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Quality Standards

The quality of an online course refers to how well the course meets general standards and regulations; such as adhering to federal accessibility guidelines and providing students with appropriate contact information for support. Quality does not refer to the content of the course, or seek to intrude on the academic freedom of faculty.

In 2018, Baldwin et al. analyzed the six most widely used quality metrics and discovered 12 commonalities:

  1. Objectives are available
  2. Navigation is intuitive
  3. Technology is used to promote learner engagement/facilitate learning
  4. Student-to-student interaction is supported
  5. Communication and activities are used to build community
  6. Instructor contact information is stated
  7. Expectations regarding quality of communication/participation are provided
  8. Assessment rubrics for graded assignments are provided
  9. Assessments align with objectives
  10. Links to institutional services are provided
  11. Course has accommodations for students with disabilities
  12. Course policies are stated for behavior expectations

UGA is a subscriber to Quality Matters (QM), one of the six instruments analyzed and a nationally recognized, research based, peer-evaluation tool for online courses.

Two high quality course assessment rubrics that are freely available are:

Please request a consultation with one of our instructional designers for access to QM or more about assessing course quality.

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