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Faculty Standards for Online Instruction

The guidelines found herein are required for any faculty teaching online courses. These important standards keep TMCC’s WebCollege courses held to a high level of expectation and ensure that all students receive a high-quality education from TMCC.

Most of the standards are based on Quality Matters. Quality Matters is a nationally recognized rubric for use in course design. Other standards are based on best practices in online presence and facilitation and learner support.

Learning Management System

The approved College learning management system will be used by the instructor who teaches an online course.

Third-Party Content

  • If faculty choose to use third-party content, faculty will factor ADA compliance, section 504 standards when choosing content and or will collaborate with TMCC's Disability Resource Center (DRC) as necessary to provide reasonable accommodations and or modifications for students with disabilities.
  • Faculty will be responsible for student technical support of the third-party content that they select. Any additional technology needed to support students will be the responsibility of the DRC.
  • Faculty will document weekly substantive activity for students receiving financial aid as needed.
  • In case of a student grade appeal, faculty will be responsible for documenting grades if Canvas is not being used.
  • Faculty will at minimum post a syllabus on Canvas so students have the correct information to get started with the third-party content.
  • In an effort to preserve server space, video content stored in Kaltura/Canvas is regularly audited. Media content with zero engagement activity for a period of two years will be placed into a pending deletion queue. The media will remain in the pending deletion state for an additional two years. If this media continues to be unused the content will be permanently deleted.


Approved May 2018

Standard 1: Faculty Training

1.1 First-time online instructors will complete the Canvas I, II, III training before teaching online.

1.2 Recurring faculty will attend training relevant to online teaching on a yearly basis. Suggestions: Tips & Tricks to Online Course Design: Consistency in Course Presentation and Student Navigation, Creating Accessible Content, Delivering Effective Online Courses, QM Improving your Online Course, DE Summer Institute or other related online professional development.

1.3 Faculty teaching online courses for more than three semesters will attend the Quality Matters Rubric training or the Quality Matters Improving Your Online Course. QM training only needs to be completed once in order to fulfill this standard.

Standard 2: Organization

2.1 Getting started materials include an overview of the purpose and structure of the course. (QM1.1)

2.2 Course contains clear instructions for the learner on where to start and how to proceed with the first week of instruction. (QM1.1)

2.3 Due to financial aid regulations course must have a substantive assignment due the first week of class. This can be an introduction discussion, syllabus quiz, a submitted assignment, or live session through a web-conferencing system. This also guides TMCC procedures for non-attendance.

2.4 Course navigation facilitates ease of use, and is organized into a consistent and logical manner. (QM8.1)

2.5 Instructional content is presented in an appropriate format for the online learning environment. (QM8.4)

2.6 Approved course objectives and student learning outcomes are clearly stated. (QM2.3)

2.7 ADA statement is provided and information on how to receive assistance. (QM7.2)

2.8 Online courses must be published on the first day of the semester by 12:01 a.m.

Standard 3: Instructional Design

3.1 The course contains a clear and concise grading policy established by the departments, grading timelines, and includes specific information regarding assignment due dates, and late policy. (QM3.2)

3.2 The distinction between required and optional material is clearly stated. (QM4.6)

3.3 Requirements of a third party content are clearly stated, how to get started and where to go for technical support. (QM7.1)

3.4 The course includes a variety of instructional material types. Example: Discussions, assignments, quizzes, group projects, video content. Instructional content cannot be just text-based. (QM4.5)

3.5 Assessments align to and measure the course learning outcomes. (QM3.1)

3.6 Learning activities promote the achievement of course learning outcomes. (QM5.1)

3.7 The course contains an academic integrity statement with an explanation of consequences of breaking the policy.

Standard 4: Facilitation and Presence

4.1 Instructor takes an active role in course facilitation including: logging in to class at a minimum of three times a week, and respond to student communications within 24 hours (weekends and holidays excluded).

4.2 Instructor actively encourages, shapes and facilitates meaningful student interactions.

4.3 Instructor models communication practices that are respectful.

4.4 Instructor provides feedback to students that is personalized and specific.

4.5 Instructor provides a personal introduction. (QM1.8)

4.6 Instructor provides reliable contact information.

4.7 Instructor clearly explains their role regarding participation in the online environment, including response time. (QM5.3)

4.8 Instructor provides opportunities for student to student as well as instructor to student interaction and supports active learning. (QM5.2)

Standard 5: Learner Support

5.1 The course, at a minimum, contains links to TMCC academic and student support services. (QM7.3)

5.2 The course provides technical support for Canvas and how to obtain it is clearly stated. (QM7.1)

5.3 Minimum technology requirements and skills are clearly stated. (QM1.7)

5.4 If proctored exams are required for the course the options are clearly stated.

5.5 Accessibility information is provided for all technologies required for the course. (QM8.2)

5.6 Instructor establishes clear expectations for interaction in the course including online etiquette expectations. (QM1.3)