COLRS Best Practices – Oakley Distinguished Online Teaching Award

The following best practices are considered by COLRS in evaluating nominations and making recommendations for the Burks Oakley II Distinguished Online Teaching Award.

Course Design & Facilitation

  • Syllabus
    • Measurable course objectives
    • A course calendar that has all readings, assignments, and dates.
    • Communication policy
    • Student assignment due dates are stated and consistent throughout the semester
  • Announcements used to direct students to current work and/or provide feedback
  • Course material is available for students to work ahead as appropriate to course
  • Course materials are arranged in modules (weeks, topics, etc.) for ease of student access
  • Course modules contain measurable objectives to guide student learning
  • Course content is delivered in varied formats to engage multiple learning styles
  • Opportunities for students to interact with one another are present (discussion board, blogs, group assignments, etc.

Assessment, Content& Teaching Technologies

  • Active learning techniques are used in assignment designs
  • Assessments measure module and course learning objectives
  • Formative and summative assessments are present
  • Discussion questions encourage critical thinking
  • Timely feedback &assessment are provided
  • Rubrics–holistic or analytic are used
  • Course resources contain current text books and other current resources
  • Technologies are used strategically and deliberately for an educational purpose.
  • Specific instructions and tutorials are provided for required course technologies


  • Word documents and PDFs use heading styles and accurate reading order
  • Videos all have captions or transcripts
  • Color combinations are high contrast

Student Support

  • Information/links to Student Support Services are provided for students as appropriate to course of study in any or all of the following areas:
    • Financial Aid
    • Registration
    • Counseling center
    • Career center
    • The Learning Hub
    • IT Services