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Course Design Processes

Whether you are designing a course from scratch or translating an existing course for online delivery, the ADDIE model is a useful one for conceptualizing the design process:


There are a number of good rubrics and guidelines to use when designing your course:

  • CSU Chico Rubric for Online Instruction
    One of the best standards for evaluating the quality of online course design. It provides anchors for baseline, effective, and exemplary designs across the following dimensions: (1) learner support and resources, (2) online organization and design, (3) instructional design and delivery, (4) assessment and evaluation of student learning, (5) innovative teaching with technology, and (6) faculty use of student feedback.
  • Quality Matters: Peer Course Review Rubric
    This site includes a rubric for reviewing the quality of online courses across the following dimensions: (1) course overview and introduction, (2) learning objectives, (3) assessment and measurement, (4) resources and materials, (5) learner interaction, (6) course technology, (7) learner support, and (8) accessibility. This is an excellent resource for assessing the quality of online course design.
  • Criteria for Evaluating the Quality of Online Courses
    This document from Grant MacEwan College in Edmonton includes a comprehensive checklist to assist instructors in evaluating the effectiveness of their online course design. It is organized into the following sections: (1) general information, (2) accessibility, (3) organization, (4) language, (5) layout, (6) goals and objectives, (7) course content, (8) instructional or learning strategies and opportunities for practice and transfer, (9) learning resources, (10) evaluation, and (11) overall.
  • Distance Education Guidelines for Good Practice
    This report was prepared by the Higher Education Program and Policy Council of the American Federation of Teachers. It presents fourteen standards for quality design of distance education courses.
  • A Design Checklist for Courses Incorporating Technology
    "Course design should be an ongoing process based on sound pedagogy, faculty reflection, and student feedback. This checklist is a tool for faculty to use in the design/redesign process as one way to obtain a greater degree of confidence that the course is likely to be successful." This checklist is intended for use with any technology-rich course, whether enhanced, hybrid, or fully online.
Virginia Commonwealth University  |  Center for Teaching Excellence
Last updated: 09/22/2009
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