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Online Course Best Practices Certification Initiative

In collaboration with UNM Extended Learning (EL) and the Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE), the UNM Online Course Advisory Council (OCAC) would like to invite UNM Main Campus Online Faculty to apply to have their UNM online course certified as a UNM Online Best Practice Course.  Thirty-five courses will be reviewed during the 2016/17 year.

The award will include time and assistance from an EL Instructional Designer to assist with redesigning the course using the UNM Online Rubric. Faculty successfully completing the certification will receive a $2,000 stipend and their course will join the esteemed group of UNM Online Best Practice Certified Courses.


All UNM Main campus instructors are eligible. TA's are not eligible at this time. Please watch for our TA proposal soon.

  • Course must have been taught by the instructor a minimum of two times online through UNM Main Campus
  • Course must be taught online three subsequent semesters (does not have to be consecutive semesters) after being certified
  • Core Courses, General Education courses, and/or courses that are part of an online degree or degree completion program will have preference


  • $2,000 instructor stipend for redesign
  • Instructional Design consultant support preparation for review and during review process
  • If certified, your Quality Matters National Course Review fee ($1,000) will be paid:


OCAC was established by the Provost in 2012.  The Advisory Council was charged with establishing  an online course standards rubric grounded in research-based best practices, reflecting Higher Learning Commission and federal requirements for online distance teaching and learning.   The UNM Online Course Best Practice Rubric was presented to the Faculty Senate Teaching Enhancement Committee and was approved in December 2012; revisions were approved in May 2015.


  1. October 24 – November 7:  Faculty submit an application for course redesign and review.  Proposals due November 7, 2016.
  2. November 18:  Fifteen to twenty courses will be selected for Spring 2016 review.  Spring review courses will be assigned to a review panel.
  3. November 21 – February 20:  Faculty scheduled for Fall review will complete the UNM Online Course Standards Rubric noting evidence for each objective (Baseline Checklist through Standards 5) with the assistance of EL Faculty Services and an Online Course Development Course Designer.   Rubric Self-Review and Faculty Worksheet submission due to OCAC by Monday, February 20, 2017.
  4. February 27 – April  14:  UNM OCAC Rubric Review Team will conduct a 30 minute review of the course as a student using the Faculty member’s submitted UNM rubric.   A 90-minute Review Meeting with faculty member, EL Course Designer and three UNM OCAC Review Panelists – the faculty will give an overview of course to share how it meets each standard.
  5. Week of April 17:   Faculty informed of certification status (meets or needs improvement)
  6. May 5:  Faculty who receive a Needs Improvement may make recommended changes and submit for re-review by May 5, 2017.
  7. If course meets UNM Best Practice Certification
    1. Course will receive UNM Best Practice Golden PAW Seal of Approval to place in course and noted on the UNM Online Course website as UNM Best Practice Certified.
    2. Faculty will receive a $2,000 stipend and a certification letter.
    3. The faculty member will have the $1,000 course review fee paid by Extended Learning if submitted for a National Quality Matters Review.  See the Quality Matters website for information for their review process.

ONLINE APPLICATION – Go to this link to apply to have your course reviewed.

2016/17 Online Course Advisory Council

                        Ann Brooks, ASM                    Trenia Walker, COE

                       Chris Hall, ME                          Robin Meize-Grochowski, CON
                                                Lisa Gerber, A&S

Greg Heileman, Associate Provost for Curriculum
Monica Orozco Obando, Vice Provost for Extended Learning
Aeron Hay
nie, Director of Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE)
Debby Knotts, Executive Director Extended Learning, Strategic Initiatives
Becky Adams, Director of Extended Learning, Faculty Services & Online Course Development

For more information contact:

Becky Adams, Director of Extended Learning, Faculty Services & Online Course Development