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Course Creation Process

Overview

Transforming a course for the online environment often requires redesign effort to clarify learning objectives and organize course content and identify resources. It is estimated that an instructor needs approximately 30 to 40 hours to design a course, 10 to 20 hours of technical support, and 6 to 16 hours of instructional design to reconfigure and support the online course. The Online Program Team is available to help you every step of the way.

Downloadable Resources:

Course Creation Process Overview | Planning Objectives and Resources Guide | Online Program Team


 Objective 1: Course Approval

Primary Goals:
  • Identify the audience for the course.
  • Create a topic overview.
  • Answer the question: Why online?
Resources Involved:
  • Faculty member(s)
  • School approvers


Before course planning and production begins, faculty members should follow the process to obtain approval from the appropriate Department Chair. The approval process provides an opportunity to consider the audience for the course and create a topic overview. Faculty should also consider how the course will benefit from being delivered in an online format.

Tasks:

  1. Faculty member identifies class to be taught online and brings proposal to Department Chair.
  2. Department Chair meets with the Steering Committee to discuss course approval process. 

 Objective 2: Course Planning and Design

Primary Goals:
  • Create learning outcomes and course syllabus. 
  • Develop a project timeline.
  • Determine course style, including technology needs (e.g. animations).

Resources Involved:

  • Instructional designer
  • Faculty member(s)
  • Course producer (School/OLI)


Faculty members should consider the learning outcomes for students and create a detailed course syllabus, which may need to be adjusted specifically for an online course format (see Objective 3: Course Production). Faculty members will also meet with the Online Program Manager and Instructional Designer to plan the course style and assess technology needs.

Tasks:

  1. Steering Committee meets with the Online Program Director to discuss course details.
  2. Faculty member meets with Online Program Manager to determine course needs surrounding design, technology, and support.

 Objective 3: Course Production

Primary Goals:

  • Create content and build course.
  • Develop success criteria.
  • Train course TAs.

Resources Involved:

  • TAs
  • Faculty member(s)
  • Course producer
  • Video team (sourced by OLI)


Faculty members will work with the Online Program Manager to adapt any new or existing syllabus, course modules and rubrics to an online format. Staff at the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) at Penn can offer additional advice and support with this process. Faculty members, the Instructional Designer and other groups including the video production team will work to develop a Canvas course. The course team (faculty, TAs and administrative staff) will receive training on Canvas and any additional technology to be used during the course.

Tasks:

  1. Faculty member works with the Online Program Manager & Center for Teaching and Learning representative to adapt rubric to an online format.
  2. Faculty member works with Online Program Manager & Instructional Designer to develop a Canvas course.
  3. Faculty member, TAs, and administrative staff are trained on technology to be used in the course. Pre-course readiness module is administered to these groups.

 Objective 4: Course Pre-Launch Review

Primary Goals:

  • Finalize edits.
  • Check and test course.
  • Communicate with students.

Resources Involved:

  • TAs
  • Course producer
  • School reviewer


During pre-launch review, any remaining Canvas course edits will be finalized, and course content will undergo a review and testing process before access is made available to students. Communication to students regarding the course (e.g. welcome emails and course instructions) can begin during this time.


 Objective 5: Course Launch and Delivery

Primary Goals:

  • Fix any identified issues.
  • Hold live sessions.
  • Monitor discussions.

Resources Involved:

  • TAs
  • Faculty member(s)
  • Tech support (provided)


The first course module students will complete is a pre-course readiness module, to provide training for all technology to be used during the course. This module provides students with the opportunity to practice using Canvas functionality, have any technology questions addressed and resolve issues before graded coursework begins. Technical support will be provided at the onset of the course to assist with administration of this module.

Tasks:

  1. Pre-course readiness module is administered to students.
  2. Course delivery & support is provided.

 Objective 6: Course Evaluation and Data Analysis

Primary Goals:

  • Conduct course surveys.
  • Analyze performance.
  • Document issues/ideas.

Resources Involved:

  • Course team


Course surveys will be conducted during and after the course to collect student feedback. This feedback will be used to assess course performance and will be incorporated into the planning of the course in subsequent semesters. The Center for Teaching and Learning has created a guide to creating the standard Course Feedback for Instructors (CFI) questionnaire, alternative course feedback forms (including sample questions), and suggestions for using student feedback.

Tasks:

  1. Course evaluation & analysis.

 Objective 7: Course Debrief and Feedback

Primary Goals:

  • Identify revisions.
  • Resolve any open issues.
  • Discuss feedback for future courses.

Resources Involved:

  • Course team


At the end of the semester, the course team will meet to discuss feedback, identify and resolve (or plan to resolve) any noted issues that occurred during the course. 

Tasks:

  1. Course debrief & discussion of revisions to be made for future courses.

 Objective 8: Course Revisions

Primary Goals:

  • Make general revisions.
  • Refresh course content.
  • Plan performance improvements.

Resources Involved:

  • Course team
  • Video team


The course team will work to resolve any identified issues, refresh course content, and work with the video production team to re-record any course videos as needed. Any items identified during Course Debrief and Feedback for future planning should be implemented during this time wherever possible.