Good Practice Teaching Standards

These good practice teaching standards are derived from the GVSU Online Education Council's Online/Hybrid Course Peer Review Rubric. The recommendations and good practice guidelines are adapted from: Quality Matters Higher Education Rubric 2011 – 2013 Edition, Penn State Peer Review Guide, Chickering, A. & Gamson, Z. (1987) Seven principles for good practice in undergraduate education. AAHE Bulletin (39)7, and the Blackboard Exemplary Course Rubric.

I. Overall Course Design and Organization

The Blackboard coursesite and design is organized, easy to navigate, provides clear instructions and student guidance.

  • There are on-going faculty announcements that provide personal connection with students and instructions for getting started, course requirements, and where to access course materials. (e.g., Course Announcements)
  • A course orientation or tour is available for students. (e.g., Course Announcements or Content Area)
  • The course menu is clear, well structured, organized and simple. (e.g., Course Navigation Menu)
  • Course content follows accessibility guidelines and standards.


II. Course Expectations

The Blackboard coursesite includes a course description, clear measurable learning objectives, required textbook and/or course materials, schedule, grading, and assessment requirements. In addition, university policies and procedures along with student support services are included (tutoring, disability support resources, library, IT HelpDesk, etc.). Information is provided regarding expected time on task.

  • Course description is included. (e.g., Syllabus or Content Area)
  • Learning objectives for both course and learning activities are included. (e.g., Syllabus or Content Area)
  • Required textbook or other course materials are clearly identified. (e.g., Syllabus or Content Area)
  • Grading policies, rubrics, due dates, etc. are identified for all graded learning activities or assessments. (e.g., Syllabus or Content Area)
  • Specific technology requirements are included. (e.g., Syllabus or Content Area)
  • Student participation expectations are provided for all activities and course communications. (e.g., Syllabus or Content Area).
  • Clearly communicated course schedule/outline with due dates, frequency and duration of assignments, course calendar, etc. (e.g., Syllabus, Content Area, Assignments)
  • Estimated of amounts of time to spend on learning activities is clearly stated (e.g., Syllabus, Content Area, Assignments, Announcements)

III. Faculty/Student Interaction

The faculty’s online presence is demonstrated through frequent and timely faculty-student communication and contact.

  • Welcome announcements are used to engage students. (e.g., Announcements)
  • Regular, timely course engagement, faculty feedback, and communication with students is demonstrated. (e.g., Announcements, Email, Discussion Board, LIVE Blackboard Collaborate Sessions)
  • Discussion board participation by faculty and students is integrated. (e.g., Discussion Board)
  • Faculty is available to students electronically and in person. (e.g., Online Office Hours/LIVE Blackboard Collaborate Sessions, Discussion Board, Email)
  • A positive online climate and course tone is maintained. (e.g., Discussion Board, Announcements)

IV. Reciprocity and Cooperation Among Students

Students engage in formal and/or informal discussions of course topics, group assignments, etc.

The coursesite includes:

  • Student introductions (e.g., Discussion Board)
  • Group assignments (e.g., Content Area and Grade Center)
  • Group discussions (e.g., Discussion Board)
  • Faculty models and facilitates students’ discussion participation. (e.g., Discussion Board)

V. Active Learning

Active learning methods engage students in the learning process by encouraging them to discover, process, and apply information in a variety of ways. Inclusive of students’ diversity, talents, and ways of knowing.

  • Varied student activities and assignments are included. (e.g., Syllabus, Discussion Board, Assignments/Assessments, Content Area)
  • Active use of writing, speaking, presentation is embedded into the coursesite. (e.g., Assignments, Discussion Board)
  • Students have opportunity to engage in collaborative learning activities. (e.g., Assignments, Course Content, Discussion Board)
  • Alternative assignment options or student choice is provided. (e.g., Syllabus, Assignments)
  • Supplemental online learning materials are offered. (e.g., Content Area)
  • Timely, corrective feedback for online activities is provided. (e.g., Discussion Board, Grade Center)
  • Accommodations and support resources provided for students with disabilities are available. (e.g., Syllabus, Course Content, Technology)

VI. Prompt Feedback

Faculty assist students in frequently assessing their knowledge and competence while providing them with opportunities to practice, receive suggestions, and reflect on their learning.

  • Faculty participation expectations are provided for all activities and course communications. (e.g., Syllabus or Content Area)
  • Meaningful feedback is clear, positive, specific and focused on learning objectives. (e.g., Grade Center, Discussion Board)
  • Assignments and activities are clearly communicated. (e.g., Syllabus, Content Area, Assignments)
  • Opportunities for draft or practice assignments are offered. (e.g., Content Area, Assignments)
  • Faculty regularly monitor students to ensure student retention and success. (e.g., Grade Center, Retention Center, Performance Dashboard)

VII. High Expectations

Faculty clearly communicate high, rigorous, appropriate expectations and provide support to students in meeting the expectations.

  • Explicit communication of knowledge and skills required for the course is provided. (e.g., Syllabus)
  • Explanation and reminders of learning objectives for each week, assignment, etc. are offered. (e.g., Syllabus, Course Content, Assignments)
  • Context and rationale for assignments to motivate students is available. (e.g., Announcements, Assignments, Course Content)
  • Examples and counterexamples of high quality work is available to students. (e.g., Course Content, Assignments)
  • Assignments and learning activities elicit critical thinking skills. (e.g., Discussion Board, Assignments, Course Content)
  • Appropriate amount of assigned work is defined. (e.g., Syllabus, Course Content, Assignments)