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Monday, November 21, 2011

Answered Question on Instructional Design standards for online learning? Ideally specific and measurable that can be used in contracts with vendors.?

This question was posted to theInstructional Design & E-Learning Professionals' Group:

Does anyone out there have any useful resources to share around ID standards for online learning? Ideally specific and measurable that can be used in contracts with vendors.

I have used the standards posted by the Open ECBCheck. Open ECBCheck is "a new accreditation and quality improvement scheme for E-Learning programmes and institutions in international Capacity Building." Their members focus on a specific subject (international capacity building), however, their e-learning standards can be applied to any e-learning program.

I download the standards from They publish them as a pdf and Excel file. In the Excel file, I find the most useful section to be the tab labeled "Quality Toolkit." That tab has a list of specific, measurable criteria that you can use to judge the quality of your e-learning program. For example: "Does the navigation allow learners to always understand their position within the programme?"

Not all the standards in the Quality Toolkit will apply to all online learning programs. I copy and paste the standards that apply to the job into the contract for that job. This is a section of the contract that I label "Course Standards."

The Course Standards section also includes subsections for things like: the file formats of the material developed for the course, voice and tense of the speaker, the skin to be used when generating files from Articulate of Captivate, and the source(s) of the graphics used in the course.

The quality standards supplied by Open ECBCheck have made a good starting point for the course standards in my projects. Post your favorite resources for quality standards in the comments below. Or,