New Online Courses MOA Process

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The Memorandum of Agreement Online Courses (i.e., Distance Education) executed on January 24, 2023 provides faculty with an opportunity to be compensated for teaching a new online course by completing requirements outlined in the agreement.  The agreement (MOA) provides faculty, including adjunct faculty and employees with teaching responsibilities, with professional development, support, and resources to create well-designed online courses focused on student learning.  The MOA also permits the University to abide by Middle States Commission on Higher Education's requirement for online course quality control and faculty professional development.

This website provides information for faculty assigned or planning to teach a new online course to receive compensation according to the MOA.

Review this flowchart to determine if the course you are or will be teaching qualifies as a new online course based on the Online Courses MOA.

If you are teaching or plan to teach a new online course, complete the New Online Course Survey (required).  If teaching more than one new online course, complete a New Online Course Survey for each course.

You should complete the New Online Course Survey at least 6 months prior to teaching the new online course.  At times, the survey will be completed less than 6 months prior to teaching the new online course.

Academic Affairs will verify that you are teaching a new online course based on your completion of the New Online Course Survey and notify the Center for Teaching and Learning Design (CTLD).

The CTLD will contact you via email to provide information on scheduling a consultation, completing a course review, and enrolling in the online teaching certificate program as needed.

Based on verification by Academic Affairs that you are teaching a new online course, the CTLD will send an email with instructions for scheduling a 30-60 minute learning design consultation.

The in-person or virtual consultation will focus on best practices for designing an online course, introduction to the Quality Matters Higher Education Rubric (QMHER), and information related to course review and earning an online teaching certificate if required.

It is recommended that a learning design consultation occurs at least 6 months prior to the course being offered. A condensed timeframe may be required due to circumstances.

When teaching a new online course for the first time, faculty who do not already have an online teaching certificate or training course will enroll in Stockton's Online Teaching Certificate (OTC) program facilitated by the CTLD.  Note: If you previously taught online prior to January 2023, including during COVID, you are exempt from needing to complete an online teaching certificate program.

The OTC program is a six-week online course focused on online course development and delivery.  Following the six-week course, faculty must develop an online course that is assessed using the Quality Matters Higher Education Rubric (QMHER). The course must meet all essential standards and score an 85 or higher on the QMHER.

The OTC program requires significant work (3-6 hours per week) and typically takes 3-6 months to complete. It is recommended that OTC enrollment occurs at least 6 months prior to the course being offered. It may be necessary for some faculty to be concurrently enrolled in the OTC during the semester when the new online course is being taught.

Before the new online course is taught, you will develop the course on Blackboard following best practices aligned to the Quality Matters Higher Education Rubric (QMHER). 

You will complete a Quality Matters Self-Review of the course making sure all essential standards on the QMHER are met by the course or revise the course until essential standards are met. You will submit the Self-Review to the CTLD at least one month before the course is scheduled to be taught at

The CTLD will complete an independent review of the course using the QMHER and share results with you.  When the course meets all essential standards on the QMHER, the course review is complete and you and Academic Affairs are notified of a successful course review.

All existing online courses and new online courses will undergo a course renewal review process every three years using the Quality Matters Higher Education Rubric (QMHER).

The course review process will be monitored and initiated by Academic Affairs following established procedures. Faculty will complete a Self-Review using the QMHER and CTLD will conduct an independent review using the QMHER. A course renewal review is expected to meet all essential standards and score 85 or higher on the QMHER.

For additional information, please contact the Center for Teaching & Learning Design in B-106 (Main Campus) or call 609.626.3828 or email

Online Course Consultation Resources

These resources will be discussed during the learning design consultation outlined in the Online Courses MOA.  Faculty may review these resources prior and after the consultation to prepare for online course review. 

Backward Design is a teaching and curriculum planning approach that involves first identifying the desired learning outcomes or goals of a course or lesson, and then designing instruction to help students achieve those goals. It is sometimes also called "backward planning" or "backward mapping."

