Standards for Design: Part 33 – Obtainable Course Technologies

Welcome to the thirty-third blog post in a forty-four week series walking through and explaining the Quality Matters standards.

This is the third standard in the sixth general standard of the Fifth Edition, 2014, Quality MattersTM Higher Education Rubric focusing on Course Technology.  This post continues our discussion about technology used in the online or hybrid course and how they relate to the idea of Alignment to the Learning Objectives.

Standard: 6.3 Technologies required in the course are readily obtainable.

This standard closely relates to the blog on the Minimum technology requirements Standard.

In that blog, we talked about how students should be provided with a list of the hardware and software needed in order to be successful in the course. In this blog, we are looking back on this concept in a bit more detail.

This standard stresses the importance of listing all the course technology and how to obtain it.  Is there a specific website that students need to go to in order to obtain the required software? Are fees involved?  Is it cross-platform compatible? If not cross-platform compatible, is there an equivalent version that students can use on a Macintosh, PC, or Linux machine? Are there any online materials?  How do the students access them?  It is important to have clear and concise directions on how to access those materials.

While this standard may not be essential for Quality Matters, it does address two OSU requirements for all online courses.  “Requirements or procedures for proctoring are clearly laid out” and “All required materials, technology, and fees are stated up-front and in the syllabus” are both quintessential, institutionally mandated criteria for all OSU online courses.

Back in the Minimum technology requirements Standard we talked about the minimum technical skills.  Along with how to obtain the technology, it important to add information on how students can get tutorials on how to use the technology.   You can create links to YouTube instructions, create your own instructions, or see if the software you are using is on  Student can get access by following one of these three steps for free access to

It is recommended to plan which technology you are going to use in the course.  Not only should it align with the Learning Objectives and support active learning, it should also always be obtainable for the students.

Contact The Ohio State University Quality Matter Coordinator, Tim Lombardo at to learn more about Quality Matters and learn more how OSU faculty and staff can be compensated for the cost of training through the ODEE Quality Matters Grants.

All Quality Matters related ODEE Distance Education blog posts can be found at the Quality Matters category of the ODEE Distance Education Blog


Adapted from the Fifth Edition, 2014 Quality MattersTM Rubric © by The Ohio State University

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