Checklist for Online Instructors

Technical Expectations

Course Management System

[  ]Get acquainted with the course management system and access tutorials showing how to use specific features including:

  • the Assignment pages and system
  • posting, editing and reordering news announcements
  • adding or rearranging discussion prompts on the Discussion Board
  • setting up quizzes and surveys.

Check for Broken Links

[  ]Review all course hyperlinks to readings and supplementary resources and update broken links and remove dead links. Nothing says "stale" or "outdated" faster than a dead link. Links can disappear overnight. A link dated 2001 may still work but provide seriously obsolete information and data. Keep resources fresh and current each term.

Reference Citations

[  ]Verify that all referenced sources are properly cited. Model how to cite sources and images ethically and legally for students.

Course Multimedia Accessibility

[  ]Test course navigation and correct to solve accessibility issues.

[  ]verify that all multimedia meet disability accommodation requirements such as closed captions on videos, transcripts of all audio and videos including YouTube videos, and proper use of heading tags in news announcements.

[  ]Check all media for proper display, video playback, and create alt tags for all images.

News and Announcements

[  ]Create an audio or video welcome from the instructor in the first module or post a photo and brief biography in the Announcements area of the course for the opening day of the class.

Gradebook Set Up

[  ]Confirm online gradebook settings are accurate for total assessment.

Managerial – Course Organization Expectations

Course Calendar

[  ]Be aware that Canvas creates a course calendar that clearly outlines due dates for readings and assignments. If the course involves group work and student-to-student feedback, clearly communicating time parameters and staying on schedule is vital to keep pace with the course. Students need to be able to access the calendar from any page of the course. Indicate pending assignments and activities on your To Do list (a part of Canvas).


[  ]Contact information, preferred communication method, expected response times to email messages and questions (preferably 24 hours), and expected response time for timely feedback on assignments including whether students will receive feedback in the Assignments or the online gradebook.

[  ]Identify specific expectations for frequency of responses/postings on the Discussion Board.

[  ]Include links to the academic honesty policy.

[  ]Publish your Online Office Hours in several places on your course materials.

[  ]Articulate the course "late policy" clearly.

Welcome Email

[  ]Send a welcome message to students, including the required textbooks and/or software and other material needed, how to purchase, rent or download the material in ample time for them to acquire them prior to the first day of class. If possible, arrange for a linked excerpt or PDF copy of Week 1 readings for students who are waiting for delivery of materials on Day 1 of the course.

[  ]Include information about whom to contact for technical assistance with logging into email or the course management system.

[  ]Include information about disability accommodation.

[  ]Include information about what date the course will open for pre-class orientation to reduce anxiety, provide preview time and resolve technical issues before the course begins.

[  ]Announce your office hours and/or email response timing. Students need to know how soon they can expect to get a reply from you.

Student Orientation

[  ]Create an orientation page explaining Canvas, the school's course management system, or provide a link to existing tutorials that the school's technical department has created.

[  ]Use a "scavenger hunt" activity to get students acclimated to the Discussion Board, readings, Assignment submission, etc.

[  ]Start the pre-class time by sharing information on procedures, links to tutorials, screen captures of various course tools, etc.

Pedagogical / Instructional Design Expectations

Course Goals and Learning Outcomes

[  ]Review Module One and update information to communicate important course goals and learning outcomes clearly.

Netiquette/Ground Rules

[  ]Establish netiquette rules or course ground rules emphasizing how to participate in online discussion forums, behaviors acceptable in the online learning environment, and polite forms of online interaction.

[  ]Provide a group activity to develop course ground rules in a wiki, or a scavenger hunt activity for students to review information provided in the syllabus, course calendar, and netiquette guidelines.

Discussion Prompts

[  ]Set up or revise the course discussion prompts to encourage critical thinking on the discussion board.

Past Course Evaluations

[  ]Review past course evaluations to determine enhancement for instructional strategies.

Course Assignments

[  ]Review and revise assignments to emphasize a high level of Bloom's Taxonomy and help avoid the possibility of plagiarism.

This site provides information using PDF, visit this link to download the Adobe Acrobat Reader DC software.