Course Design Review Standards with Annotations: Activities

Instructional Technology has developed Course Design Review Standards (CDRS) to be used in the development of online and blended courses at St. Edward’s University. These standards are based on best practices in course design and rubrics developed by the Online Learning Consortium and the Open SUNY Course Quality Review. The standard is listed with annotations below.¬† View the complete Course Design Review Standards.

This page covers standards 25 through 27 which deal with learning objectives.



Standard 25: Learning activities provide opportunities for interaction that support active learning.

Activities encourage learners’ engagement through different types of interaction. Look for the purpose of the interactions and not just the number of opportunities for interaction. Types of interaction include learner-instructor, learner-content, and learner-learner.
Active learning involves learners engaging by “doing” something, such as discovering, processing, or applying concepts and information.

Activities for learner-instructor interaction might include an assignment or project submitted for instructor feedback; learner-instructor discussion in a synchronous session or an asynchronous discussion board exchange; or a frequently-asked-questions (FAQ) discussion forum moderated by the instructor.

Activities for learner-content interaction might include assigned reading from a textbook, article, or online resource; assigned completion of a workbook or online exercise; or a learning-how-to-learn activity.

Activities for learner-learner interaction might include assigned collaborative activities such as group discussions; small-group projects; group problem-solving assignments; or peer reviews.

Standard 26: Student-centered instruction is present in course activities.

Student-centered instruction refers to forms of instruction that, give students opportunities to lead learning activities, participate more actively in discussions, design their own learning projects, and explore topics that interest them. Learning addresses the distinct learning needs, interests, aspirations, or cultural backgrounds of individual students and gives them opportunities to apply learning to their real world experiences.

Standard 27: A written agenda or objectives are provided for all synchronous course meetings.

Synchronous sessions have an agenda or lesson plan that is communicated to students in advance as is the method for assessing the session.

The complete list of CDRS with annotations may be found on these pages:


Open SUNY Course Quality Rubric, Open SUNY Center for Online Teaching Excellence and the Online Learning Consortium, Inc.

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0, World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)