OSCQR – Standard #5

OSCQR – Standard #5

Course includes links to relevant campus policies on plagiarism, computer use, filing grievances, accommodating disabilities, etc.

Review These Explanations

Learners should be able to connect to their campus through their online courses, and that includes connecting to learner services, policies, and procedural guidelines.

Policies need to be communicated to online learners, with course links to associated learner services offices at the institution. Links should bring the learner to:

  • The policy, in clear language.
  • Guidelines on the policy, including how the policy is enforced.
  • Contact information for policy related offices and personnel.
  • Where to go for additional resources.

This information can be added to the course syllabus, and introduced by the instructor in the course welcome, or course information documents.

Refresh Your Course with These Ideas

General Suggestions

  • The course design can embed these Campus Statements and Policies into the flow of the course by creating opportunities for interaction around these topics.
    • Send or prepare automated announcements to reinforce awareness of the information, or to provide an opportunity for instructor-initiated conversations / discussion about these topics.
    • Interaction on these topics can be designed into the course, incorporated into ice-breaking activities at the start of the course, or other introductory activities to provide student support, and the opportunity for questions and answers around these topics.
    • Have an Ask a Question area discussion forum specifically soliciting interaction with the instructor around content presented in the Campus Statements and Policies.
    • Assign a quiz that covers pertinent campus policy information, and incorporate an adaptive release, so that learners are unable to proceed unless they score a passing grade on the quiz.
  • Create an area in the course for Campus Statements and Policies that is separate from the Course Information/Syllabus (to un-clutter and focus the Course Information/Syllabus on academic aspects).
    • Examples of course and program level policies:
      • Late Policy
      • Academic Honesty Policy
      • Plagiarism Policy
      • Netiquette Expectations
      • Disability Services and Accommodations
      • LMS Privacy Statement
      • Learning Management Accessibility Statement
      • Basic Computer Skills requirements
  • Provide links to Campus Statements and Policies in the Course Information/Syllabus materials.
  • Create a handout with this policy information for learners to print on demand, or a FAQ to guide learners to appropriate resources for additional help/support/guidance.
  • Model adherence to all campus policies within your course, including plagiarism, academic integrity, and support for learners with disabilities.
  • Modeling the acknowledgment of the work of others and ensure that course materials respect copyright, creative commons, and fair use guidelines.
  • Provide links to examples, tutorials, lessons, or other campus resources that assist learners understand how to interpret and apply campus policies.
  • Apply course design principles that promote academic integrity, for example incorporate formative assessments and explicitly define acceptable learner collaboration.


Explore More Refreshing Ideas from the Teaching Online Pedagogical Repository (TOPR) at the University of Central Florida (UCF)

These Pedagogical Practices from TOPR explore the purpose and benefits of creating a syllabus quiz or course contract assignment to ensure that learners have reviewed essential course documents and policies

Use Syllabus Quiz to Familiarize Learners with Course Policies and Expectations
In the online environment, it is important to provide clear expectations, policies, and grading expectations and to ensure that learners are familiar with these policies and expectations (California State University, Chico, 2014). You may have a very detailed syllabus. However, learners may not carefully read all of these details. By creating a syllabus quiz with questions specific to your course policies, expectations, and routine, you will provide support by helping learners become familiar with these important items. (Read more …)
Create a Course Contract Assignment to Help Learners Understand Course Policies
It is very important to design an online course in a way that supports learners to get started on the right foot (Chico, 2009). When a learner starts an online course, they read the essential course information (syllabus, course expectations, instructor introduction) and learn about the course policies and expectations. Otherwise, miscommunications can happen due to a lack of understanding of the essential course information. To address this, one strategy is to create a Course Contract Assignment for learners to complete during the first week. (Read more …)

Explore Related Resources

Floyd, D. L. and Casey-Powell, D. (2004), New roles for student support services in distance learning. New Directions for Community Colleges, 2004: 55–64.

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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