Texas Tech University

From the ID Team

Anita Nunez

Anita Nuñez

Begin with a Course Design Plan

Creating a quality online course takes more time than most faculty expect. Beginning with a well-thought-out course design will help ensure the pedagogical quality of an online course. Aligning your course objectives, course content strategies and course assessments is key to the coherence of any course—online or face-to-face.

The best way to approach the task of creating your new online course is to divide the process into three large sequential parts: the design phase, the development phase and the manage phase. The design phase is when you compose the big picture of your course without consideration of the technology that will be used. This blueprint is called the course design plan and is the first step of the design phase. Creating a course design may take at least 30% of the time needed to fully complete your online course.

Start your course design plan with a list of measurable learning objectives written from the perspective of what the students will be able to do upon completion of your course. Then list your assessment strategies for each of those objectives. These strategies should describe how you will assess whether your students are achieving the course learning objectives or not. Finally, consider how best to "chunk" or "modularize" your course content: compose a title and a description including main concepts covered in each of your "modules" and list the learning objectives that will align with each of your modules.

Though you may think you are wasting time while in the design phase of your new online course, know that time spent on constructing a good design for your course will save a lot of time in the development phase.

Look for future articles as we move through the design-development-manage online course process. 

For assistance with online course design plan, or any other help with your online course, please contact us at elearning.id@ttu.edu or call 806-742-7227.