Course Development

Our Course Development Process

The Office of Online Education takes an approach to developing online and hybrid courses that is cross-disciplinary, team-based, and highly individualized. We recognize that each of UNLV's colleges is unique, and as a result, each online course takes a different path in its development. Your subject matter expertise and involvement are key to the quality of the course development and our successful collaboration.

The information below provides an overview of the process, who you will be working with, and the steps you can take to plan for a successful course development.

A laptop open on a desk.
A student in class writing in a notepad, with their laptop open in front of them as well.
A group of students working together with their laptops and books open.

First Steps

1. Plan Ahead

The earlier you begin, the more services and support we can provide you.

2. Communicate

Discuss the course(s) you'd like to develop with your department chair.

3. Think Big Picture

Determine with your department how your course(s) might fit into the bigger picture of offering a fully online degree or certificate program.

4. Contact us

Request a course consultation meeting.

Getting Ready To Work With Us - Tips!

Preparing for your course consultation meeting

Once you request a consultation we will contact you to schedule a brief meeting. The purpose of the course consultation is to do an initial needs assessment for your course development and to answer any questions you have about the process or our services. To make the most of your consultation, please bring:

  1. Syllabus. The most recent version of the course syllabus, if available.
  2. Textbook. An extra textbook, if available, for your development team.
  3. Course details. Be ready to discuss some of the details of your course.

After your consultation

We will collect all of the approval signatures required (yours, your department chair, and your dean) before we can kick off the course development and begin work. A representative from our office will contact you by email when we have all of the required approvals.

Preparing for your course development kick-off meeting

Once the online course development is approved, a development team is formed to work with you and a meeting is scheduled. To prepare for this kick-off meeting, you will want to:

  1. Check out our best practices to get a sense of the possibilities for your own online class.
  2. Compile the materials you already have for your course, such as handouts, readings, assignments, quizzes, exams, etc… (see our content checklist for reference)
  3. Compile a list of digital content that could be included in the course (e.g., TED talks, journal articles, websites, etc.).
  4. Think about relevant artwork. We will ask for your ideas about artwork for the course banner and module icons.
  5. Consider interactive elements. Think about any unique types of course interactions or activities that may require special programming. Our Learning Activities best practices will give you a few ideas of what is possible.
  6. Bring your calendar. Be prepared to discuss deadlines and deliverables for the development of your online or hybrid course, as well as to schedule regular meetings with the team for the development time period.

Course Development Timing

The development of fully online, hybrid, or agile courses occurs prior to the start of the semester in which the course will be offered. As a result, a great deal of advanced planning and preparation are necessary.

Course development typically begins at least eighteen weeks prior to the start of the semester, in order to have a new online course fully developed one week prior to the start of the semester. Complex online courses requiring specialized instructional design, learning interactives, or videos may require more than eighteen weeks to develop.

Course Development Team Roles

A course development team is formed to collaborate with you as the subject matter expert once the course development is approved. As a team, you work together to translate an existing face-to-face course to the online environment or conceive how an entirely new class would be designed to be successfully offered online. The expertise of the team members also helps ensure that courses are accessible to all students.

Incentive Funding

The Office of Online Education provides incentive funding for the development of department master courses only. Master courses are developed to provide a cohesive and comprehensive approach to course content, learning activities, and assessments for classes taught by multiple instructors. Please see the documents linked below for more information.