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WVU Course Design Rubric


This is a rubric to document the design quality of courses at WVU. It does not measure the quality of the course delivery.

Each of the four areas (Student Information, Student Learning Outcomes, Learning Activities, and Assessments) has a set of expected criteria, which should be met by all courses (regardless of modality or type). Enhanced criteria are recognized as either markers of advanced course design or course design criteria that would be appropriate for only certain types of courses; some of these enhanced criteria may be required by departments or units.

If this rubric is being used as evidence of quality, we recommend at least 2 reviewers, one of whom is external to the unit.

Consequences of not meeting the expected criteria will vary by application.

General thoughts on scoring

If two or more expected criteria are missing from any of the four categories, revision may be required. One expected criterion may be missed in each category, provided that a justification or plan for future improvement is included.


Student Information


  • Information to get started in the course is provided (syllabus plus other items)
    • Course overview (expected methods of instruction, student expectations and responsibilities)
    • Course policies
    • Instructor contact information, office hours, and other instructor information
    • Appropriate and expected means of communication and instructor response time
    • Course meeting schedule
    • Information about textbook and other instructional materials
    • Minimum technology requirements and skills
    • Technology support information
    • Course prerequisites and skills
  • The course grading policy is stated clearly at the beginning of the course including the final grading scale and the contribution of course assessments.
  • If participation is graded then there is a clear policy for participation or learner interaction.
  • If attendance is graded then there is a clear policy for attendance.
  • Information on institutional policies and support services is provided.
  • The course provides learners with information on protecting their data and privacy, particularly if it uses outside vendors.
  • The course provides a plan for providing students with timely feedback on their assessments (per BOG Rule not to exceed 10 instructional days; this should be adjusted appropriately for shorter-length courses).
  • The course syllabus is available electronically and has passed the accessibility checker in Word or Adobe Acrobat as appropriate.


  • Explicit discussion of alignment between course learning outcomes, learning activities, and assessments
  • Alignment is clearly shown in a visual format such as a graphic or table.
  • Students are asked to introduce themselves to the class.
  • Students are presented as partners in the teaching and learning of the course.
  • Any outside vendors meet accessibility requirements.

Student Learning Outcomes


  • The course learning outcomes are measurable.
  • Learning outcomes are stated from the learner’s perspective.
  • The learning outcomes are suited to the level of the course.
  • The course learning outcomes are specific.
  • The course outcomes are achievable and appropriate in number.
  • At least one course learning outcome maps to a program learning outcome.


  • The module/unit-level learning outcomes are measurable and aligned with the course-level outcomes.
  • Course and module/unit level learning outcomes are written with reduced or clarified jargon.

Learning Activities


  • The learning activities align with the course learning outcomes and assessments.
  • The learning activities are suited to the level of the course.
  • The instructional materials and tools used support the learning activities.
  • The instructional materials and tools are current.
  • At least some learning activities promote active learning.
  • At least some learning activities require interaction with the instructor.
  • There are explicit guidelines for completing learning activities as appropriate.
  • All electronic course media have text alternatives, including captions for videos, transcripts for audio-only content, and alternative text for images.


  • The relationship between the use of instructional materials, tools, and learning activities is clearly explained.
  • The learning activities are varied.
  • Students have choice in some learning materials or content.
  • Students have choice in the way they demonstrate their learning.
  • Some learning activities promote collaborative learning.
  • Learning activities are appropriately scaffolded.
  • The instructional materials and tools are varied.
  • Instructional materials appear in varied formats. (e.g., text-based readings, video content, audio content, and graphic content.)
  • The instructional materials are accessible and promote readability.
  • Feedback is incorporated into some or all learning activities with a focus on learning growth and improvement.
  • The course models the academic integrity and respect for intellectual property expected of learners, by providing both source references and permissions for use of instructional materials.



  • The assessments measure the achievement of student learning.
  • The assessments align with the course learning outcomes and activities.
  • It is clear to the student how assessments will be evaluated.
  • The assessments are suited to the level of the course.
  • There are multiple assessments distributed throughout the course.
  • The assessments used are a mixture of formative and summative.


  • Rubrics and/or sample work or previous tests are provided to students.
  • There is a plan for providing individualized or aggregate timely feedback on all assessments.
  • The assessments used are sequenced.
  • The assessments used are varied in type.
  • The assessments are appropriately scaffolded.
  • The assessments used are a mixture of high and low-stakes.
  • Students have some choice in the types of assessments used to measure their learning.