Michigan Virtual University Online Course Design Standards Attract Worldwide Interest from Industry and Education Arenas

April 12, 2002

LANSING, Mich.-April 10, 2002-Michigan Virtual University announces the release

of a comprehensive set of standards that can be used to develop and evaluate

the quality of online courses. Developed by MVU instructional designers Noel

Estabrook and Peter Arashiro, the standards are based on decades of research

and the best thinking in the field of instructional design. These rigorous standards

will help guide the design of courses delivered via the Internet and help ensure

they adhere to effective teaching and learning practices.

Using these guidelines, potential course developers can create online courses

that meet standards of technological functionality and appropriateness, usability

and instructional design (i.e. is the course pedagogically sound). These standards

include benchmarks, measurement criteria and prescriptions for quality online

learning. This Web-based resource also includes a downloadable course evaluator

tool-a detailed checklist based on the MVU standards to help developers measure

the quality of existing online courses.

In the first two weeks it was available via the MVU Web site, close to 150 institutions

from around the world, in both education and industry, downloaded the evaluation

tool and expressed interest in the course standards. A partial list includes

companies such as Eli Lilly, Deloitte & Touche, EDS, Oracle Corp. and Motorola

Corp., and educational institutions such as Michigan State University, Utah

State University, Beijing Normal University, British Columbia Institute of Technology

and the University of Applied Science Hamburg.

"MVU has taken a unique approach to applying standards to online courses.

Our standards focus on principles that take into account tried and true instructional

research, as well as principles that apply to the unique challenges of online

instruction," says Estabrook. "In addition, our standards pay very

close attention to the different types of learning and performances that can

occur as a result of instruction instead of treating all courses the same."

The standards and the evaluation tool are available by going to

http://standards.mivu.org/. These resources are currently available without

charge, following an "open source" model that seeks to improve the

overall quality of online courses, shares knowledge and invites feedback. MVU

is looking at expanding the evaluation tool and developing a course design tool

in the future.

Michigan Virtual University (MVU) is a private, non-profit corporation established

in 1998 by Governor John Engler and the Michigan Economic Development Corp.

to provide online learning opportunities to Michigan’s citizens. MVU does not

grant degrees or certificates or teach courses, but acts as a broker of programs

made available by Michigan’s public and private colleges, universities, and

commercial training providers. MVU is the parent organization of the Michigan

Virtual High School. In addition, MVU manages the Administrator Technology Initiative

(Gates Foundation Grant) and the Information Technology Training Initiative,

which provides more than 700 IT-related learning modules free to students, teachers

and staff. For more information, visit www.mivu.org.


Deborah White


(517) 324-5357