Proposed Online Course Standards

Overview of NACOL, QM, ROI | Alignment of NACOL, QM, ROI


A. Learner Objectives
• The course goals and objectives are measurable, appropriate to the length of the course, and clearly state what the participants will know or be able to do at the end of the course (iN 1.1, 1.7, QM 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.5 ROI 3.b)
(K-12) • The course content and assignments are aligned with state’s content standards or nationally accepted content standards (iN 1.2)
(K-12) • 21st century skills, including information literacy and communication skills, are incorporated and taught as an integral part of the curriculum. (iN 1.4)
B. Instructional Strategies
• The course content and activities are of sufficient rigor, depth, and breadth to teach the standards being addressed (iN 1.3, QM 5.1, ROI 3.c)
• The course instruction includes activities that engage students in active learning. (iN 2.3, 2.6, QM 5.2, ROI 5.b)
• Instruction provides students with multiple learning paths to master the content, addressing individual student needs, learning styles and preferences. (iN 2.1, 2.4 ROI 3.d)
• The course provides opportunities for students to engage in higher-order thinking, critical-reasoning activities and thinking in increasingly complex ways. (iN 2.5, QM 5.2, ROI 3.e)
(K-12) • The course intentionally emphasizes 21st century skills in the course, including: using 21st century skills in the core subjects, 21st century content, learning and thinking skills, ICT literacy, self-directed learning, global awareness (iN 1.4)
C. Resources and Materials
• A variety of high-quality learning resources and materials are available to increase student success (iN 1.5, 2.11, 4.4, QM 4.5, ROI 5.c)
• The resources are of sufficient rigor, depth, and breadth to teach the standards being addressed. (QM 4.1)
• Instructions on how to access resources at a distance are sufficient and easy to understand.(QM 4.2)


A. Course Overview
• A clear, complete course overview and syllabus are included in the course (iN 1.6, QM 1.2, ROI 2.b)
• Instructions make clear how to get started and where to find various course components. (QM 1.1)
• An instructor's communication plan is provided, including the instructor's availability, instructor response-time policy, and the methods for students to communicate with the instructor (iN 1.8)
• The requirements for student work, including student interaction, are clearly articulated. (QM 5.4)
• Academic integrity and netiquette (Internet etiquette) expectations regarding lesson activities, discussions, e-mail communications and plagiarism are clearly stated (iN 1.10, QM 1.3)
• Privacy policies are clearly stated. (iN 1.11, QM 1.4)
• The introduction contains closely monitored activities for student engagement, including a self-introduction activity for students and the instructor. (QM 1.7, 1.8)
(CP)The course provider offers orientation training. (iN 5.10, ROI 1.a)
B. Course Structure
• The course is organized logically (into units and lessons), and enrichment content, activities, and resources are clearly identified. (iN 2.2, QM 4.6)
• Each lesson/unit includes content and activities, assignments, and assessments to provide multiple learning opportunities for students to master the content. Each unit includes an overview that describes the objectives of the lesson, as well as introduce the upcoming content, activities, assignments, and assessments of the unit. (iN 2.2, ROI 5.d)
• The course structure has flexibility to accommodate multiple timelines. (iN 4.2)
C. Learner Engagement
• The course design provides opportunities for appropriate instructor-student interaction, including timely and frequent feedback about student progress based on the learning targets. (iN 2.8, ROI 3.a)
• The course provides opportunities for appropriate student-student interaction to foster mastery and application of the material and a plan for monitoring that interaction. (iN 2.9, ROI 3.a)
• The course provides opportunities for appropriate student interaction with the content to foster mastery and application of the material. (ROI 3.a)
D. Learner Support
• The course instructions articulate or link to a clear description of the technical support offered. (QM 7.1, 7.2)
• Course instructions answer basic questions related to research, writing, technology, etc., or link to tutorials or other resources that provide the information. (QM 7.3, 7.4)
(CP) • The course provider offers the course teacher, school coordinator assistance with technical support and course management. (iN 5.6)


• Student evaluation strategies are aligned with course goals and objectives, representative of the scope of the course and clearly stated. (iN 3.1, QM 3.1, ROI 4.b)
• The course structure includes a wide variety of assessment procedures to assess students’ mastery of content. (iN 1.1, 3.2, 3.7, QM 3.4, ROI 4.c)
• Specific and descriptive criteria, including rubrics, are provided for the evaluation of students’ work and participation. (iN 3.6, QM 3.3)
• Ongoing and frequent assessments are conducted to verify each student’s readiness for the next lesson. (iN 3.3, ROI 6.a)
• Regular feedback opportunities, including autonomous feedback such as "self-check" or computer-generated practice assignments, make the student continuously aware of his/her progress in class. (iN 3.4, QM 3.5, ROI 4.e)
• Grading policy and practices are easy to understand. (iN 3.7, QM 3.2)
• The course includes authentic assessments that address, in part, 21st century skills. (iN 1.4)


A. Technology Use
• The course makes maximum appropriate use of current online tools outside of the LMS (including email, web 2.0, chat, and synchronous/videoconferencing) to enhance learning (iN 4.7, QM 6.1, 6.2, 6.5, ROI 5.a)
• Technologies are chosen that are accessible to students (iN 4.7, QM 6.4)
• Hardware, web browser and software requirements, as well as prerequisite technology skills are specified. (iN 4.5, 4.6, QM 1.5, 1.6)
(CP) • The course architecture (CMS) permits the online teacher to add content, activities and assessments to support the learning objectives of the course. (iN 4.1, QM 6.1)

B. Technical Design
• The course is easy and logical to navigate, including self-describing links (iN 4.3, QM 6.3, ROI 2.a)
• Aesthetic design presents and communicates course information clearly throughout the course. (ROI 2.c)
• All web pages are visually and functionally consistent throughout the course. (ROI 2.d)


(CP) • Course provider uses multiple ways of assessing course effectiveness. (iN 5.1, ROI 6.a, 6.b)
(CP) • The course is evaluated regularly for effectiveness, and the findings are used as a basis for improvement. (iN 5.2, 5.3)
(CP) • The teacher meets the professional teaching standard established by a state licensing agency or the teacher has academic credentials in the field in which he or she is teaching and has been trained to teach online and to use the course. (iN 5.4)


• Student information remains confidential, as required by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). (iN 4.11)
• All resources and materials used in the course are appropriately cited and obey copyright and fair use. (iN 4.9, QM 4.3)
• The course meets universal design principles, Section 508 standards and W3C guidelines to ensure access for all students. (iN 4.8, 4.10, ROI 2.e)
• The course meets ADA compliance, including alternatives to auditory or visual content, as well as accommodating the use of assistive technologies (QM 8.2, 8.3, 8.4)
• The course reflects multi-cultural education, and the content is accurate, current, and free of bias or advertising (iN 1.9)