Center for Technology Enhanced Learning

Minimum Requirements

Minimum requirements for online courses receiving CTEL grants

The following twelve items are minimum requirements an instructor should have in the Blackboard course site when students access an online course, typically 1-2 weeks before the semester starts. Some of these are required by USM (#2, #2.4, #5); some are recommended by Quality Matters; and all are simply good practice for high quality courses. USM Online requires these items for all classes that have received a Course Development or Redesign Grant. If you are still developing the course, we understand that not everything will be complete; but at least 50% of the materials and a shell for each week's content and discussions should be there.

  1. Does the course follow the CLE template set up for the respective program?
  2. Is there a welcome announcement and instructions on how to get started and find course components?
  3. Does the syllabus follow the CLE template?(Provost's posted syllabus requirements)
    1. Course level learning objectives?
    2. Clearly stated assignments?
    3. Clearly stated grading policy?
    4. General course schedule, including a clear statement as to where, when, and how students will attend any synchronous sessions (whether F2F or online)?
  4. Can students easily contact the instructor (via email, “Ask the Instructor” discussion forum, etc.)?
  5. Are all course activities available from Blackboard? (External materials may be used but must be linked to from the Bb course site.)
  6. Are materials available for every week/module/unit? (This could include an agenda, assignments, readings, notes, etc.)
  7. If student discussions are used, is the discussion forum set up for each assignment?
  8. Is there an instructor introduction (in the syllabus, content area, or discussion forum)?
  9. Are there clear netiquette guidelines?(is embedded in template)
  10. Are instructions provided for all required technologies? (tutorials page may be a good start)
  11. Are there links to student services such as technical support, library, accessibility, advising, tutoring, etc. (Student Services page is embedded in template)
  12. I have attended a Quality Matters workshop             Yes     No