Best practices for online and blended or hybrid courses were drafted using the Blackboard Exemplary
Course and Quality Matters Rubric.
Page 1 of 3
Best Practices
Online and Blended or Hybrid Instructors
Department of Distance Learning
I. Course Design
QM Standard 1, QM Standard 4, and QM Standard 6, BB Goals and Objectives, Content
Presentation, BB Learner Support, BB Course/Institutional Policies & Support
Instructor contains a Start Here module, unit or week with course introductory materials.
Explain course format or structure.
Identify and provide instructions on how to access course tools and technology.
Clearly explain netiquette expectations for all forms of communication in the course.
Provide information regarding relevant institutional policies and student success
resources (i.e. technical help-desk, accessibility, plagiarism, cheating, and library).
Provides review of required prerequisites for course and technical competencies.
Instructor introduction provided to students in course.
Course is organized in manageable segments such as by learning modules, units or week.
A course calendar is provided with syllabus and denotes recommended dates for completing
learning module, unit or weekly activities.
Course content is presented in a variety of formats or learning activities.
II. Course Navigation
QM Standard 6, BB Content Presentation, BB Technology Use
Course navigation is logical and consistent by module, unit or week.
All course links provided (internal/external) are working and functional.
Required and supplementary activities or course materials are clearly denoted.
Publisher materials and other course content resources are integrated with institutions learning
management system to support streamlined navigation.
III. Course Objectives
QM Standard 2, BB Goals and Objectives
Overall course objectives and individual course objectives for individual learning units are
Overall course and individual module, unit or week course objectives align and reflect desired
outcomes and are clearly written and measurable.
Individual module, unit or week learning objectives are easily visible and accessible within their
respective folder.
IV. Course communication
QM Standard 5, BB Learner Engagement, BB Communication Strategies, BB Interaction
Logistics, BB Instructor Role and Information
Instructor Name
Course #/Name
Best practices for online and blended or hybrid courses were drafted using the Blackboard Exemplary
Course and Quality Matters Rubric.
Page 2 of 3
Instructor has provided a variety of communication strategies and opportunities for student to
student, instructor to student and student to instructor interaction.
Instructor has clearly published information regarding online office hours, response times for
email, discussion and other forms of communication within the course.
Instructor responds to all student inquiries within 24 hours of receipt.
Instructor’s policy and timeframe for returning graded course activities and assignments clearly
written and available within course section.
Instructor provides regular course announcements providing reminders and course updates.
Course communication activities encourage students to feel part of a learning community.
Students are asked to provide an introduction to other students in the course.
Instructor maintains online presence by their participation, facilitation or monitoring of student
communication within their course.
A general discussion thread is available to allow students to communicate and ask questions
regarding the course.
Course learning activities provide opportunities for student to student interaction and
Instructor clearly communicates expectations for student interaction and participation in the
V. Course Evaluation or Assessment
QM Standard 3, QM Standard 4, BB Learner Engagement, BB Assessment
The grading policy is clearly stated on the course syllabus.
Assessments align with overall course objectives and/or individual learning objectives/goals.
All course activities, assessments and assignments have descriptive instructions, point allocation
and descriptive criteria of how students will be graded.
Grades are managed and easily made accessible to students through the institution’s learning
management system.
Course assessment provides opportunities for higher order thinking, problem solving and self-
VI. Course Technology
QM Standard 4, QM Standard 6, BB Supportive Software
Required and optional software list provided along with instructions for installation
requirements, proper installation and course implementation.
Instructor clearly communicates if there is a cost associated with any course technology
employed in the course it is clearly communicated to students.
Best practices for online and blended or hybrid courses were drafted using the Blackboard Exemplary
Course and Quality Matters Rubric.
Page 3 of 3
VII. File Management
BB Technical Accessibility Issues
Videos and large files are available in smaller or manageable chunks to assist in reasonable
download times.
VIII. Accessibility
QM Standard 8, BB Accommodations for Disabilities, BB Feedback
Transcripts of videos or audio files are provided.
Instructor provides opportunities for students to provide anonymous feedback regarding course
design, delivery and navigation (accessibility).
Course design keeps in mind appropriate use of color, text size, and provides audio and video