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Course Developer Toolkit

How do I get approval to offer an online course?

  1. Faculty should first present a proposal to their department chair and/or school director
  2. If the course is approved, faculty need to create a course curriculum to submit to the curriculum committee for approval
  3. Once approved by curriculum committee, faculty seeking assistance with course design, development. or delivery should complete and submit the course assistance request form.
  4. The Office of Continuing & Distance Education (OCDE) will review and respond to the request.

What support can I expect for course development?

After you fill out the online form you will be contacted by the Office of Continuing & Distance education. OCDE will schedule a meeting with you to assess your course development needs.

If you are an experienced online teacher, the online guide and online resources along with occasional support may be all that is needed. If you are new to online teaching or are doing a major redesign or new initiative, you will want to create a development plan and timeline with the ET design team.

I’ve been asked to develop a course which is part of a strategic initiative, what should I expect?

Degree programs and/or Transfer Module courses that have been identified as part of the university's strategic initiative for distance education will follow a more structured approach to development. You will be part of a team of faculty members, instructional designers and educational technologists working collaboratively to create a high-quality, cohesive online degree program or course.

The OCDE Executive Director Deb Huntsman will meet with the school director and program planners to identify and develop market research, budget projections, resource allocation, grant possibilities, external vendors and project timelines.

Online Learning Director Valerie Kelly will hold an initial meeting with course coordinators and course developers to establish program goals, course learning objectives, and a development plan and timeline for your program.

Each program will be assigned a team of Instructional Designers and Educational Technologists as needed to assist with development.

What platform do we use to deliver courses?

The official course delivery platform is currently Blackboard Vista. Beginning in fall 2011 we will begin to convert to Blackboard Learn (Bb Learn). All new course development after fall 2012 will be in Bb Learn.

The course orientation, syllabus, and learning modules including: readings, online resources, lectures, presentation slides, assignments, examinations, message boards, and other course materials will be contained in the Blackboard (Bb) learning management system (LMS).

Some instructors may choose to supplement the LMS with another tool, such as a wiki, blog, or other platform. If so, the instructor should have working knowledge of these platforms and be able to support the students in the use of the technology. Student guides to any other supplemental platforms or tools must be provided to the students.

A basic knowledge of the Bb Learn system is essential before the start of a teaching assignment. Bb Learn support and training can be found at: Educational Technologists will also provide training in your consultations with them.


  • Define course goals, learning objectives and outcomes
  • Determine your instructional strategy
  • Identify your teaching method
  • Identify topic areas
  • Create a learning guide
  • Create schedule
  • Develop activity/assessment plan
  • Identify content needed
  • Create Syllabus


  • Request a development course shell in Bb Learn
  • Create folders for each learning module
  • Create lectures
  • Create activities/assessments
  • Create orientation video
  • Create audio podcasts
  • Create interactive features
  • Assemble components in appropriate learning module folder
  • Upload folders to Bb Learn
  • Organize content into learning modules in Bb Learn
  • Create assessments (quizzes) in Bb Learn
  • Organize grade book
  • Add all necessary student guides
  • Edit course for typos, correct dates
  • Make the course live in Bb Learn


  • Create orientation video of course for students
  • Create instructor guide


  • QM team evaluates course design with QM rubric
  • Make any necessary changes based on review
  • Review student surveys after courses are delivered
  • Revise as necessary