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Online Teaching Best Practices

While the core principles of excellence in teaching and learning - respectful and engaged student-teacher relationships, timely feedback, relevant assessment and content - remain constant, teaching online is not the same as a face-to-face classroom.

The Quality Matters initiative offers an excellent rubric for evaluating an online course, and was adopted by faculty senate in 2016 as a guide for online course design. The complete rubric and training opportunities are available by contacting our QM Coordinator, Lindsay Henning, at lindsay.henning@yc.edu.


  • Course contains links to available campus resources for online learners.
  • Course offers access to a wide range of resources supporting course content.

  • Course is well-organized and easy to navigate. Students can clearly understand all components and structure of the course.
  • Course syllabus identifies and clearly delineates the role the online environment will play in the total course.
  • Aesthetic design presents and communicates course information clearly throughout the course, including customized buttons and banner.
  • All web pages are visually and functionally consistent throughout the course.
  • Student accessibility to all online media is addressed.

  • Course goals are clearly defined and aligned to learning objectives.
  • Learning objectives are identified, and learning activities are clearly integrated.
  • Course provides visual, textual, kinesthetic, and/or auditory activities to enhance student learning.
  • Course provides multiple activities that help students develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

  • Course has timely and appropriate activities to assess student readiness for course content and mode of delivery.
  • Learning objectives are closely aligned with instructional and assessment activities.
  • Ongoing multiple assessment strategies are used to measure content knowledge, attitudes, and skills.
  • Regular feedback about student performance is provided in a timely manner throughout the course.
  • Student self-assessments and peer feedback opportunities exist throughout the course.

  • Course uses a variety of technology tools to appropriately facilitate communication and learning.
  • New teaching methods are applied to enhance student learning and interactively engage students.
  • A variety of multimedia elements and/or learning objects that are relevant to student learning are used throughout the course.
  • Course optimizes Internet access and effectively engages students in the learning process in a variety of ways throughout the course.