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Course Design Process

Making the transition from the traditional to virtual classroom takes time and effort. We recommend planning and developing your course one or two semesters before the first offering, devoting an average of 4 hours a week to development.

Very early in the course design process, you should apply to add an e-suffix to your course. Visit the e-suffix approval page to learn more.

For faculty developing courses outside of established Office of Online Learning (OOL) initiatives (e.g., Online Learning Fellows), we recommended dedicating two semesters to the design and development of your course as outlined below:

First semester

During the first semester, you should work to document the big ideas of the course.

  • What should students know and be able to do after completing this course?
  • What will the major assessment strategy of the course be?
  • How will the content modules be grouped and paced?

OOL offers five mechanisms to help walk you through this process:

By the end of the first semester, you should have the high-level concepts for the course documented in written form and the deadlines for the major development milestones mapped out for the second semester. It is also useful to develop a prototype module during the first semester, as the experience of designing and developing the prototype module will inform the creation of the milestones and set the stage for the production of the course.

Second semester

The second semester should be dedicated to the design and development of course materials. We recommend approaching course design iteratively, where each module in the course goes through a short design and development cycle. With the milestones and high-level documentation created in the first semester guiding the effort, faculty can work towards having the course fully developed and in place before launch. At anytime during this process, you can reach out to OOL’s instructional design team for advice or consultation regarding the design and development of course materials.

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