Steps and Schedules for Developing Online Courses

The biggest difference between developing an online course and an in-person course is that the entire online course must be built before the first day of instruction, because it is simply too difficult to keep up and do a good job. For a new three credit course development, where the content needs to be gathered and the lessons planned, the e-Learning Center recommends that instructors allow approximately 6 months. The work is divided into two phases:

Phase 1: Planning & Content Creation (approximately 3 months)
Phase 2: Course Building (approximately 3 months)

Developing a hybrid or web-enhanced course takes less time than a fully online course, although many of the steps are similar. Instructors can adapt the Phase 1 and Phase 2 steps to a shorter timetable as needed. The development time can also be shortened significantly if the course will use publisher built materials rather than instructor built materials.