Standard 4:­ Instructional Materials

General Standard 4 -­ Instructional Materials

Instructional materials enable learners to achieve stated learning objectives or competencies.


The instructional materials serve the course-and module-level objectives.  It is evident how the instructional materials support the assessments. It is clear whether the instructional materials are required or optional. The instructional materials are as current as the field demands. Students have the opportunity to use a variety of instructional materials, including (but not limited to):

  • Textbooks
  • Scholarly and/or popular articles
  • Podcasts
  • Screencasts
  • Handouts
  • Data downloads
  • Interactive activities
  • Web video
  • Infographics
  • Industry resources & reports
  • Slide decks


4.2 Both the purpose of instructional materials and how the materials are to be used for learning activities are clearly explained.

One great way to get this done quickly and thoroughly is to annotate your instructional materials, especially videos and scholarly readings. Give students some context going in. Should they read only specific pages? Is there a topic you’d like them to focus on? Is the article part of a journal that, as industry professionals, they should pay close attention to? These work as teasers to draw students in, and are also important for adult students who have to manage their time carefully.

4.3 All instructional materials used in the course are appropriately cited.

Just as students are required to cite sources in their coursework, faculty need to provide clear and complete citations for any assigned materials. Citations make it easier for students to locate the precise work you want them to engage with, in addition to modeling the citation behaviors that they should use in their own work. In addition to properly citing the material, it is vital to ensure that all material used in the course is consistent with copyright regulations. For more information, see the copyright [link] and citation [link] guidelines.

4.4 The instructional materials are current.

What “current” means will vary by field, but it is important to make sure that all links are functioning, textbooks were published within the last few years (otherwise, students may have a difficult time obtaining a copy), and that resources reflect current thought in the field. Of course, some older instructional materials are classics! In that case, be sure to annotate them to let students know how they relate to newer resources.

Additional Resources