Online Education

A Division of the Office for the Advancement of Teaching & Learning

Exemplary Online Course Award

The Office of Online Education announces its second Exemplary Online Course Design competition!

The purpose of this competition is to recognize and celebrate high quality, innovative online course design across our University community. We look forward to entries from any segment of the University! Please remember, our award recognizes course design, not teaching.


The major goals of the award are:

  • To promote excellent pedagogical design and innovation in online teaching and learning
  • To create a community of educators who want to share online teaching and learning practices


Evaluators will review your course site using theĀ Quality Matters Rubric, 5th Edition and the following criteria:

  1. Student Engagement and Community Building. (Course design reflects multiple opportunities for student-student information sharing and interaction, collaborative learning, interaction with the instructor, etc.)
  2. Communication. (Standards for and expectations of communication methods and timing are clear; multiple opportunities are evident for various means of communication, etc.)
  3. Learning Materials and Strategies. (Site navigation is clear and accessible, active learning strategies abound, content is available in multiple ways, etc.)
  4. Learning Outcomes and Assessment. (Course objectives/outcomes are clearly defined and aligned with content and assignments/assessments, activities to encourage student involvement with course materials vary, multiple assessment strategies are evident, etc.)
  5. Learner Support. (Digital and technical literacy requirements are evident and clearly articulated, resources for student support are provided, etc.)

In order to determine if your course meets all necessary criteria, you can use the QM self-checksĀ for self-evaluation purposes.

Please note: Eligible courses are those that have been taught in the past two years. Courses currently in progress are not eligible.


Each applicant will submit a letter that offers a description of their online course and explains the ways in which it is exemplary, in light of the Rubric and relevant criteria. Please send your letter of application to Upon receipt of your application, you will notified to add evaluators to your course site. Applications must be received no later than April 9th, 2015, 5pm.

Question? Please contact Kathleen Torrens ( or Joannah Portman-Daley (

The winner will receive $250 credit to RAM computers!

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