Online Course Development

Online course development is something you should not attempt just before your class is scheduled to begin, spring and holiday breaks are not enough time to do the job well or right! Today's online learners are quite savvy and have high expectations of their online experiences. Visual learners benefit greatly when concepts are presented using graphics, demos and simulations. Simply posting your class notes or PowerPoint slides does not meet today's standards and expectations of quality online courses.

You should allow no less than 3 months (more is better) to allow enough time to create engaging, bilingual content accessible to students both here on campus and at a distance. Once the initial investment of your time and effort into creating and/or acquiring course content has been made you can reuse these resources repeatedly and efficiently.

Be sure to complete the required workshops prior to developing your first online course. Once you have completed the training, you will need to have a course shell set up for you in Blackboard where you and the instructional designer (ID) can work together to build your course. Cherisse Gardner is currently the instructional designer at the Office of Distance Education. Here are the steps involved in the course development process:

  • If you already have a course shell, send a request to the Help Desk to add the ID as "course builder" so the ID has access to the course management tools.
  • If the Registrar has not issued a course shell by the time you begin, send a request to Help Desk for a temporary shell for course development.
  • Before meeting with the ID, be sure the syllabus has been approved by your department. You can make changes later , but it is best to start with a version reflective of what the department has already "green-lighted".
  • The ID will set up the course template and build your syllabus into the online format. Once done, you will get the go-ahead to start the first instructional unit. When you have completed the first unit, the ID will do an instructional design review to make sure the course meets standards according to the Quality Matters TM rubric and give you feedback.
  • When you have finished the rest of the course, the ID will make a full course ID review to be sure it is complete and ready for delivery.

Plan to complete your course development two weeks before the class starting date so you have time for adjustments and revisions before students get access. See flow chart to visualize the course development process.

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