Quality in Online Course Design

The Executive Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs has charged the Office of Distance Learning (ODL) to promote measurable quality and consistency in online course structures to provide USC Aiken online students engaging online course experiences. 

The ODL has adapted several peer-reviewed rubrics (Quality Matters, Online Learning Consortium, etc...) to create foundational expectations of quality in online course design. These expectations have also helped us develop work with faculty members to develop various templates that can be revised an applied to meet the needs within a course. To help expedite the course development process, instructional designers have multiple examples and templates with solid pedagogical considerations ranging from syllabus content, student interactions, assignments, rubrics, and more that faculty can amend to build course content without worrying about starting the entire process from scratch.

The resources stored in Google are for your use in developing course content for the syllabus, course schedule, modules, activities, and 'start here' content. The templates are included to provide consistency in instructions with the use of technology access and standard jargon relating to navigation, and policies and procedures among courses, departments, colleges, and the institution. Simply put, the use of online course templates make creating course content and instructions easier. 

If particulars do not meet the needs of your course(s), simply delete them from the template. The templates have been checked for accessibility, so if you make drastic changes, ensure your final document is still accessible. Feel free to access the links for each template, which are stored in Google.  If you wish to use a template, click "File," "Download as," and "Microsoft Word."  This will give you a document you can manipulate to fit the needs of your course. 

Contact the Office of Distance Learning for a Blackboard course shell template to build your course (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). 

Blank Online Course Development Templates

  1. Syllabus Template [Google Template]

  2. Schedule Template [Google Template]

  3. Module Content Template [Google Template]

  4. Activities Draft Template [Google Template]

  5. Welcome Message Template [Google Template]

Best Practice Examples

For your reference, Best Practices Examples are provided in PDF form and will describe the quality standards were used to guide the setup of the templates.

  1. Course Syllabus [PDF]

  2. Course Schedule [PDF]

  3. Module Sample and Organizer [PDF]

  4. Welcome Letter [PDF]

  5. Creating Lectures [PDF]

  6. Blooms Taxonomy Action Verbs [PDF]