Quality Matters Standard 1
Course Overview and Introduction

Specific Review Standards

1.1 Introductions make clear how to get started and where to find various course components.

1.2 Learners are introduced to the purpose and structure of the course.

1.3 Communication expectations for online discussions, email, and other forms of interaction are clearly stated.

1.4 Course and institutional policies with which the student is expected to comply are clearly stated within the course, or a link to current policies is provided.

1.5 Minimum technology requirements for the course are clearly stated, and information on how to obtain the technologies is provided.

1.6 Computer skills and digital information literacy skills expected of the learner are clearly stated.

1.7 Expectations for prerequisite knowledge in the discipline and/or any required competencies are clearly stated.

1.8 The self-introduction by the instructor is professional and is available online.

1.9 Learners are asked to introduce themselves to the class.

Welcome or Getting Started Content

Gathering your welcome or getting started content is a great place to start when preparing your online course and some of this content, such as your personal introduction, can be repurposed in your other courses.


  • Create a welcome page in your LMS as an entry point for your course.
  • Include a Start Here section in your course, with specific information on what your students need to do first.
  • Explain what the course is about and provide information on course structure and policies.
  • Provide information on prerequisite knowledge.
  • Record a course tour video.
  • Introduce yourself to the class.
  • Provide detailed interaction expectations and have students interact with each other early in the course.
  • Provide technology information, including prerequisite technology skills, software requirements and purchase instructions, details on other technology tools used in the course, and microphone and webcam requirements.

Next Steps

What do you expect your students to know or be able to do at the conclusion of your course? You’ll need to articulate specific and measurable learning objectives. Visit the Course Quality Checklist and Toolkit 2 – Learning Objectives (Competencies) to get started.

See our other Course Quality Checklists for more information:


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The University of Alabama College of Continuing Studies | Adapted from Northern Illinois University Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning 6/27/2020 | © 2014 New Mexico State University Board of Regents | Quality Matters https://www.qmprogram.org | Revised 4/14/2021