Developing An Online Course

Preliminary Steps to Online Course Development

  1. Accepting a development contract
  2. Fill out the Course Development Template in preparation of initial development meeting with instructional designers
  3. Meet with instructional designers to create a development timeline (email ltid@acadiau.ca for an appointment)
  4. Consult the Course Development Template 2 and the Module Planning Template files
  5. Final sign-off by instructor and departmental review

Working with Instructional Designers

The role of Instructional Designers in the course development process is to help you, the Subject Matter Expert, to create high-quality educational resources that will serve a broad community of learners. Our goals are to support, guide and advise you in developing courses by drawing on our backgrounds in education, teaching and learning theory and technology. How they can help you:

  1. Powerpoint development: Our instructional designers are skilled in creating interactive Powerpoint presentations that seamlessly incorporate visuals, animations, audio, and video.
  2. Using educational technologies available: Moodle has many capabilities and plugins that allow SME’s to create custom assessments and delivery methods for your material.
  3. Create custom videos: These can be helpful in demonstrating critical or commonly misunderstood concepts in your course material.
  4. Recording audio: Annotate a presentation or create a podcast for students to listen to.
  5. Resources and references: If you have any questions or problems related to course development, educational theory or technology our Instructional Designers can help you.
Development of an Online Course

The course developer is hired by the Department/School (Article 44 of the AUFA 15th Collective Agreement) to be contracted by Open Acadia to work with Open Acadia’s Online Course Development team to:

  • Plan – prior to writing course content. (Identify timelines, tools, assessment strategies, task responsibilities etc.)
  • Design – map out structure and learning environment. (Learning objectives, student assessment, outline content, learning resources, learning activities, schedule, etc.)
  • Develop – build the course for online delivery. (Prepare instructor resources and notes, record video and audio components, upload content into LMS, develop multimedia if required, prepare course syllabus, etc.)

The Request for the Development of an Online Course form should be used when Academic Departments wish to propose a new online course. Open Acadia considers courses that will support the programming needs of academic departments, and have a reasonable expectation of recovering or exceeding development and delivery costs. Barring major curriculum, technological or instructor changes, the expected lifetime of a new online course development is six years.

An Online Course Development Contract is issued, and remuneration is paid as specified by Article 44 of the AUFA 15th Collective Agreement.

Maintenance of an Online Course

Course Maintenance refers to changes required to keep a course current, similar to maintaining teaching materials used in a face-to-face course. The changes are similar to those that might be made in the preparation and continued delivery of a face to face course. Course maintenance may include such things as:

  • changes required due to textbook changes including PowerPoint updates, re-recording of audio files and video segments, page number references, etc.;
  • clarification of a concept or procedure that has presented either instructional or learning challenges in previous offerings;
  • correction of erroneous information;
  • updating of links (broken links, additional links, etc.);
  • deletion of outdated material;
  • copy-editing revisions;
  • etc. 

Course maintenance is generally initiated by the course instructor unless Open Acadia is advised of textbook availability issues due to edition changes. Open Acadia’s Online Course Development team will advise whether a new section of the course is required, or whether edits can be made to the existing section.

No contract is issued and no remuneration is paid. This should be kept in mind during the development process.

Redevelopment of an Online Course

Working from an existing online course, the course redeveloper will work with Open Acadia’s Online Course Development team to modify and adapt an existing course based on identified requirements outlined in the course review process and any modification(s) identified by the redeveloper. Barring major curriculum, technological or instructor changes, the expected lifetime of an online course redevelopment is six years.

Course redevelopments generally only occur after a course review has taken place as per Article 44 of the AUFA 15th Collective Agreement.

An Online Course Redevelopment Contract is issued, and remuneration is paid as specified by Article 44 of the AUFA 15th Collective Agreement.

Stages of redevelopment:

  1. Accepting a redevelopment contract
  2. Fill out the Course Redevelopment Template
  3. Meet with instructional designers to create a redevelopment timeline
  4. Final sign-off by instructor and departmental review