Academic Quality

Online courses should not be downgraded for online. The methods may be different than in face-to-face classes but the goal is the same. Both the academic content and grading standards of online classes should be equivalent face-to-face classes.


Suggestion for Instructors:

  • Choose challenging materials and assignments and make student workload equitable to a face-to-face class.
  • Use varied methods of student assessment including quizzes, discussion, writing assignments, group work.
  • Grading should clearly distinguish quality and should be comparable to face-to-face  classes.
  • Do your best to stop student cheating and "buying" of assignments or entire classes. Increase security with more written work, personalized journals, on-campus exams, timed online tests, frequent changing of assignments each semester.
  • Compare the grade distributions in your online classes with those in your face-to-face classes - the two should be similar.
  • Read Cuyamaca's Guide to Best Practices in Online Teaching
  • See San Diego Community College District's Online Teaching Proficiency Checklist
  • Research shows that "distance education is just as effective as traditional education in regard to learner outcomes." Source:  "Teaching and Learning at a Distance" by Simsonson, M., Smaldino, S., Albright, M., and Zvacek, S. : Pearson, 2009 [for a great discussion of the research in online quality, read chapter 3].  Also see the No Significant Difference Phenomenon.

College Policy and Training: