Getting started

Course development

Online and face-to-face course design have much in common. In both cases, you will need to think through learning outcomes, assessment strategies and supportive learning activities. Backward course design, in which you begin by identifying desired results, can help you to think through where you’re going and how to get there:

Online course development differs from face-to-face course development in the following ways:

  • You will require more time and thought to create learning objects such as recorded lectures or videos.
  • You will need to purposefully consider ways to encourage interaction in a virtual environment.
  • You will need to do more upfront planning regarding the flow of the course and integration of various learning activities and assessment (changing one course component creates a domino effect).

What to consider

When you start to develop an online course, there are a few questions to consider:

  1. Does this course exist in a face-to-face format or are you developing directly from concept to an online format?
    The sample template on this page can help you to lay out your course.
  2. If the course already exists, does a Canvas shell also exist?
    If not, learn how to create a Canvas shell.
  3. How much time do you have for development?
    Read more about the differences between emergency remote teaching and online learning and between remote and online instruction.
  4. How comfortable are you with technology?
    Read more about available technology.
  5. What are the goals and learning outcomes for this course, and what form of pedagogy best fits those outcomes?
    Read more about active learning.
  6. What are the realities of your students with respect to location, access to technology, etc.?
    Read more about content delivery and supporting student success.

Additional resources