Online Course Design Guidelines
The following guidelines provide a roadmap for instructors during the course design process or as a “self-evaluation” tool to assist instructors in revision of an existing online course using the rubric and suggested examples. This research-informed framework highlights key components essential to a high quality learning experience for students.
Items marked with ** are recommended in all fully online courses at the University of Toronto.
The full Course Design Checklist in PDF format is available for download or may be browsed by guideline topic area:
- Learner Support and Resources
- Course Overview and Introduction
- Instructional Design
- Assessment and Evaluation of Student Learning
- Online Organization and Design
- Accessibility and Universal Design
These guidelines are based on the work of California State University’s Quality Online Learning & Teaching, Instructor (Self) and Peer-Review Course Assessment Instrument a resource that has been adapted for use at the University of Toronto with the permission of CSU. This revised draft, made available on May 29, 2015 maybe subject to further revisions prior to the 2015-2016 academic year.
Duzer, Joan Ann. (2003) Instructional Design Tips for Online Instruction. Humboldt State University and CSU, Chico.
Graham, Charles. “Seven Principles of Effective Teaching: A Practical Lens for Evaluating Online Courses.” Technology source (Chapel Hill, N.C.) (2001)
California State University’s Quality Online Learning & Teaching, Instructor (Self) and Peer-Review Course Assessment Instrument.
USC Chico’s Rubric for Online Instruction
Sloan-C Effective Practices