The Quality Matters Bill of Rights for Online Learners

Both students and online programs should focus on the quality they can expect from each other. This Bill of Rights for Online Learners outlines what students can be expected to do and what they can expect in return when participating in an online course or program. It was based on a study titled “What Makes a Quality Online Course: The Student Perspective” by Penny Raltson-Berg.

Whereas, the online learner is expected to:
  • Communicate regularly with faculty
  • Be an active course participant
  • Seek out campus resources to resolve any technical difficulties
  • Meet course deadlines, and
  • Act with academic integrity.
Therefore, the online learner in a fully online or blended course should expect:
  • A course designed with logical, consistent, and efficient navigation.
  • Clean and readable screen design.
  • Clear and sufficient instructions on how to
    1. get started in the course,
    2. find various course components,
    3. access online resources, and
    4. meet the course learning objectives.
  • An instructor who honors clearly stated response times and availability (office hours, etc.).
  • A grading policy including clearly stated, descriptive, and specific criteria for how work and participation will be evaluated.
  • Clear explanation of the requirements for interaction with the instructor, content and other students.
  • Learning objectives that are appropriate for the level of the course.
  • Instructional materials that
    1. contribute to the achievement of the course and module/unit learning objectives
    2. are clearly related to learning activities, and
    3. have the breadth, depth, and currency to enable them to learn the subject.
  • Required course components, technologies, tools and media that are
    1. web-based or easily downloaded,
    2. readily available, and
    3. appropriate for the content delivered.
  • A variety of assessments distributed throughout the course, that are
    1. appropriate to the content being assessed,
    2. consistent with course activities and resources, and
    3. focused on the stated learning objectives.