Faculty Development

Quality Learning and Teaching

QLT logo - Quality Learning and Teaching

What is QLT?

The Quality Learning and Teaching (QLT) framework is used to design and evaluate teaching and learning. QLT has been developed by the CSU, based on extensive research and careful consideration of existing models for assessing effective teaching and learning. Each section contains multiple objectives that give instructors a close-up view of a quality course. You can also visit the official QLT website for more details about the history and status of QLT. In addition, CSU Online Course Services program maintains a collection of example learning resources organized by the QLT Framework in the Quality Assurance Resource Repository (QuARRy).

CSUN is committed to sharing this framework with faculty interested in implementing QLT principles and strategies in their own courses. The QLT Framework is introduced in our Get Up to Speed with Online Teaching program and is the foundational framework of our eLearning Institute. The CSU Online Course Services also periodically offers training programs on using the Quality Learning & Teaching framework.

The QLT Instrument

Select one of the principles below to see the objectives under each standard. 

Section 1: Course Overview and Introduction

1.1 *The instructor uses course environment to provide clear and detailed instructions for students to begin accessing all course components, such as syllabus, course calendar, assignments, and other course materials.
1.2 *Detailed instructor information is available to students and includes multiple and preferred formats for being contacted by students, availability information, brief biographical information including pronouns, and a picture of or video from the instructor..
1.3 *Course description includes the purpose and format of the course, as well as prerequisite knowledge and competencies, if applicable.
1.4 Online course etiquette expectations across relevant communication and dialog modalities (e.g., email, chat, online discussion forums, messaging threads) are presented and clear to the student, addressing diversity, equity, and inclusion
1.5 *Academic integrity or "code of ethics" is defined. Related institutional policies for students to adhere are clearly stated and/or links to those policies (e.g., online catalog; institution web page) is provided.
1.6 A list of technical competencies necessary for course completion is provided, identifying and delineating the role/extent the online environment plays in the total course.
1.7 The instructor provides samples of student work and provides opportunities for students to ask questions. These are in addition to email inquiries, office hours, or individual appointments
1.8 Instructor asks students to share or reflect on their own learning goals
1.9 The course syllabus includes a personal or departmental statement that is aligned with the institution or college’s messages relating to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and provides means by which students can address violations of these policies and ideals with their instructor, peers, and/or university administrators.


* = “Core 24” or essential QLT objectives. This subset was identified by CSU San Marcos.

Section 2: Assessment of Student Learning

Student Evaluation and Assessment refers to the process used to gather evidence of the achievement of the Student Learning Objectives/Outcomes (SLOs). If needed, we strongly recommend that instructors contact their Office of Academic Assessment or Center for Teaching and Learning for assistance with establishing an effective course assessment plan.

2.1 *All Student Learning Objectives/Outcomes (SLOs) are specific, well-defined, and measurable.
2.2 *Grading policy is provided in a manner that clearly defines expectations for the course and respective assignments.
2.3 *The learning activities (including the assignments and ungraded activities) must align to the course or module SLOs and promote or reference the specific SLO to be achieved.
2.4 *The assessment instruments (e.g., rubrics, grading sheets) are detailed and appropriate to the student work and respective outcomes being assessed. This includes assessing modes of online participation and contributions.
2.5 *Throughout the semester, the instructor provides multiple opportunities to give feedback on students' learning and to help students “self-check” their learning.
2.6 Throughout the semester, the instructor provides multiple opportunities to solicit feedback from their students about their learning and on the course for the improvement of the course.

* = “Core 24” or essential QLT objectives. This subset was identified by CSU San Marcos.

Section 3: Instructional Materials and Resources

Addresses the variety of materials and material formats the instructor has chosen to present course content and enable students to meet relevant learning outcomes and, when possible, the affordability of chosen course materials.

3.1 The instructor provides students adequate time, notice, and options (when possible) to acquire course materials, including textbooks ordered through campus processes per federal guidelines.
3.2 Syllabus lists whether textbooks and materials are required or recommended.
3.3 *The instructor articulates the purpose of all materials as to how they are related to the course and module learning objectives.
3.4 *There is a variety of instructional materials that include diverse perspectives.
3.5 *There is a variety of instructional material types that lead to more UDL/access and student engagement, while not overly relying on one content type such as text.
3.6 Modeling academic integrity, instructor appropriately cites all resources and materials used throughout the course.

* = “Core 24” or essential QLT objectives. This subset was identified by CSU San Marcos.

Section 4: Student Interaction and Community

Addresses (1) the opportunities students have to interact with the content, their peers, and their instructor, and (2) how well the course design encourages students to become active learners and contribute to the online course community.

4.1 *At the beginning of the course, the instructor provides an opportunity to have students self-introduce themselves to develop a sense of community.
4.2 Instructor provides information about being a successful learner/student.
4.3 *Navigation throughout the online components of the course is logical, consistent, and efficient.
4.4 *Learning activities facilitate and support active learning that encourages frequent and ongoing peer-to-peer engagement.
4.5 The modes and requirements for student interaction are clearly communicated.
4.6 Instructor clearly explains their role regarding participation in the course. Instructor participates, facilitates student participation, and encourages students to take ownership and promote different points of view.

