Overview of the Essential Elements

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At Conestoga, we support the student learning experience by leveraging various digital assets and learning objects through our Learning Management System (LMS) called eConestoga.

For each course, a course shell goes live three days before the course officially starts and stays available to students as long as they are enrolled at the college. This allows students to prepare for, engage with, and refer back to their course learning at any time and in any place, 24/7.

Each course shell is required to contain the following five elements. Course delivery expectations are explained further in the Course Delivery Procedure.

View Course Outline BUtton
Figure 1

1. Course Outline

The current course outline is automatically loaded for students into the “View Course Outline” button on the course homepage (Figure 1).

2. Course Information

Instructional Plan Template button
Figure 2

In this section, place

  • A welcome message (preferably video-based) introducing both the faculty member, the course, and if applicable the course’s place in the program.
  • An Instructional Plan in the required format with dates for the current semester (Figure 2). Click link to access a downloadable template.

3. Content for Course Learning

Add a Module for each week (or unit for non week-based deliveries). Be sure all PowerPoints, resources, videos, and links are easy to navigate, clearly titled, and accessible.

4. Evaluation Section

  • Validity: Evaluations must align with the official course outline, be outcomes-based (aligning to course outcomes, program outcomes and any associated essential Employability Skills), and meet the requirements of the Evaluation of Student Learning Policy.
  • Instructions: For each assessed item, include a separate module containing instructions, how to submit, location and format of tests, etc. Note: Do not create one large file with all assignments. This is hard for students to navigate and harder for you to add to as you further develop guidance for each upcoming assignment.
  • Rubric or Marking Scheme: For each assessed item, there must be a rubric or marking scheme so students know how they will be evaluated. This rubric or marking scheme must be outcomes-based, valid and fair. Students must know in advance the criteria that will be used to evaluate their work or response, as well as the standards applied in marking. The point system must clearly delineate a pass from a fail. For this reason, a 5-point scale is the minimum suggested. It is also suggested that you use the eConestoga rubric builder so that you are not dealing with excessive documents and track changes (Figure 3).
Screenshot of eConestoga rubric with 5 levels
Figure 3 – Screenshot of eConestoga Rubric Builder

5. Grade Items

Add grade items into the “Grades” section under Course Tools and enter grades here as soon as items are marked. Note: 40% of the course evaluations should be completed by the mid-point of the semester.


Click the button to download the Essential Elements Checklist and review as a job aid.


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  • Published: April 29, 2021
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