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Background of Rubric for Online Instruction

The Committee for Online Instruction (COI) was formed to address the need for demonstrating quality in online instruction, and for setting some guidelines for developers of online teaching. This committee (originally called CEEOC), comprising 13 faculty, 4 staff, 2 administrators, and 1 student, represented a cross section of the teaching and learning environment of Chico State. They first met in May of 2002 and for three full days during the summer of 2002 to review materials and discuss criteria and categories for evaluating online course components. In order to draw from the expertise of the scholarly community, the committee first reviewed existing best practices, learning styles, and standards (e.g., Graf and Caines' WebCT Exemplary Course Rubric, Bloom's Taxonomy, Chickering & Gamson's 7 Good Teaching Practices in Undergraduate Education); these resources are linked under "Resources" in the left menu.

The result was a "Rubric for Online Instruction" that not only promotes an ongoing discussion about the nature of student learning, it also helps us develop and evaluate online courses.

In spring of 2003, we offered this rubric to the campus community and invited nominations for recognition of online courses. Since then it has been used by institutions of higher education worldwide, and is helping faculty to receive recognition for their hard work in online course delivery.