Every online course is developed by an online curriculum designer, a course lead, and, when possible, an online course representative. Together, they design a course that aligns with department and program goals while also providing a learning experience that is tailored to the online environment. The five-phase development process includes a standards review and a pilot run followed by full-scale offerings.

The Five Phases of Development


Course leads work with a designer and sometimes an OCR to prepare and gather materials for the online version of a course. Course outcomes and architecture are determined.

  • Estimated time commitment: 15 hours/semester
  • Core deliverable: Course Outcomes and Architecture
  • Resources: Kick-Off Meeting, Kick-Off Packet


Development lasts for one full semester during which course leads meet regularly and often with designers to create the course. Assignments are created and content is developed. Course leads should receive a load reduction from their departments during this phase.

  • Estimated time commitment: 9 hours/week (126 hours/semester)
  • Core deliverable: Complete Course
  • Resources: Designer


A review team (part of the Curriculum Development Department) works through the course, editing and checking for standards. The team also verifies compliance with ADA laws and guidelines. Course leads may meet occasionally with the designer during this phase.

  • Estimated time commitment: 15 hours/semester
  • Core deliverable: Revisions
  • Resources: Designer


One section of the course runs, taught by the OCR. Online students give weekly feedback, and the Course Council makes appropriate adjustments to the course.

  • Estimated time commitment: 1 hour/week
  • Core deliverable: Release Meeting
  • Resources: Designer, Online Instructor


This phase occurs after a successful pilot and continues for the life of the course. The course is scaled to multiple sections to be maintained by Course Support, overseen by a Course Council, and taught by online instructors.

With the exception of grammar/spelling fixes, no changes are made to the course without appropriate Course Council approval.

  • Estimated time commitment: 1 hour/week
  • Core deliverables: Approval/Review of maintenance requests
  • Resources: Website