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Course Site Design and Student Success

Updated: Jul 26, 2023

In addition to high quality interaction between instructors and students (Smith & Xu, 2016), learner-centered course sites (NYU login required) are an important way to support students' learning (Kumar & Skrocki, 2023). There are many resources to help faculty create high-quality online learning experiences that advance academic rigor and maintain instructional quality (Trammell et al., 2018). Examples include Quality Matters (QM) and OSCQR (Open SUNY COTE Quality Review). However, these resources can be difficult to use by those who lack knowledge of learning experience architecture (Newberry & Logofatu, 2008).

As an alternative to materials like QM and OSCQR, the Nexus team created a Course Site Checklist (NYU login required) for NYU SPS faculty. This checklist is based on the NYU SPS Creating Your Course in Brightspace guide and the NYU SPS Faculty Advancement: The Teaching Review - Learning Dimensions resource.

The checklist, guide, and resource provide a framework to help SPS faculty understand key course site elements that facilitate student engagement and success.

To request support with the design and/or development of your course site, NYU SPS faculty can contact the Learning and Teaching Nexus team at or visit our website for a list of services and resources.


Jaggars, S. S., & Xu, D. (2016). How do online course design features influence student performance?. Computers & Education, 95, 270-284.

Newberry, B., & Logofatu, C. (2008). An online degree program course template development process. MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 4(4), 583-595.

Kumar, P., & Skrocki, M. (2023). Ensuring Student Success in Online Courses. Faculty Focus | Higher Ed Teaching & Learning.

Trammell, B. A., Morgan, R. K., Davies, W., Petrunich-Rutherford, M. L., & Herold, D. S. (2018). Creating an online course shell: Strategies to mitigate frustration and increase student success across multiple campuses. Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Psychology, 4(3), 164-180.

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