Blackboard. If the course has due dates for the activities in different places (Syllabus, Learning Modules, Assignments/Tests), they need to be consistent.   8 8 6 4 0
7. Course Technology (with 1 Starred Item)
(OFLC Week 4)
7.1 A variety of technologies are used in this course.   0.5 0.5     0
7.2 The technology used in this course aligns with the learning objecitves.   0.5 0.5     0
7.3 The course technology promote engagement and active learning.   1 1 0.5   0
7.4* Minimum technology requirements for the course are clearly stated, and information on how to obtain the technologies is provided.   0.5 0.5     0
7.5 Information on protecting data and privacy is provided.   0.5 0.5     0
8. Student Support (with 1 Starred Item)
(OFLC Week 3, 5)
8.1 Student Resources content area includes information about University policies and services, academic support services and resources, student servicers and other resources that help students succeed in campus life.    0.5 0.5     0
8.2* The Help tab on the left navigation menu links to:   0.5 0.5     0
9. Course Accessibility (with 2 Starred Items)
(OFLC Week 2, 5)
9.1* Course is easy to navigate with clean sequenced navigation menu, clearly labeled weekly modules, and logically sequenced learning resources, activities, and assessments.     0.5 0.5     0
9.2* Fonts, font sizes, and colors used in the course are consistent and easy to read.   0.5 0.5     0
9.3 Descriptive captions are included for videos in the course. Simple and concise alternative text are used for images in the course.   0.5 0.5     0
9.4 Appropriate headings and tags are included for files. Readings or posted materials have optical character recognition (OCR) and are readable with a screen reader.   0.5 0.5     0
TOTAL: 100 100        
NOTE: This rubric represents the standard requirements for an online course at Loyola University New Orleans. It's acceptable if an online course exceeds the level.
Please contact OLT if you have any questions by sending an email to

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