OSCQR – Standard #19

OSCQR – Standard #19

Instructions are provided and well written.

Review These Explanations

Clear instructions help learners to function in the online environment without having to repeatedly ask for clarification. Instructions can be communicated out in many different forms in an online course, including orientations, introductions, announcements, guidelines, rubrics, etc.

Instructions contextualize course content, interaction, activity, and assessment by guiding learners through learning assets through the lens of the instructor. Well written instructions include what learners need to do, along with why they need to do it, and how it relates to course, module, or program objectives.

Repeating instructions throughout the course provides learners with added guidance, especially when they are associated with a specific task, activity, assignment, or assessment in the course.

Refresh Your Course with These Ideas

  • Review your instructions from the lens of the learner. If there are steps to follow, go through each one to be sure they are easy to follow.
  • Include links that will guide learners to troubleshooting or help resources.
  • Create an open discussion forum and link to it from within assignment or activity instructions for learners to connect and communicate any issues they encounter.
  • Keep instructions consistent throughout the course, and include them repeatedly – even if you think learners do not need them.
  • Consider how instructions tie back to learning objectives and use language that reflects back to those objectives.

Explore Related Resources

Lorenzetti, J. P. (2008). 14 Ways Faculty Can Improve Online Student Retention. Recruitment & Retention in Higher Education, 22(12), 6-7.

Share What You Know

OSCQR has been developed by a community of online practitioners interested in quality course design. There are numerous opportunities for community members to offer suggestions, donate resources, and help with future development.

Discuss this standard in the comments section at the bottom of this page.

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