QOLT Program Background


The Quality Online Learning and Teaching (QOLT) program was developed to assist faculty, faculty developers, and instructional designers to more effectively design and deliver online-blended courses. The QOLT evaluation instrument, containing 9 sections with 54 objectives, provides guidance and feedback to instructors. In addition, QOLT now includes an optional section on Mobile Platform Readiness (4 objectives). Each of the sections has a built-in rubric that provides feedback based on the instructor’s formative score.

The Quality Online Learning and Teaching evaluation instrument was developed after review of related research and literature, as well as careful consideration of existing models for assessing effective online teaching and learning.

  • Rubric for Online Instruction: Developed at CSU Chico in 2003 to assist development and evaluation of online courses while promoting dialog about student learning.
  • Quality Matters: Developed through a FIPSE grant from 2003-2006, QM is a faculty-centered, peer-review process designed to certify the quality of online and blended courses.
  • Quality Online Course Initiative: An online course rubric and evaluation system developed in the state of Illinois to help colleges and universities improve accountability of their online courses.
  • National Survey of Student Engagement: Hundreds of four-year colleges and universities surveyed since 2000 about student participation in programs and activities provided for their learning and personal development.
  • Community of Inquiry: Addresses course quality on three aspects: Social Presence, Teaching Presence, and Cognitive Presence.

QOLT was also informed by research on effective teaching and learning that pre-dates, yet greatly informs, modern online teaching and learning (e.g., “7 Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education” by Chickering & Gamson, 1987).