* = “Core 24” or essential QLT objectives. This subset was identified by CSU San Marcos.

Section 5: Facilitation and Instruction (Course Delivery)

Addresses how well the instructor facilitates the course, communicates with students, engages students to be active learners, and reinforces the development of a sense of community among course participants.

5.1 The instructor is helpful in normalizing a culturally responsive and sustainable and/or critical lens on course topics, respecting culturally diverse expressions while addressing microaggressions or disrespectful comments.
5.2 The instructor clearly helps students make connections between the content and the course activities, and how their life experience and mastery of concepts gained in the course will integrate into their college degree, future career, and role as a global citizen.
5.3 *The instructor presents the course material and concepts in an orderly, effective and engaging manner.
5.4 The instructor empowers students with choices to encourage the exploration of new concepts and new perspectives through the course experience.
5.5 The instructor helps to focus discussion/interaction on relevant issues.  Instructor also provides how microaggressions (e.g., intentional or unintentional negative attitudes toward marginalized groups) or disrespectful comments in the course discussions will be addressed.
5.6 The instructor demonstrates commitment to students’ learning by providing clear feedback in a timely manner.
5.7 The instructor provides communication in multiple formats to students about important goals and course topics as opportunities arise, enunciating respect to students' diverse identities, backgrounds and cultures.
5.8 *The instructor provides reminders of due dates and duration of respective modules, as well as other instructions and scaffolding strategies to support student learning.
5.9 The course resources, student tasks, activities, assessments, and instructional strategies build upon students’ individual strengths and assets as it pertains to their cultural and linguistic backgrounds and funds of knowledge.

* = “Core 24” or essential QLT objectives. This subset was identified by CSU San Marcos.

Section 6: Technology for Teaching and Learning

Addresses how well the instructor utilizes technology to effectively deliver course content, engage students in learning activities (individual, student-to-student, and instructor-to-student), and allow students to express themselves or demonstrate learning.

6.1 *The tools and media facilitate the achievement of course learning objectives/outcomes.
6.2 *Technological tools and resources used in the course enable student engagement and active learning.
6.3 The instructor provides clear information regarding access to the technology and related resources required in the course.
6.4 Acceptable technological formats for assignment completion and submissions have been articulated.
6.5 *The media used in the course exhibits adequate visual and/or sound quality and promotes ease of use for the learner.

* = “Core 24” or essential QLT objectives. This subset was identified by CSU San Marcos.

Section 7: Learner Support and Resources

Addresses the program, academic, and/or technical resources available to learners. Though instructors may not play the direct support role, they should be aware of potential issues and promote what is available to support students. 

7.1 Instructor states her or his role in the support process and what type of things they can support.
7.2 *The course syllabus and LMS include links with clear explanations of the types of technical support that include the day and hours of availability and location/ways students may access the supports.
7.3 *Course syllabus and LMS include links with descriptions to campus academic support services and resources available to support students in achieving their educational goals.
7.4 Course syllabus and LMS include links with descriptions as to the type of support students may receive from to the institution's non-academic and non-technical student support services and resources can help students succeed and how they can access these services.

* = “Core 24” or essential QLT objectives. This subset was identified by CSU San Marcos.

Section 8: Accessibility and Universal Design

Addresses the course’s adherence to accessibility and universal design principles that are critical to some learners but that benefit all learners. Note: We strongly recommend that instructors contact their campus disability service center for assistance and information related to this section.

8.1 Course design and activities enact the core principles of Universal Design for Learning by incorporating multiple means of representation, action and expression, and engagement. Accessibility is therefore embedded in the course design rather than a reactive accommodation for those with registered disabilities
8.2 *The Syllabus must include links to the campus’ disability support services resources and policy related to the accessibility of courses and/or instructional materials and may be included in the LMS whether it is required or recommended by the institution. Students can clearly ascertain the role of the instructor in providing support for those officially registered with the campus disability support services office.
8.3 *Course design, documents, and learning materials created by the instructor or from external sources are in formats that are accessible to students using assistive technologies. A “met” score does not imply that all materials are fully accessible to all students, but that 85% or more of the materials meet general standards for accessibility
8.4 When utilized, the instructor and course use officially supported campus technologies, which are already fully accessible and assistive technology ready. Any third-party tools used are accessible and assistive technology ready when feasible.

* = “Core 24” or essential QLT objectives. This subset was identified by CSU San Marcos.

Section 9: Course Summary and Wrap-up

Addresses the opportunities students are given to summarize the semester, establish the connection between this course and other courses, and prepare to start the next phase of their program/progress.

9.1 The instructor provides students opportunities to ask questions as a form of closure and to foster insight into accomplishments.
9.2 The instructor provides closure to wrap-up the course
9.3 The instructor provides opportunities for students to reflect on their learning and connect their individual learning goals with the expectations (stated learning objectives and outcomes) of the instructor.

Where is Faculty Development located?

Valera Hall 215 (formerly University Hall)
18111 Nordhoff Street
Northridge, CA 91330-8473


How can I contact Faculty Development?



Who are the people in Faculty Development?

FacDev Base Team
Faculty Affiliates
Faculty Peer Reviewers
New Faculty Foundations Committee
Probationary Faculty Grant Review Committee
Active Learning Ambassadors
eLearning Ambassadors