Online Development Steps

Online Development Steps

5 Key Steps for Online Development

This page highlights the five main steps to follow when putting a course or programme online, starting with the initial idea, followed by the design, development and delivery of the online offering, whilst always considering the evaluation and review of content throughout the process.  The diagram highlights the steps:

Course Development Process diagram

The sections below detail what action should be taken throughout the five stages:

1. Proposal / Initial Idea

If you have a great idea for an online programme, course or short continuing development course, ensure key teams are aware of your idea:

  1. Discuss with your School, for example your Head of School or Director of Education, to make them aware of your proposal
  2. Make contact with your School Marketing Officer, to determine the market potential for the new offering
  3. Complete the necessary paperwork, by contacting the Programme Management Committee (PMC):
    1. if your proposal is a new programme, the Curriculum Management System (CMS) needs to be completed
    2. if your proposal is for a stand alone course email:
  4. Once you receive PMC approval
    1. if a new programme, with completed CMS, the next step is the Quality Assurance Committee
    2. if a course, you need to complete the Curriculum Management System to generate a course code

Note: PMC meet about five times a year, and all approvals need to be submitted at least two weeks in advance of their next meeting

2. Design

Whilst waiting for approval from PMC you should make contact with:

  1. The Online Education Team to inform them of your proposal and they can give you the appropriate forms to complete, so your proposal has a placeholder on the system and On-Demand site

Bring your team together to plan your course and ensure you are adequately prepared:

  1. Centre for Academic Development, to help you plan and design your course or programme, focussing upon creating an interactive of the following components
    1. Course name/title
    2. Identifying students
    3. Course description and ethos
    4. Think about constructive alignment, which includes:
      1. Intended Learning Outcomes
      2. Topics and themes
      3. Assessment
  2. Look for examples of innovation and good practice
  3. Consider if your course will be always-on
  4. Complete the recommended Digital Accessibility online training course
  5. eLearning team can create a test course area on MyAberdeen whilst waiting for the course code
  6. Enrol staff members onto your course area
  7. Consider if you will release all the course material at once, or by conditional release
  8. Decide if you will meet students online using Collaborate or MS Teams
  9. Get up-to-date with learning technology in eLearning workshops or visit our Toolkits


3. Develop

Develop your learning materials and review your content:

  1. A course area will be created on MyAberdeen, with the newly generated course code
  2. Ensure you update your profile page on MyAberdeen and add a recent photograph
  3. Select your course banner and consider using the same image as the On-Demand store
  4. Generate learning modules to match your storyboard and select images
  5. Record a welcome video and mini lectures on Panopto, providing captions
  6. Develop rich Ultra documents that include multi-media (text, links, images, and video)
  7. Share your reading list with the library and label core/additional reading
  8. Create an engaging activity for each topic (discussions, journals, or groupwork)
  9. Develop formative assessment in each course (such as tests)
  10. Create a variety of low stakes summative assessments that are scalable
  11. Check your course for consistency and accessibility
  12. Use the Student Preview feature to check over your material and activities
  13. Ask a colleague to review the course area
  14. As one final check, why not work with the eLearning team in the Centre for Academic Development to achieve an Exemplary Course Program award
  15. Once ready let the Online Education Team and the eLearning team know that you are ready to launch the course
4. Deliver

Guide your students as they progress through your course, carefully thinking about how you will deliver and engage your students:

  1. Open your course area to students on time
  2. Post a welcome announcement
  3. Consider scheduling weekly announcements to guide students
  4. Provide students with an overview of your course and how to get started
  5. Provide students with a course guide
  6. Share the etiquette guide with students
  7. Consider facilitating an ice-breaker activity with students
  8. Encourage students to post questions about the course to discussion boards
  9. Allow students access to assessment information up-front
  10. Monitor student engagement and follow-up with students not accessing the course
  11. Provide feedback from formative assessments
  12. Consider using a grading rubric to provide consistency
5. Monitor and Evaluate

Take a step back to reflect upon and evaluate your success

  1. Consider course feedback from students
  2. Share your experience with colleagues via the Sharing Online Experience events
  3. Check and refine guidance / learning material on a regular basis
  4. Use one of our checklists to help you review your online material
  5. Or why not work with the eLearning team in the Centre for Academic Development to achieve an Exemplary Course Program award