Phase 1: Planning & Content Creation

During Phase 1, the e-Learning Center recommends that you focus on the instructional design of your course, deciding on the pedagogical approaches, assessments, activities (discussions, presentations, assignments, assessments, etc.), and materials (textbooks, online readings, websites, and media, such as graphics, audio, video, or animations), that work best for you and your students. We offer several types of training to help you make these decisions. A good resource to use during this phase is the Teaching Checklist.


We recommend that you schedule one or more consultations with each of the following:

  • A instructional technologist
  • An instructional designer
  • A media designer
  • An assessment specialist
  • A library resource specialist

Course Media

When making decisions about what types of media to include in your course, it's helpful to meet jointly with an instructional designer and the e-Learning Center's Creative Design Group. If you need customized media, we can help you decide what's feasible and we can either help you create the media or we can create it for you, subject to space availability. Be sure to request media at least 3 months in advance of when you plan to teach the course.

Library Assistance

Cline Library has resource specialists who can assist you with reserve readings, related websites, and other resources for your course. See Cline's site to find out which librarian works in your subject area.

Suggested Schedule

Below is a suggested timetable and task list for Phase 1. We have found that most faculty can successfully design a course at a comfortable pace if they follow this schedule. If you want to complete tasks ahead of schedule, feel free to do so. Then you can move on to Phase 2.

Phase 1: Planning & Content Creation

Month 1 Month 2 Month 3
  • Schedule a joint consultation with an instructional designer and an instructional technologist to discuss what you have in mind for your course.
  • Review the Quality Matters Rubric, available from the e-Learning Center.
  • Working with an instructional designer, list the intended learning outcomes for the course, ensuring that they are aligned with the academic program's curriculum.
  • Working with an assessment specialist, list the kinds of assessments you'll use to measure how well students have learned.
  • Create an outline of topics, content resources, and possible learning activities for your course.
  • If you intend to use someone else's copyrighted materials in your course, consult with a library resource specialist or an e-Learning staff member to determine whether you need to seek copyright permission.
  • Schedule a consultation with a library resource specialist to plan what types of online reserve readings or web resources you want in your course.
  • Schedule a joint consultation with an instructional designer and a media designer to plan what types of graphics, illustrations, diagrams, slide shows, audio recordings, videos, or animations you want in your course.
  • Devise rubrics, self-evaluations, peer evaluations, course evaluations, and alternative assessments.
  • Plan and write your course readings, activities, and assignments.
  • Plan and write your discussion topics and questions, if you're using discussions in your course.
  • Review the online Bb Learn tutorials.
  • Enroll in Bb Learn workshops as needed.
  • Write introductions to each topic in your course, explaining how the topic is related to or builds on previous topics.
  • Revise your syllabus so that it matches what's in your course.
  • Proofread all of your course material.
  • Submit final requests to the e-Learning Center for all media elements of your course.
  • If you're using media from sources other than the e-Learning Center or Cline Library, contact the Usable Material Center (part of Disability Resources) to ensure that the media can be made accessible.