What are my responsibilities as a course developer?

The course developer (who is often also the instructor) is responsible for both the pedagogical and technical aspects of creating a web course. As content expert, you are responsible for writing all of the course content, including the following elements as needed (some courses don't include all of these elements):

  • Syllabus
  • Course introduction
  • Learning objectives or intended outcomes for each topic or module
  • Instructional topics/modules
  • Readings
  • Activities
  • Assignments
  • Discussions
  • Presentations
  • Assessments
  • Course calendar

In addition to the topical content of the course, you also have to write explicit, detailed instructions for students so they understand clearly what they are expected to do. In an online environment, students might begin doing their assignments at midnight when instructors typically prefer not to receive their phone calls and might not want to respond to their emails.  It is, therefore, very important for students to have all the necessary information available right there online. Even in a hybrid or web-enhanced course, where the instructor can give students instructions during class time, it's a good idea to have clear written instructions available online for students who want to refer to them.

If you are developing a web course that will be taught by someone else (perhaps an adjunct instructor), keep the tone of the written information neutral enough that someone else can comfortably teach it.

Course developers are also responsible for the following technical aspects of web courses:

  • Creating correctly formatted web pages and making sure that links to online resources work correctly.
  • Putting the web pages into NAU's course management system.
  • Configuring the course settings (for example, assigning correct dates for exams, setting up columns in the online grade book, or putting assignments onto the online course calendar).

The e-Learning Center provides training and consultation to course developers and instructors in both the pedagogical and technical aspects of creating and teaching web courses.


Last updated: Jun 16, 2011