Quality Matters: Standard 1.2

It’s Quality Matters! Each week, we highlight a Quality Matters standard and review its importance in an online course and how we evaluate this standard.

Today, we are reviewing Quality Matters Standards 1.2

General Standard 1 addresses the course overview and introduction.


Click here to view Quality Matters Standard 1.2 in the Quality Matters Rubric. 


Standard 1.2 focuses on introducing learners to the purpose and structure of the course.

#elearning quality QM Std. 1.2 discussed

Online Course Quality www.FacultyeCommons.com Std. 1.2 Discussed


  • In standard 1.1, we looked at ensuring that learners know how to successfully begin the course and where to locate course content. Although we’re still maintaining a general emphasis on course introductions, QM Standard 1.2 focuses specifically on the purpose and structure of the course.
  • In order for this standard to be met, QM says that information should be provided that elucidates the purpose of the course, and how the learning process is structured and carried out. The syllabus is typically the best place to include this information. However, other introductory course documents may also contain information regarding the structure of the course. In our demo course, BUSN 7000 Start-Ups: Venturing Into Entrepreneurship, you can find the course purpose and structure in the Start Here section and syllabus.
  • Below is a checklist developed by QM that will aid you in the development of your syllabus and course outline:
  • The Foundation – Your Syllabus
    • Provide access to your syllabus
      • States the purpose of the course
      • Explains how the content is structured and carried out
      • Contains a course schedule
      • Explains delivery modalities (online or blended)
      • Discusses modes of communication
      • Describes types of learning activities
      • States how the learning will be assessed
    • Course Outline
      • A course outline provides an overview of your course and should include:
        • Times
        • Places
        • Scheduled Events
        • Assignments
        • Due Dates

AP Guidance: It is important to remember that introducing learners to the purpose and structure of your course benefits both the instructor and learner. Providing students with the kind of introductory information included above can prevent your inbox from being flooded with questions that can easily be addressed at the start of your course.


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Click here to access Quality Matters eLearning Marketplace. The Quality Matters eLearning Marketplace is a free, searchable database built to serve the broad QM community with an easy-to-use eLearning product/service directory organized within the 8 general standards of the rubric as well as by user and product categories.

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