Introducing the online course evaluation rubric

The Online Course Evaluation Rubric serves as a framework for making notes on and progressing toward preparing your course for next semester. The rubric was created by instructional designers based on recommended best practices for inclusive, accessible, and well-structured course design to help you jumpstart your self-review of your course. The rubric contains important course elements sorted into categories with evaluative statements to consider.

Development Notes

We used the framework and select subcategories from the University of Oklahoma Rubric and UAF CTL’ Quality Courses Checklist to seed our development. We adapted sections and enhanced them to include a greater focus on equity, diversity and inclusion to provide a concise self-check document to faculty for online courses. Our team employs a student-first approach while including Universal Design principles toward making materials accessible for all.


  1. Complete and published
  2. Course introduction and information
  3. Universal Design
  4. Course formatting and layout
  5. Instructional materials and content
  6. Interaction
  7. Assessment of learning
  8. Grades
  9. Areas of strength
  10. Additional comments

Together we combined, reworked and distilled content from multiple research articles and course evaluation worksheets to create a list of sections and topics addressing key course elements. We invite each of you to use, share, adapt and remix this content via the CC BY 4.0 license.

Upcoming Teaching Tips will highlight specific sections of this resource. We encourage you to use the rubric, share what you find useful, and detail how we might improve it. Participants in the May 2021 Refresh Your Online Course workshop used this and other rubrics to help them plan course modifications for the upcoming semester.

Not everyone is a fan of rubrics. Most of us do and have used checklists. We invite you to use this Online Course Evaluation Rubric as a prompt to refresh your course for the next semester.

Make your own copy of the Online Course Evaluation Rubric


The following are selected resources used in support of this rubric:

Related Reading

Janene McMahan

Janene McMahan

Instructional Designer
Quality Matters Coordinator
Google Certified Educator