Online course development process

The new online course development process will consist of three main steps:

  1. Course planning and designing
  2. Course development and building
  3. Course reviews and revisions

Each step is explained in detail below.

Course planning and designing

To begin, the course development team will meet to kick off the development process. At this meeting, members will develop and agree upon a communication plan, define roles and responsibilities, and determine the project timeline. This meeting will include a review of the online course development process, and a discussion of the class to be developed.

Next, the Faculty Course Developer (FCD) will complete the online course development training and begin work on planning and designing their course. Note that the FCD should complete the training within one academic year of starting development of their course. At this stage, the FCD will finalize course and module learning outcomes; create and use a course map to design and align course content with course-wide objectives; and determine major assignments, assessments, and overall strategies for content delivery, instructional activities, and assessment.

Course development and building

After the FCD has completed initial planning and training with the help of their course development team, the FCD will begin to develop course materials. This will include the following:

  • Develop the course syllabus using the University syllabus template
  • Write material for weekly overview (weekly welcome, learning outcomes, to-do list)
  • Determine external reading/viewing assignments/weekly road maps
  • Plan assignments/assessments
  • Write lecture materials/scripts
  • Record lecture videos

Note that these items can be developed externally (for example, in MS Word or Google Docs) then transferred into WebCampus, or the FCD can choose to build materials directly in WebCampus. Your course development team can walk you through the differences in these approaches and help you find the one that will work best for you.

Once course materials have been planned and designed, the FCD will commence building the course in WebCampus. This will include:

  • Creating the course homepage
  • Creating the Getting Started/Start Here/Course Information orientation section
  • Loading the accessible course syllabus
  • Building content pages such as the module overview, reading and viewing assignments, lectures, and wrap ups
  • Loading lecture videos into the course site and deploying them in the appropriate places
  • Setting up all assessments and evaluations with WebCampus assignment tools
  • Organizing WebCampus files and loading or linking to externally-produced resources (PDFs, multimedia, documents)
  • Linking the course with publisher materials/homework managers (as needed)
  • Providing a list of e-reserves to Librarians to load into the course site
  • Checking the entire finished product to ensure it meets all University Standards for Digital Instruction before requesting their Instructional Designer do so

Don’t worry: The Office of Digital Learning will provide a customizable template for course structure, content pages, and different activities and assignments that you can use to guide your development.

Course reviews and revisions

Once the FCD has built their course in WebCampus, they will assess their course using the University Standards for Digital Instruction, making any necessary adjustments as needed. They will then notify their Instructional Designer that the course is ready for informal review. If there are any areas where the course does not meet the established standards, the Instructional Designer will work with the FCD to revise the course. Once the Instructional Designer has determined that the course passes the informal review, the Digital Learning Quality Assurance Officer will complete the official course review. After the course passes the official review, it will be given the greenlight to be offered.

Note: If a course does not pass official review, it may still be offered in the target semester, but will be required to undergo revisions to meet all University Standards for Digital Instruction before it may be scheduled in future terms.

Summary of the development process

The following image summarizes the above content into a visual representation of the process:

Overview of the online course development process


If you’d like to know more about the new online course development process, or have questions, please contact the Office of Digital Learning.