Course development timeline

New online courses will follow a timeline that is intended to break up the process into manageable steps. The Faculty Course Developer (FCD) will complete the following steps according to the timeline detailed below.

The course development agreement will include specific deadlines for each of the steps listed below, according to the target semester that the course will first be offered. Progress reports will be conducted by the Instructional Designer throughout course development and any missed deadlines will be communicated to the Faculty Course Developer and department heads.

Items due and corresponding dates for submittal in order to have a course ready for a listed future semester.
Items due from Faculty Course Developer (FCD) Fall Spring Summer
Course proposals must be submitted no later than November 15 July 15 October 15
Initial course development team kickoff meeting Late November Beginning of July Beginning of November
Course Map/Plan draft Mid-December Mid-July Mid-November
Syllabus and week 1 Beginning of January Beginning of July End of November
Meet with course development team to review initial work Mid-January Beginning of August Mid-December
Weekly modules 2 and 3 End of January Mid-August Beginning of January
Weekly modules 4 and 5 Beginning of February Beginning of September Mid-January
Weekly modules 6 and 7; Mid-Project Review with course development team. Mid-February Mid-September End of January
Weekly modules 8 and 9 End of February Beginning of October Mid-February
Weekly modules 10 and 11 Beginning of March Mid-October End of February
Weekly modules 12 and 13 End of March End of October Beginning of March
Weekly modules 14 and 15 Beginning of April Mid-November N/A
Finalization and FCD Self-Assessment Mid-April End of November End of March
Instructional Design Review End of April Mid-December Beginning of April
Quality Assurance Review Beginning of May End of December Mid-April
Curriculog Approvals Late May End of December Mid- to end of April
Implementation Evaluation and Revision January following first offering May following first offering September following first offering

Development timetable

It takes a considerable amount of time to design, develop, and build an online course according to best practices and University Standards for Digital Learning. The FCD’s familiarity with course material and technology, accessibility and University standards and policies, time management skills, and current workload all impact the overall timetable for development. Most online courses take an average of 6–9 months to develop. On average, each course development team member should expect to spend the following amount of time developing the online course:

Team member hours
Team Member Hours
Faculty Course Developer 350+
Instructional Designer 50–100
Instructional Technologist 50–100
Librarian 5-25

The times indicated above also assume that the FCD is not developing a brand-new course – meaning they have already developed and taught the material in a face-to-face or hybrid capacity. If any FCD is proposing to develop a class that is brand new/not previously taught, they should expect to spend double the amount of time indicated above.


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