About the Quality Online Learning & Teaching Rubric
The Quality Online Learning and Teaching (QOLT) program was developed in 2011 by California State University, Learning Management Systems Services. Through extensive research and a broad consultative process involving leadership, staff, and faculty at 13 CSU campuses, QOLT has been designed to assist three important aspects of quality online education:
- Create a useful evaluation tool that can help faculty develop quality hybrid/online courses
- Identify exemplary practices for teaching and learning through online courses
- Recognize faculty, programs, and campuses that are creating quality online courses
The CSU follows the national, accelerating trend of significant growth in online teaching and learning. The evolution of the Internet and broadband access at home and via mobile devices makes it certain that there will be a continued growth in online courses. In addition, student demand can lead this development, given research that shows students prefer a blended course delivery approach. Online learning provides a diverse group of people the opportunity to participate in higher education.
As CSU campuses offer additional online courses, it is important to define quality online teaching and learning, as well as to determine how to assess it. CSU wants to provide quality education, whether it is online or face-to-face. There are many skeptics who question the quality of online teaching and, therefore, it is necessary to identify how to prepare instructors for teaching online courses effectively. By doing so, we can best prepare instructors and learners for an experience that is equal-to-or-better-than traditional classroom experiences. If successful, the natural evolution of teaching and learning will drive the increased demand for online teaching and learning, as opposed to administrative decisions related to the desire to save money through simple leverage of technology as device.
QOLT Evaluation Instruments
The QOLT evaluation instruments include nine areas of evaluation, comprising 52 discreet objectives. The following list shows the number of items per section in parentheses.
- Course overview and introduction (8)
- Assessment of student learning (6)
- Instructional materials and resources utilized (6)
- Student interaction and community (8)
- Facilitation and instruction (8)
- Technlogy for teaching and learning (6)
- Learner support and resources (3)
- Accessibility and universal design (4)
- Course summary and wrap-up (3)
To view the evaluation instruments, go to the QOLT Evaluation Instruments page.
Faculty Developer Tips
There are three commons uses of the QOLT rubric:
- To inform the development of a new online course.
- As a self-evaluation tool to revise and improve an existing course.
- As a means for gaining public recognition for exemplary online instruction.
Research and Development of QOLT
The Quality Online Learning & Teching evaluation instruments were developed after review of related research and literature, as well as careful consideration fo existing models for assessing effective online teaching and learning.
- Rubric for Online Instruction: Designed to assist developement and evaluation of online courses while promoting dialog about the nature of student learning. Developed by faculty, staff, administration, and students at CSU, Chico in 2003, ROI is now adopted at over 100 institutions of higher education.
- Quality Matters: Developed through a FIPSE grant from 2003-2006, QM is a faculty-centered peer-review process designed to certify the quality of online and blended courses.
- Quality Online Course Initiative: An online course rubric and evaluation system developed in the state of Illinois to help colleges and universities improve accountability of their online courses.
- Online Course Evaluation Program: Developed by the Monterey Institute for Technology and Education, OCEP is a criteria-based evaluation tool to asses and compare the quality of online courses.
- 9 Common Elements of Universal Design for Learning: Developed through a US Department of Education grant, Ensuring Access through Collaboration and Technology, based at Sonoma State University.
- Community of Inquiry: Developed and validated by a collaborative team, the Community of Inquiry model addresses course quality on three aspects including Social Presence, Teaching Presence, and Cognitive Presence.
QOLT was also shaped by existing research related to effective teaching and learning, such as "Seven Principles of Good Practice in Undergraduate Education" (Chickering & Gamson, 1987). In addition, we have considered an expanded version, titled "Seven (Plus Three) Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education."
CSU QOLT Acknowledgements
QOLT Program Director:
- Brett Christie, Ph.D.
Director of Course Redesign Services
CSU Academic Technology Services
QOLT Campus Coordinators:
- Charlene Hu, Bakersfield
- Laura Sederberg, Chico
- Jeremiah Woolsey, Dominguez Hills
- Terry Smith, East Bay
- Bryan Berrett, Fresno
- Chris Renne, Fullerton
- Li Wang, Northridge
- Victoria Bhavsar & April McKettrick, Pomona
- Raymond Pina, Sacramento
- Mauricio Cadavid, San Bernardino
- James Frazee, San Diego
- Areej Ahmad El Atawneh & Maria Noelia Mendoza, San Francisco
- Cherie Vinopal, San Marcos
- Martha Ezell, Sonoma
- Glenn Pillsbury & Betsy Eudey, Stanislaus
- Ashley Skylar, Cal State Online