Rubric for Online Instruction

Author Information
Laura Sederberg
Institution(s) or Organization(s) Where EP Occurred: 
California State University - Chico
Effective Practice Abstract/Summary
Abstract/Summary of Effective Practice: 

California State University, Chico uses the Rubric for Online Instruction to recognize faculty's exemplary works in online education.

Supporting Information for this Effective Practice
Evidence of Effectiveness: 

The Rubric for Online Instruction program was designed by a committee of faculty, administrators, and staff who first researched other rubrics and good teaching practices. The idea was approved by a committee of deans involved in online education, supported by the Provost of the university, and presented to and approved by the Faculty Senate. The first phase of implementation involved evaluating eight nominations for "exemplary online courses" using the Rubric for Online Instruction. More courses were nominated for a second round. Evaluation of the first round is now being completed, and the recognized courses, based on one or more of the five categories of the rubric, will be announced soon. CELT recently held a Technology in Learning & Teaching (TILT) Symposium for faculty at CSU, Chico. There was a strong interest in this subject. At the next CELT Conference, Sept. 2003, three nominated faculty will talk about their courses, the process, the impact the process has had on them, their students and their teaching effectiveness. We will post results and links to these individual faculty members on our website.

How does this practice relate to pillars?: 

faculty satisfaction: California State University, Chico's Rubric for Online Instruction helps faculty improve existing online courses or course components. It can also assist faculty in developing/designing new online courses. In the past, faculty did not have clear guidelines. The Rubric for Online Instruction helps them make their courses "exemplary." Additionally, the institutional reward system recognize instructors of exemplary courses. At Chico State we want to recognize all high quality online courses, not just "the best"; therefore, we have set an evaluation process that recognizes many exemplary courses based on the 5-category rubric. Some faculty members are asked to present their courses at our Annual CELT Conference, which brings personal satisfaction and institutional recognition from administrators, other faculty, staff and students.

Estimate the probable costs associated with this practice: 

The only cost to use the Rubric for Online Instruction is a time cost: The time to become familiar with the 5 categories and their criteria, and then applying the rubric to a particular course. The rubric can be used by individuals outside of the nomination and recognition process. Courses may be nominated formally. Although CELT evaluates only CSU, Chico courses, other institutions ask for the rubric and are using it for their courese or are adapting it to their courses. Development of the rubric required that a group of 20 committee members meet 4 times from May to September in 2002 (three full-day meetings and one 2-hour meeting), as well as many hours in research and e-mail correspondence for collaboration. The committee came to consensus in mid Fall of 2002 and implemented the rubric for a first round of nominations in January 2003.

References, supporting documents: 
The web site for the Rubric for Online Instruction ( includes links to committee notes, research sites, the rubric itself, instructions for using the rubric, and more. Feel free to browse the site. As a WebCT Institute, CSU-Chico feels responsible to share materials and lessons learned. Please visit our WebCT Institute web site, as well.
Contact(s) for this Effective Practice
Effective Practice Contact: 
Laura Sederberg
Email this contact: