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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Online Readiness Checklist

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The purpose of the following information is to provide academic departments with a tool to assist in the development of online programs and to provide the University community guidelines to assess and evaluate programs for readiness for online delivery. Assessment of program readiness for online does not replace the University curricular review process.

This checklist and review are designed to serve a number of functions:

  • Provide guidance to individual instructors and departments as they develop online programs.
  • Serve as one possible assessment tool for online programs
  • Provide direction for online course and program development

For more information, contact:
Thomas Norman
Dean of University Extended Education
116 University Extended Education
Phone: 389-1443

Checklist for Online Readiness for Academic Programs

Program Context

Programs being prepared for online delivery need to have appropriate scope and sequence, providing all necessary courses for the completion of a degree, certificate, licensure or some other benchmark.

The online program proposal: Unsatisfactory Satisfactory Exceptional Comments
a. Lists and describes all courses in the program
b. Lists the responsible faculty member(s) for each course
c. Details the student learning outcomes for the program
d. Shows the connection between this program and the overall degree curriculum of the department

Is this a nationally accredited program? Yes___________ No___________

Program Timeline

Departments proposing online programs should outline milestones related to program development, implementation and appraisal, and identify a timeline with specific dates when each step will be accomplished.

Milestone addressed and target date identified Unsatisfactory Satisfactory Exceptional Comments
a. Start date of program development
b. D2L training dates
c. Schedule assistance with instructional designer
d. End date of program development
e. Start date of program

Program Audience

Programs being prepared for online delivery need to describe the audiences for which the programs are intended. Online Programs need to be financially self-sufficient, so knowledge of the target audience is essential.

The online program proposal: Unsatisfactory Satisfactory Exceptional Comments
a. Clearly describes the potential students
b. Clearly describes potential students educational backgrounds
c. Clearly describes the reasons why these students would seek online education
d. Discusses the actual physical location of potential students
e. Includes demographic evidence documenting the current and future existence of potential students
f. Indentifies branding approaches and integrated marketing

Program Readiness

Programs being prepared for online delivery need to describe the state of “readiness” for online delivery. Faculty members teaching in the program need to document their ability and willingness to engage in online delivery.

Departments proposing online programs Unsatisfactory Satisfactory Exceptional Comments
a. Document that courses in the program are ready to be offered online. Guidelines for Online Course Development
b. Describe the online teaching experience, education or training of the faculty members who will be teaching in the online program
c. Provide an assessment plan for the online program, with the plan tied to student learning outcomes
d. Identify resources and contact others on campus for assistance as needed (e.g., library, funding, marketing)

Teaching and Learning

Departments proposing online programs need to demonstrate how they will best take advantage of the online environment.

Departments proposing online programs Unsatisfactory Satisfactory Exceptional Comments
a. Detail the teaching and learning strategies that will be used to promote active, engaged learners
b. Describe the use of technology
c. Describe how the effectiveness of online teaching and learning strategies will be assessed

Student and Faculty Support

Departments need to be able to describe the availability and adequacy of student and faculty support services for online programs. This requires that departments work with the rest of the university community to insure that online students have access to the same support services as do on-campus students.

Departments proposing online programs Unsatisfactory Satisfactory Exceptional Comments
a. Describe the ongoing training and support that will be provided to faculty
b. Describe any incentives that will be provided to faculty
c. Describe the student support services that will be available
d. Discuss any technological or other assistance the department will need
e. Include a detailed budget for implementation, if applicable

Resource Assistance

The following are avenues of assistance that are recommended and should be considered to help accomplish the goals of this program.

Area of recommended assistance obtained or needed: Should definitely consider assistance from this area May benefit from assistance from this area Adequately indicated these areas of assistance have already been considered Comments
a. Assessment
Avra Johnson 389-1333
b. Program Development
Instructional Designer
Judith Luebke 389-5938
e. Library Resources
Paul Wyss 389-2258
f. Disability Services
Julie Snow 389-1819
g. ITS
Instructional Designer
Marni Dunning 389-5892
Instructional Designer
Linda Jacoby 389-5817

When in doubt, contact University Extended Education with your questions.