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Recent Changes made to the standards are indicated below with a (star)

View file
nameAAU OnlineTeachingStandards FA2019.pdf

Online Teaching Standards

The Academy of Art University has established these standards for online instructors to ensure that our students have the best possible educational experience.

  • You can download the attached rubric to use in assessing your own teaching practice vis-à-vis AAU standards.   
  • Teaching coaches will use a version of this rubric in supporting new instructors.

NOTE: The various tasks required to teach online are paid at different rates. Please review the FAQ and tutorial to learn more about how to report your work hours.

Specialized Teaching

  • Standards for Online Workshops
    The Academy’s online workshops are an extension of our online education program. The workshops provide students additional help to ensure that they master fundamental skills, offer tutoring and guidance on course assignments and projects, and provide clarification of concepts and techniques. As with all our online offerings, the success of these workshops depends on the instructors’ regular presence and timely feedback. The standards for workshop instructors conform to the general Online Teaching Standards, described below. In particular, Standard III: Presence in the Online Classroom (see below) is most relevant to workshops. Please review these criteria to make sure you understand our expectations. Talk with your director, if you have questions.

View file
nameAAU Online Teaching Standards—Self Assessment FA2019.pdf

Online Teaching Standards:
Self-Assessment Checklist


By clearly articulating your policies at the start of the term, providing timely updates throughout the semester, and setting accurate expectations, you allow your students to plan appropriately while supporting their success. (Note: Part-time instructors are compensated for non-classroom tasks as “other work” hours .)

Meets Requirements

  • (star) NEW as of Summer 2019(star) Posts their Office Hours on their Profile page before the semester begins
    • Office Hours are the times the instructor will be online to answer student questions or concerns.
    • Instructors must check in six days a week — including Saturday (Pacific Time) — at times of their choosing.
    • In the optional "Instructions" space, includes a reminder to students to post their questions before the instructor's check-in times, so that their concerns can be answered in a timely fashion.
  • Posts clear expectations and greetings by the end of Module 1, including:
    • (star) NEW as of Summer 2019: (star)An explanation of the course learning outcomes and the relevance of this course to students' future development or careers
    • How students can succeed in this class
    • Grading practice
    • Late homework policy
    • What students can expect of their instructor — including
      • reiteration of their daily check-in times (office hours)
      • a reminder about posting questions before the daily check-in time
  • Communicates timely information to students throughout the semester via announcements, topics, Mailbox messages, etc.
  • Posts midterm, final, and progress grades on time.
  • If absent, arranges for substitute teacher with the department and informs students through classroom post.

Does Not Meet Requirements

  • Fails to post Office Hours.
  • Fails to remind students about posting their questions before instructor's check-in times.
  • Expectations or policies are not posted for all the items listed.
  • Instructor’s policies are vague, confusing, or not clearly articulated.
  • Fails to communicate timely information to students throughout the semester.
  • Does not submit midterm, final, and progress grades on time.
  • Fails to make arrangements for absences.

Exceeds Requirements

Meets requirements + Posts additional information and guidance throughout the semester, such as assignment tips, checklists, suggestions for scheduling tasks, samples and rubrics of past student work, inspiring imagery, timely articles, and video messages.

titleSee resources that support this standard...


Meets Requirements

  • Posts profile, including a photo and bio and online office hours.
  • Introduces self by the end of Module 1 and greets students, individually or as a group.
  • (star) NEW as of Summer 2019: (star)Enters every section they are teaching 6 days a week, including Saturday, and leaves public evidence of their presence each day.

    titleFor example...
    • answers to students' questions

    • a post indicating that you checked into the class at the specified time, but that there were no questions for you to answer.

    • new announcements

    • comments that deepen or broaden students' understanding of a key concept from the current module

    • for assignments:

      • clarification of the assignment instructions — and what you're looking for (use the Instructor Update)

      • tips for completing the assignment successfully

      • common mistakes students make — and how to avoid them

      • public feedback on early submissions

      • an example of the work of a student from a previous semester with an explanation of its strengths and weaknesses

    • for discussions:

  • Stays current: reads all posts, comments, and Mailbox messages during each active module. 
  • Answers students’ questions (in the Discussion or in the Mailbox) within 1 business day.
  • Instructor’s communication is professional, approachable for questions and assistance, and respectful of all students.

Does Not Meet Requirements

  • Does not post a profile with photo and bio.
  • Does not introduce self or greet students before the end of Module 1.
  • Enters classes less frequently than 6 days per week, leaving little evidence of their presence.
  • Does not stay current: fails to read all posts, comments, and Mailbox messages for every module.
  • Students’ questions (in the Discussion or in the Mailbox) remain unanswered for more than 1 business day.
  • Instructor’s communication is disrespectful, irritated or unprofessional.

Exceeds Requirements

Meets requirements + Answers students’ questions within less than 1 business day