Structure and Organization Button
Design and Layout Button
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About the rubric

DLINQ has developed the Middlebury Online Course Design rubric to articulate the core components of good online course design, as well as specific elements to attend to while creating your online course. Below, you can explore each of the 6 different components – Structure and Organization, Design and Layout, Content and Activities, Interaction and Collaboration, Assessment and Feedback, and Tools and Tech. We provide an overview of the component, a checklist of important design elements to incorporate into your online course, and samples and/or resources that illustrate and provide additional information for each element.

The rubric is based on the Online Learning Consortium Quality Scorecard OSCQR 3.1, CC-BY. It was originally developed by Open SUNY.  We edited the rubric to reflect qualities of a Middlebury education, and have made it available CC-BY.

Create a Google Sheets Copy of the Full Rubric
Download a PDF Copy of the Full Rubric

Self-assessment tool: You can use the rubric as a self-assessment tool to diagnose what aspects of your online course meet good practice guidelines, and help you to develop an action plan for aspects of your course that need improvement. Download a copy of the full rubric to complete your self-assessment.

Checklist: You can use the rubric as a checklist to guide development of a new online course or revision of an existing online course. Download a copy of the full rubric for use as a checklist.

Resource guide: As you work to create your online or hybrid course, you can use the samples and resources provided on this website to help address any knowledge gaps.

If you’re new to teaching online, we suggest the following steps to get started:

  • Walk through the different components of the rubric below, in the order they are presented, to familiarize yourself with the elements and how they fit into a well-designed online course. The online course design infographic, at right, visualizes how the components are related.
  • Use the rubric to complete a self-assessment, to identify where you might need additional information or support. Download a copy of the full rubric to complete your self-assessment.
  •  Sign up for one of our Camp Design Online sessions, offered throughout the summer this year. During Camp, you’ll go through the process of creating an online course in the company of colleagues and DLINQ staff, putting into practice many of the components presented in the rubric. Find out more and RSVP.

DLINQ has created a Canvas template that includes a starter learner support module, as well as a barebones module structure that you can use as a model for your course; you can even import the template into your course to use as a starting point for building out your course. The templates are aligned with the Middlebury Course Design rubric, so using the template means that you’ll have a head start on aligning your course with the rubric!

The template needs to be imported early in the course design process, before you start creating your content (otherwise, you may overwrite your content). Once you create your empty Canvas course in Course Hub, your next step is to import the template. Templates are available in the Canvas Commons.

To import the Middlebury College/Institute template into your course:

    • In your Canvas course, click the “Import from Commons” button in the right-hand menu. This takes you to the Canvas Commons interface.
    • In the search bar, type in Middlebury
    • In the search results you’ll see a course called Middlebury COllege/institute Fall 2020 template. Click that link.
    • Click the blue “Import/download” button
    • Type your course name into the course search box and select your course from the results.
    • Click the “Import into Courses” button
    • Go to your course and you should see the template now in your course. (If not, wait a few minutes and then go to your course again.)

If you prefer to watch the process, this brief video shows how to import a template into a Canvas course.

The DLINQ Instructional Design team is available for 1:1 consultations to help you identify your next steps in your online and hybrid course design journey. Please email dlinq AT middlebury DOT edu, or fill out our contact form, to request an appointment.

Course Design Infographic

click image to view and download course design infographic