The Eagle Online Excellence Initiative

Criteria & Review Process

The evaluation checklist is the core of the Eagle Online Excellence (EOE) initiative. It reflects research-based best practices in online course design and is based on the essential standards from the Quality Matters Higher Education Rubric, 6th edition (2018). It was designed specifically with AU faculty and students in mind and can be used to guide course design for brand new courses or to review established online courses and earn a badge of distinction.

The criteria incorporated into the Eagle Online Excellence rubric include:

  • Course Overview & Introduction
  • Learning Outcomes
  • Content & Activities
  • Assessments & Grading
  • Policies

Faculty may contact the EOE team at to learn more about the review process or request a consultation for a formal course review. During the consultation, an instructional designer will evaluate the course using the EOE checklist and offer recommendations for improved course design.

To recognize the accomplishment of designing or revising a course to meet the EOE standards, an online course that successfully aligns with the standards of the EOE initiative will earn a Digital Badge of Eagle Online Excellence. This badge is a signal to your students and others in the AU community that your course meets the standard for a high-quality online course and follows best practices in online course design. The badge can be posted directly into a course’s syllabus, on your Blackboard or Canvas course site, and on your AU faculty profile.  


High-quality course design results in engaging and effective online learning experiences that directly impact students, faculty, and programs. By aligning courses to EOE standards, faculty support intentional design choices and think of the course from a student’s perspective. In this manner, faculty can create an evidence-based process for building, maintaining, and guaranteeing course and learning quality. When courses meet the standards set out by the EOE initiative, faculty and programs can easily showcase the consistent quality they are providing for their students online. 

For more information about how the standards in EOE and similar quality design rubrics can impact teaching and student success, please take a look at our literature review