The process of backward design typically involves three stages:

  1. Identifying the desired results: In this stage, the teacher or curriculum designer identifies the specific knowledge, skills, and understandings that they want students to gain from the course or lesson.

  2. Determining acceptable evidence: In this stage, the teacher or designer determines how they will know if students have achieved the desired results. This might involve designing assessments or other forms of evidence that can be used to evaluate student learning.

  3. Planning learning experiences and instruction: In this stage, the teacher or designer develops learning experiences and instruction that will help students achieve the desired results. This might involve selecting and designing activities, assignments, and assessments that align with the desired results and evidence.

The backward design approach emphasizes starting with the end in mind, and designing instruction with clear goals and assessments in mind. It is often used in education to ensure that instruction is focused on achieving specific learning outcomes, rather than just covering content without clear goals or objectives.

Course mapping is a process of creating a visual representation or diagram of the curriculum of a course or program. It involves identifying the key components of the course, such as learning objectives, topics, assessments, and instructional materials, and organizing them into a coherent and logical sequence.

The purpose of course mapping is to provide a clear and comprehensive overview of the course curriculum, and to help instructors and students understand how the various components of the course fit together. It can also help ensure that the course is aligned with the learning outcomes and goals of the program or institution.

Course mapping typically involves several steps:

  1. Identify the course learning objectives: This involves determining the specific knowledge, skills, and attitudes that students are expected to gain from the course.

  2. Determine the course components: This involves identifying the topics, instructional materials, assessments, and other components that make up the course.

  3. Organize the components: This involves arranging the course components into a logical and coherent sequence that aligns with the learning objectives.

  4. Create a visual representation: This involves creating a visual diagram or map that shows the relationships between the course components and how they fit together.

Course mapping can be done using a variety of tools, such as spreadsheets, mind maps, or diagrams. It is a useful tool for instructors, curriculum designers, and administrators who want to ensure that their courses are well-organized and aligned with the overall goals and objectives of the program.

  • A Q1 attribute indicates the primary focus of this course is mathematical thinking.

  • A Q2 attribute indicates the focus of this course is mathematics applied to disciplinary or interdisciplinary content. 

  • A W1 attribute indicates writing is the primary subject of this course.

  • A W2 attribute indicates the primary focus of this course is the subject matter with writing as an additional focus of study.

  • A R1 attribute indicates the primary focus of this course is on race and racism education.

  • A R2 attribute indicates the focus of this course is on race and racism education applied to disciplinary or interdisciplinary content.

  • An A attribute indicates the main focus of this course is on the languages of art, music, architecture, drama, and dance.

  • An H attribute indicates this course will introduce to students the significance of historical times within and across societies’ cultures.

  • An I attribute indicates this course will focus on international, class, gender, ethnicity, and/or race issues. 

  • A V attribute indicates this course requires thoughtful consideration of ethics, ethical decision making, and ethical dilemmas.

  • A Z attribute indicates this course has no associated costs for textbooks, supplies, course materials, etc., beyond tuition and fees.

Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching and learning resources that are freely available and openly licensed, allowing anyone to access, use, modify, and share them. They include a wide range of educational materials, such as textbooks, course materials, videos, software, and other digital resources.

OER are typically created by educators, scholars, and other experts who share a commitment to improving access to high-quality educational materials. They are often created and shared through online platforms, such as open repositories, online communities, and educational websites.

Stockton's Z course attribute indicates a course uses freely available and openly licensed resources as instructional materials, which eliminates any associated costs for textbooks, supplies, course materials, etc.

The benefits of OER include:

  • Cost savings: OER can help reduce the cost of education for students, as they can access high-quality learning materials for free or at a low cost.

  • Flexibility and customization: OER can be modified and adapted to fit the specific needs of individual instructors and learners.

  • Collaboration and sharing: OER can promote collaboration and knowledge-sharing among educators and learners, helping to improve the quality of education.

  • Access and equity: OER can help improve access to education for learners who may not have access to traditional educational resources or who face financial or other barriers to education.

