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E-Learning Quality at Kansas State University

Kansas State University has successfully provided distance courses and degrees to nontraditional learners for many years and has received positive recognition through awards from prestigious national organizations. Many of these awards went to outstanding faculty members who paved the way in online teaching. While some faculty members have designed award winning courses, others are asking how to approach a higher level of quality in their own courses.

As the importance, visibility and continuing growth of online instruction continues to emerge, Kansas State University, like other universities, has attempted to define quality in online courses by initially developing a quality checklist back in 2008. Since then, the checklist has evolved into a rubric. The K-State Rubric for Quality E-Learning (.docx) or K-State Rubric for Quality E-Learning (pdf) is available for use in reviewing/scoring an online course. The robust checklist and rubric are based on other well accepted checklists used by other universities and incorporates conventional best practices in online instruction.

Faculty, administrators, and instructional designers located across the K-State campuses participated in the development of the checklist. The instructional designers are prepared to work with faculty members who use this tool. This section of the wiki currently contains the checklist and will house suggestions, examples and other helpful information now in the development stage.

It is hoped that the use of the checklist and the other materials found in the wiki will be of help to faculty members teaching in an online environment. The checklist has been created to provide assistance as instructors design, develop and deliver online courses of the highest quality.

At some point in the future, additional resources will be added here. Quality metrics are a moving target, and as various factors change, this space will evolve.

The point persons on campus for e-learning quality are Laura Widenor ( and Shalin Hai-Jew ( There are many others on campus who work to ensure e-learning quality, and both individuals can make introductions and point faculty and staff to other resources on campus.

A new draft rubric for non-credit courses is available here. A downloadable MS Word form of the Noncredit Course K-State E-Learning Quality Rubric is available as well.

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