SVCC Exemplary Online Course Checklist

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1 SVCC Exemplary Online Course Checklist Purpose of the SVCC Exemplary Course Checklist The SVCC Exemplary Course Checklist has been created to: guide faculty as they prepare a course for online instruction assist faculty in the self- assessment of existing courses encourage peer review among faculty who teach online serve as a framework for new online faculty training and support at SVCC Items in the Checklist have been adapted from the best practices literature, including a variety of similar guides or standards developed by other colleges or resource centers devoted to online instruction. The Checklist focuses on course and site design, not the actual teaching of an online class. Structure of the Checklist The Checklist is organized into four sections which contribute in different ways to student success and retention: Course Site Design: the mechanics of the course layout and navigation to help learners locate course materials Learner / Content Interaction: the alignment between course outcomes, learning activities and assessment to promote learning Learner / Teacher interaction: the instructor- initiated communication methods for the course Learner / Learner interaction: the communication methods that promote collaboration and sharing between learners How to Use This Checklist If the course meets or exceeds a criterion, place a check P in the checkmark column. If it does not meet the criterion, place a check P in the Needs Improvement (N.I.) column. If the criterion does not apply to the course, write N.A. (not applicable) with a brief explanation in the Notes area for that criterion. Note: The remember icon (hand with string on the finger) indicates which items are required for new courses being developed through Sauk s online development process. Additional Resources More detailed information is provided in supplementary resources, as listed below: 1. SVCC s Instructional Technology Department staff can be called upon to help as users employ the Checklist for any of the varied purposes described above. or Universal Design: Online Accessibility Guidelines This tool provides instructions for how to make Word, PowerPoint, PDF, video, and audio files accessible to students with disabilities or other students with reading or language challenges, such as international students. FaCIT is available to assist in this process. 3. Copyright Guide This tool will be published for SVCC faculty soon and is designed to assist in determining how instructors can use copyrighted materials legally in an online class. 4. Moodle Tutorials: support/index.html

2 COURSE SITE DESIGN This section evaluates whether the course site design is consistently organized for easy navigation by the learner and whether accessibility and other guidelines are met. Organization The course s home page displays content in weeks, chapters, or topics. Headings, subheadings, indentation, and/or graphics are used consistently in all weeks/topics to aid in course navigation. Heading examples might include: Outcomes, Readings, To- do, To Read, Homework. Accessibility (FaCIT can assist in making files accessible) All documents and presentations are designed to meet accessibility standards. For help meeting these standards, download the document Universal Design Tips for Faculty (located in the teaching section of the FaCIT webpages). Synchronized, accurate captions are provided with all videos. Synchronized, accurate captions are provided with all audio. All images have alternative text provided. Mechanics Written materials and readings are designed for reading online (e.g., concise style, ample white space, numbered or bulleted lists, links to more information) and also available in a printable format. Course abides by copyright laws. For example: videos are used with permission, attribution is given. All assignments, activities and assessments visible to students in the Learning Management System (LMS) have current due dates. 2

3 Consistent and proper writing conventions appear to be followed (i.e., proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation). The course has no broken links. Animated gifs are limited and used only when illustrating content. Course- specific technical requirements are listed. For example: software, hardware, online accounts, or publisher site technical requirements. LEARNER / CONTENT INTERACTION This section evaluates whether (1) learning outcomes are utilized to drive assessment and learning activities, and (2) content and activities enhance learning in the online environment. Learning Outcomes Course goals and outcomes are provided on the course home page and syllabus. For each week or topic, specific outcomes are listed. Content, learning activities, and assessments are aligned with course outcomes and each other (Reviewers may select one to two modules to verify). Assessment Assessments are appropriate measures of stated learning outcomes For example: students are not given multiple choice tests to measure hands- on skills. Frequent assessments are conducted throughout the semester to assist students in monitoring their ongoing performance. If an assessment is to be completed online, instructions include availability (open/close dates), completion deadline, and completion instructions (including time limits). 3

4 If proctored exams are required, details and instructions are stated in the syllabus and reiterated to students well in advance of each exam. A grading rubric or guide is provided in advance for any assessments other than tests. Assessments are designed to minimize cheating. For example: reflections, individually designed products. Content Sources of course information are up- to- date, especially where current information is important to achieving the learning outcomes. Information is chunked. For example: videos are shorter than ten minutes, content is presented in smaller segments to aid memory retention. Multimedia files have a specific purpose tied to the content. Graphics are professional quality and contribute to learning. Examples can be universally understood by students from a variety of socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds. Activities Learning activities engage students in active practice or application of concepts. Early term activities provide feedback to the instructor about student engagement in order to evaluate student success and identify at- risk students. For example: an academic activity in the first ten days, an assessment during the first three weeks. Authentic learning experiences are used when possible. For example: case studies, scenarios, stories, or current events. 4

5 Where course outcomes could be achieved through critical thinking or problem solving, these skills are incorporated. Clearly stated expectations explain participation guidelines for discussion boards or other online collaborative tools. Supplemental learning experiences are provided for those who feel they need or want them. For example: ungraded practice problems, practice exams or quizzes, study guides. Students have opportunities to reflect on what or how they are learning. For example: end of semester reflections, online forum questions, questionnaires, writing assignments. Reading guides are utilized if a textbook is the primary content source. Student Work Resources are provided to students as a model of work expectations. For example: sample assignments, citation guides, checklists, grading guides, detailed rubrics. Progressive deadlines are utilized for large or long- term assignments. LEARNER/TEACHER INTERACTION This section evaluates whether communication expectations are established, the course syllabus is modified for an online course, and avenues of feedback are explained. Syllabus The SVCC Online Course Syllabus Template is used as a basis for the course syllabus. Guidance is provided on how to be a successful online learner in your course. Expectations and clear instructions for completing and submitting assignments and assessments are stated. 5

6 The course syllabus is linked in the LMS. Online attendance is determined through weekly completion of activities or assessments, including communication or feedback from the instructor. Note: Course login is not adequate to meet federal online attendance policy. Communication Instructor contact information is clearly displayed at the top of the course and in the syllabus. Information on how, when, and where to contact the instructor is provided. Expected faculty response time to is described. An orientation to the course navigation and organization is provided. If utilizing online office hours, clear directions for how to use necessary software are provided. An instructor introduction is included. For example: a biographical page, video clip, or get- to- know- you activity. Weekly reminders are used to help students stay on track For example: s, announcement forums, or unit introductions. A tutorial for how to use the LMS tool is provided. Tutorials or clear instructions are provided on how to effectively contribute to any online discussions. Feedback Frequent detailed feedback is provided to students concerning their performance. The LMS grade book is visible to students so they can check their progress. 6

7 Expected faculty response time for assignment or assessment feedback is provided. Students are given opportunities to provide feedback about the course during the semester For example: Classroom Assessment Techniques, Angelo and Cross. Students are encouraged to complete an anonymous course evaluation near the end of the semester. LEARNER / LEARNER INTERACTION This section evaluates the avenues of communication established for learner to learner contact and the learning activities which can foster an online community. Communication A communication tool for students to confer about the course content is made available. For example: a forum discussion, blog, wiki. Efforts to create a learning community are employed. For example: forum introductions, icebreakers, small group collaborative activities, or sharing of student experiences. Online etiquette (netiquette) guidelines are provided if an online discussion board will be used. Activities The instructor fosters an environment in which students feel comfortable participating. This is done through moderating discussions, modeling, and participating in interactive activities with students. Synchronous tools are made available if they contribute to achieving learning outcomes or learner- to- learner connections. When group activities are implemented, guidelines for effective group functioning and assessment are provided. Peer review is utilized when applicable. For example: to provide feedback, engage learners with content or share expertise. 7

8 Please describe additional aspects of the course that you would like the reviewer to be aware of, for example, graded feedback via or use other technology tools outside of Moodle. 8

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