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Looking to Develop an Online Course?

Faculty who have been asked by their department to develop an online course that is not part of an already approved online program may apply for support from the Online Program Development and Support (OPDS) Office.  Decisions for financial support of online course development are based on projected course demand, eLearning Services capacity and the budget allocation to the OPDS.  To qualify for consideration for support, the online course must meet certain criteria:

  1. The College agrees the course will be listed as off-campus/online.
  2. The course must have a history of average enrollments of 20 or more students per offering over the past three years.
  3. Faculty and instructors must offer the course through Blackboard.
  4. Faculty and instructors must participate in customized training from Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center.
  5. Faculty and instructors must agree to deliver their course content on schedule to the instructional design team to facilitate a timely development process.  The administrator who cosigns this application will be provided a monthly progress report. 

Click here to download an application to develop an online course.

Course Timeline Expectations

Online course development is a time intensive process and requires 4-6 months to produce a quality course. For this reason applications must be submitted to the Office of Online Program Development and Support by December 1 for consideration for a course to be offered in the following summer/fall sessions; and May 1 for a course to be offered in the following spring semester.  If the application is accepted, the development team, including the faculty, will adhere to an agreed-upon development schedule developed by the participants.

Development Services for Accepted Courses

eLearning Services will provide approximately 200 hours of support unless arrangements for additional time are negotiated. Support services include instructional design, multimedia development, audio and video encoding, audio transcription, illustration and graphic design, and quality assurance testing. Online courses developed through eLearning support are expected to adhere to Quality MattersTM standards (QualityMatters.org). eLearning Services will then support the course as long as it is offered online/off-campus. 

Customized Training

Faculty and instructors of the course will agree to take the Online Teaching/Development Readiness Self-Assessment survey developed by Faculty Development so that a customized training plan can be developed to fit your needs.  Training for faculty course developers may include a 6-week online course with the outcome being materials ready to be submitted to eLearning for course development. 

Department/College Support for Online Course Development

In the event that a course’s online development cannot be wholly supported by OPDS funding, eLearning will supply a cost analysis to the faculty and the department chair.  OPDS will engage in discussions with the faculty and administrators to determine other ways to support quality online course development. 

For more information on developing an online course, please contact the Online Program Support and Development Office opds@niu.edu