Course Development FAQ's
The course must be approved through Academic Standards and Curriculum Committee (ASCC). The course will not need additional ASCC approval for online offering if it has been approved for face-to-face offering.
The time it takes to convert a course from face-to-face to online delivery varies widely depending upon the type of course, the course design, your experience level, and your technological skills. For a new fully online course, plan on a minimum of 120-180 hours of development time. Set aside 1-2 hours per document to prepare and upload for online delivery, assuming the document is already written. It will take additional time to conceptualize and create online assessments to meet your learning objectives. If your course includes many media elements (graphics, video clips, audio clips, etc.), the development time will increase. Remember to allow time to attend meetings with your Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) and Academic Technologies (AT) course development team that will cover instructional and technical topics.
CETL recommends that faculty allow between nine to sixteen months of development time for creating a fully online course. It is not nine months of full-time work (forty hours per week) but the nine-sixteen month timeline allows faculty members to fit in web course development among their usual teaching load and other professional and personal commitments while allowing time for administrative approvals. The amount of time for development will vary based upon faculty prior knowledge of online development, time commitment to the process and time related to conceptualization and discussion with departmental/school level curriculum committee. Strategic discussions about course conceptualization (determining learning goals, objectives, outcomes, and assessment methods) and how it fits with current program/discipline offerings should occur at the departmental level prior to application submission to CETL. Allow approximately four to seven months for a course to be approved by the department, dean, and CETL staff.
Once the course is approved for development, the faculty member will be provided a course production site (Blackboard shell) by AT. Once the faculty member has completed modifications, three separate evaluations conducted by AT, CETL and an expert content reviewer will be completed. Allow sixty-ninety days for the completion of all three course evaluations. The faculty member will then be responsible for making modifications as suggested from each reviewer if necessary. Faculty should complete modifications in a timely manner established with their course development team. Inability to complete the course development process within the sixteen month timeline could result in the faculty member having to re-initiate the course development process.
Teaching online necessitates a unique set of skills for the college professor. Please review The Ten Crucial Roles of the Online Instructor for a summary. Please utilize Penn State’s brief survey to assess your readiness for online teaching. You can share the results with your course development team if you decide to move forward with the development process. Your course development team can help create a plan to address areas of development needed based on your survey results.
Please review the administrative steps and deadlines for course development outlined here.
A staff member from CETL will contact you within six weeks of the CETL Fall or Spring application deadline via e-mail to let you know if you have been approved. CETL receives a large number of applications every semester and will work with faculty and departments in accordance with the priorities established by The Office of Faculty Affairs.
Your CETL Faculty Development Specialist will schedule a kick-off meeting during the semester of development in which you are approved to discuss the roles of the team members and help you to create an individualized project timeline.
A Faculty Development Specialist will be assigned to you once you have been approved for course development. This individual will be your primary contact person for online course development and delivery. The Faculty Development Specialist will be identified to you in the initial e-mail of approval from CETL.
Academic Technologies offers a mandatory Blackboard 9.1 training for all faculty. Additionally, Academic Technologies offers a comprehensive list of self-tutorials on a plethora of topics to increase instructor proficiency with Blackboard including self and peer-assessment, Grade Center, and discussion board. A representative from Academic Technologies will also be a part of your development team and can assist with your technology questions during the course development process.
It is highly suggested but not required that inexperienced online faculty course developers enroll in the Principals and Practices of Online Development Course. This is a two-week asynchronous course via Blackboard for WSSU faculty offered several times each semester. Blackboard 9.1 Basic Training (is mandatory for all faculty and offered through Academic Technologies) is a pre-requisite training for enrollment in this course. Faculty can take the Principals and Practices course simultaneously during the course development process. Please review the course syllabus and schedule.
You will receive an e-mail notification from a representative from CETL that your course has been approved for online delivery. CETL will provide a list to Academic Technologies at least eight weeks in advance of the semester that the course is being offered. Academic Technologies will then transfer the production course site into a course shell(via Blackboard) for the semester that the course is being taught.
There is no payment associated with the course development process through CETL. CETL and AT utilize a team approach to offer technical and pedagogical support for course development. CETL does not provide funding for individual faculty to develop courses.