Course Development Process

A wide range of resources must be brought together to create the online component of a course, whether for a blended class or a course that is entirely online. The McGraw online learning team helps by coordinating many of the production elements and ordering them into an efficient process. We break course development into a series of five stages: initiation, design, development, implementation, and evaluation.

The Initiation Stage

In this stage, you formulate the course plan in broad strokes and prepare proposals to support the project. As described in our guidelines for online teaching proposals, you consider course design questions such as: What would I like the students to learn, and how will I assess their progress and whether they have achieved these learning goals? What online materials and activities will the course include and what funding might be required to design the course and produce it?

  • Approximate time: 2–4 months
  • Milestone: Course proposal approved

The Design Stage

This phase starts with a kick­off meeting with the online teaching team at McGraw. We discuss all aspects of your course design, including course learning goals and course activities. You will also meet separately with the video producers to plan all aspects of the video production process. Using the course design template, we agree on a course design plan and on a project schedule.

  • Approximate time: 1­2 months
  • Milestone: Course design plan & project schedule

The Development Stage

In this phase, we create the course material—videos, reading materials, and assignments. Creating presentations and  the video production process will most likely take up most of your time, but creating assignments and putting together readings and other course resources can also be time-consuming. If you are teaching an open course, we also create the course trailer and begin creating the course announcement page (i.e. enrollment page).

  • Approximate time: 2­4 months
  • Milestone: Course material production complete

The Implementation Stage

During this stage, we build the course site and make it available to students. The course environment is created around your course content and the information for students about taking the course (i.e. a syllabus) and assignments are created. We review and test the course site. During this phase, you will also familiarize yourself with using your online course site, and learn how to use it to communicate with your students. If the course is an open online course (i.e. a MOOC), the course announcement page is opened so that your course may be opened for enrollment. We also publicize the course availability through our various social media networks and other channels such as the McGraw Center home page and the Office of Communications. The course opens to students for students to engage with the instructional material and the community of learners taking the course.

  • Approximate time: 2 months
  • Milestone:  Announcement page ready, enrollment begins; course opens to students

The Evaluation Stage

Evaluation is a continuous part of the course development and delivery process. Fundamentally it involves knowing what you want students to learn and using clear criteria to assess and evaluate their work toward their learning goals. Another form of evaluation consists in reviewing and analyzing your students’ work. As your course comes to an end, a survey will give you additional information of what worked and what can adjustments can be made for future versions of the course.

  • Approximate time: Ongoing
  • Milestone: Post-course survey