Asynchronous Guidelines and Requirements

Download Checklist

The following is a set of guidelines to help you design your asynchronous course. While there are many ways you can incorporate these guidelines to tailor it specifically for your course, they are necessary components needed for an asynchronous course.

CHECKLIST FOR ONLINE DESIGNATION

 Every online course must satisfy the following requirements in order to be approved by the ETLC, and become a certified online course.

These guidelines were strongly influenced by national standards, especially from Quality Matters Rubric Standards (https://www.qualitymatters.org/rubric), and CSU Chico Rubrics for Online Instruction (http://www.csuchico.edu/tlp/resources/rubric/instructionalDesignTips.pdf

1. Student Support & Resources 

  • General support & resources (Course Template)
    This information is provided by the default Blackboard Course template, and the faculty member must ensure its presence (e.g. does not get deleted)
  • Course-specific support & resources
    It is recommended that faculty provide resources that support the content of the course and or pre-required courses

2. Course Organization  

  • Course Syllabus
    • Staff/Contact Info*
      • A short biography
      • A photograph of the instructor or a representative image selected by the instructor
      • Contact information and procedures including office location, relevant phone numbers, and turn-around time estimates for replying to emails or voicemail
      • A policy for communicating with students in the event of a system failure
    • Online participation policy
      For example: For online courses, students are required to visit the virtual class at least three days in a given week to be considered present for that week (may be increased as determined by the instructor)
    • Textbook(s)
      • Electronic course pack in PDF and/or HTML format (where applicable)
      • Information on required textbooks, including acceptable editions and their ISBN numbers
      • Purchase information and links for required textbooks (where applicable), including the price for both new and used versions
      • Textbook availability at the college library
    • List of required materials
      • Classroom materials
      • Required hardware and software
    • Pre-requisites
      Information should be included from the College Catalog
    • Technology skill recommendations
    • Course Description
      Information should be included from the College Catalog and Departmental Course Syllabus (if available)
    • Course Objectives
    • Student Learning Outcomes
    • Statement on GenEd (where applicable)
    • Statement on WAC/WIC (where applicable)
    • Link to Policies & Guidelines (Course Template)
    • Course Grading Criteria
      • Table of assignments, due dates and point values adding up to 100 % of the grade
      • General assignment submission procedure
    • Tentative Course Schedule
      Topics and dates should be provided
    • Course syllabus in PDF and/or HTML format
      • Which conforms to OAA guidelines
      • Includes all the elements listed above
  • Course Navigation
    • Tour or clear explanation on how to navigate the course
      • Should be featured in course homepage, usually using a permanent announcement
      • Text based
      • Video based (highly recommended)
    • Announcements
      • A welcoming announcement to the course
      • An announcement for each learning unit that includes clear start and end dates
      • An announcement for each assignment or assessment stating due date and point value

3. Assessment Elements    

Given that the course is taught online, faculty are strongly encouraged to plan for online assessments. It is recommended that there should be at least any 3 of the following:

  • Assignments (essays, papers, lab reports, exercises, etc.)
  • Quizzes
  • Exams
  • Projects
  • ePortfolios
  • Blogs
  • Wikis
  • Group projects
  • Discussions
  • Rubrics (plagiarism check)

 4. Interaction & Engagement

  • Opportunities for icebreakers
    Examples of icebreakers are activities that introduce students to each other (using the discussion board, a blog, or a collaborate session)
  • Tour, faculty intro
    A sample of a faculty intro can be an overview of the faculty teaching style, research interest, and expectations for the course
  • Communication Channels
    Use at least one interactive media application for communication and collaboration, for each learning unit, for example—blogs, wikis, clickers, ePortfolios, discussion forums, BB Collaborate

5. Instructional Design  

  • Course Outline
    There should be a course outline that organizes the course into learning units and is available in either the Course Information or Course Content sections of Blackboard
  • Learning Units (there has to be at least 80% of course content)
    Each learning unit is available within the Course Content section of the site, as its own folder or otherwise clearly organized
    For each learning unit there must be:

    • A clear sequence to the order in which content should be read by students
      • Activities that would take the typical student of that particular course the amount of the time they would otherwise spend in a face-to-face environment (in addition to the readings and activities they would ordinarily be assigned as homework projects), including:
        • Instructions and due dates, and assessment tools (such as assignments, quizzes, tests, and essays).
        • A variety of content items (such as presentations, lecture notes, articles and other readings, images, video, sound recording), annotated links
  • Learning Objectives / Outcomes
  • Assignments in Learning Units
  • Use of tools to ensure academic integrity (e.g. SafeAssign)
  • Multimedia elements (podcasts/videos, lecture captures)
  • Student feedback elements (polls, surveys)
  • Grade Center (optional)
    Grade Center with columns reflecting grading requirements specified in the syllabus