There are many different types of OER, and they are available in a variety of formats and languages. Our Stockton University's Richard E. Bjork Library provides faculty with an extensive list of resources and one-on-one support to assist faculty with incorporating Open Online Resources (OER) to a new or existing courses.

Accessibility refers to the design of products, devices, services, or environments that can be used by people with disabilities or impairments. It is a concept that aims to ensure that all individuals, regardless of their abilities or disabilities, have equal access to information, services, and physical spaces.

In the context of education, accessibility is a critical factor to consider when designing learning materials and environments. This includes ensuring that educational content is presented in a format that is accessible to all learners, including those with visual, hearing, motor, or cognitive impairments.

Some examples of accessible educational materials and practices include:

  • Providing captions or transcripts for videos to make them accessible to learners with hearing impairments.
  • Using high-contrast text and images to make content easier to read for learners with visual impairments.
  • Providing alternative formats for materials, such as braille or audio versions, for learners who may not be able to access standard print materials.
  • Designing physical spaces, such as classrooms or libraries, that are accessible to learners with mobility impairments.

Ensuring accessibility in education is not only a legal requirement under many disability discrimination laws, but it is also a moral imperative to ensure that all learners have equal access to education and can reach their full potential.

Visit the Wellness Center Disability Services page for more information

This sample syllabi include Stockton specific content based on best practices in syllabus design. Stockton faculty and teaching staff may download and customize the syllabi. Kindly review instructions. The syllabi are easily modified to fit your online course needs.

CTLD Sample Syllabus for Online Courses

The Quality Matters (QM) Rubric is a widely used set of standards and guidelines for designing and evaluating the quality of online courses. The QM Rubric is used by educators and instructional designers to ensure that their online courses meet high standards for quality and effectiveness.

The QM Rubric consists of eight general standards that cover various aspects of online course design, including:

  1. Course overview and introduction: This standard covers the introduction to the course, including course description, learning objectives, and instructor information.

  2. Learning objectives: This standard covers the course learning objectives, which should be measurable, clear, and aligned with the course content and assessments.

  3. Assessment and measurement: This standard covers the course assessments, which should be aligned with the learning objectives, relevant, and provide opportunities for feedback and improvement.

  4. Instructional materials: This standard covers the course materials, including the content, activities, and resources used to support learning.

  5. Course activities and learner interaction: This standard covers the course activities and the opportunities for learner interaction, collaboration, and engagement.

  6. Course technology: This standard covers the course technology, including the tools and platforms used to support learning and interaction.

  7. Learner support: This standard covers the support provided to learners, including resources for technical support, course orientation, and accessibility.

  8. Accessibility and usability: This standard covers the accessibility and usability of the course, including the design of materials, technology, and activities to ensure that they are accessible to all learners.

Each of these standards includes specific sub-standards and criteria (a total for 42 specific standards) that provide detailed guidance for online course design and evaluation. Out of these 42 specific standards, there are 23 considered essential standards that must be met in Stockton's online course review process. The QM Rubric is widely used in higher education and other educational contexts to ensure the quality and effectiveness of online learning.

The Quality Matters Self Review tool allows faculty to review their asynchronous/online courses in greater detail. It provides faculty a richer experience when reviewing their asynchronous/online course. To review your course with the QM Self Review tool, you’ll need to create a MyQM account first. Follow the steps below.

  1. Start by opening a MyQM account (

  2. Review your course with the Self-Review tool. Watch the tutorial (

  3. When done reviewing your course, e-mail the results to

Please note that the QM Self-Review tool does not provide your course with an official QM certification. We are using the QM rubric as an evaluation tool for new online courses.

Course Structures allow you to select a course template in Blackboard to assist you with organizing your course content in a shorter amount of time. Here are some common course structures that can be created in Blackboard:

  • Module-based structure: In this structure, the course is organized into modules or units that are focused on specific topics or themes. Each module contains a set of resources, activities, and assessments that students complete in a specific order.

  • Week-based structure: This structure is similar to the module-based structure, but the course is organized into weeks rather than modules. Each week covers a specific set of topics and includes corresponding resources, activities, and assessments.

  • Flipped classroom structure: In this structure, students complete readings, videos, or other materials before class and come to class ready to discuss and apply what they've learned. In Blackboard, instructors can use discussion boards, blogs, and other tools to facilitate online discussion before class.

  • Project-based structure: This structure is focused on hands-on, collaborative projects that allow students to apply what they've learned in a practical way. Blackboard offers tools such as wikis, blogs, and group projects to facilitate collaboration and project management.

  • Self-paced structure: In this structure, students work through the course materials at their own pace. In Blackboard, instructors can set up self-paced quizzes, videos, and other activities that students can complete on their own time.

Ultimately, the course structure that is best for your class will depend on your teaching style, the subject matter, and the needs of your students. Blackboard offers a wide range of tools and features to support a variety of course structures, allowing you to customize your course to fit your needs.

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is an educational framework that provides a flexible approach to teaching and learning. UDL is based on the principles of Universal Design, which is a design philosophy that seeks to create products and environments that are accessible and usable by as many people as possible, regardless of their abilities or disabilities.

The goal of UDL is to provide all learners with equal opportunities to access, participate in, and learn from educational experiences. The framework emphasizes the need for multiple means of representation, expression, and engagement, which can help to reduce barriers to learning and improve academic outcomes for all learners.

The three main principles of UDL are:

  1. Multiple means of representation: Providing information in multiple formats and modalities, such as text, video, images, and audio, can help to accommodate different learning styles and abilities.

  2. Multiple means of expression: Offering multiple ways for students to demonstrate their understanding and knowledge, such as through writing, speaking, or creating multimedia projects, can help to support diverse learners and reduce barriers to expression.

  3. Multiple means of engagement: Providing opportunities for students to engage with the material in different ways, such as through hands-on activities, group work, or digital tools, can help to increase motivation and engagement among all learners.

Incorporating UDL principles into teaching practices can help to create inclusive and accessible learning environments that support the success of all students. Blackboard, as a learning management system, offers various tools and features that can support the implementation of UDL principles, such as the ability to provide multimedia content, facilitate group work, and offer flexible assessment options.

  1. Define Student Learning Outcomes: Student learning outcomes are important for defining the skills, knowledge, and attitudes students will gain from an online course.

  2. Develop A Course Syllabus: The CTLD offers faculty a sample syllabus that follows best practices.

  3. Course Design and Organization: Online courses must be well-organized and easy to navigate based on best practices in course design. Course content must be accessible and consistent with copyright laws.

  4. Use Blackboard: Blackboard is the learning management system (LMS) supported by Stockton. Students have access to a Blackboard course for all courses.  If you must use another system, provide a course syllabus and instructions to access the other system in Blackboard.

  5. Engaging Content: Online courses should be interactive and engaging, with a variety of multimedia resources to promote student learning.

  6. Feedback: Provide frequent and timely feedback to students on their work. Detailed, constructive, and focused feedback enhances the learning experience. Students must have direct access to feedback and grades (Grading in Blackboard Original or Ultra).

  7. Effective Communication: Communicate regularly with students using a variety of methods including email, discussion forums, announcements, and video conferencing. Be available to answer questions and provide support.

  8. Learning Evaluation: Assessments (assignments, tests, papers) must be aligned to the student learning outcomes.

  9. Technology Support: Blackboard Ally helps faculty ensure that course materials are accessible.  Provide students with technical support such as Blackboard tutorials (Original or Ultra), the ITS Help Desk, and the Wellness Center Disability Services.

  10. Student Support: Offer students information for campus resources. The CTLD sample syllabus provides a list of Stockton student services.

  11. Professional Development: Learn about best practices in online teaching and learning. Visit the CTLD website for resources and to view upcoming events and opportunities.

  12. Continuous Improvement: Regularly evaluate the effectiveness of course content and activities.  Use Blackboard metrics to assess student engagement. Seek feedback from students (midterm feedback form).  Make improvements based on feedback.