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Course Development Process



Methods change, but standards of quality endure. The important issues are not technical but curriculum-driven and pedagogical. Decisions about such matters are made by qualified professionals and focus on learning outcomes for an increasingly diverse student population. As with all curriculum development and review, the institution assures that each program of study results in collegiate level learning outcomes appropriate to the rigor and breadth of the degree or certificate awarded by the institution, that the electronically offered degree or certificate program is coherent and complete, and that such programs leading to undergraduate degrees include general education requirements.

Academically qualified persons participate fully in the decisions concerning program curricula and program oversight. It is recognized that traditional faculty roles may be unbundled and/or supplemented as electronically offered programs are developed and presented, but the substance of the program, including its presentation, management, and assessment are the responsibility of people with appropriate academic qualifications (Best Practices, 2002).

Once a department has identified and approved a course for distance delivery, the following process should be initiated within a timeframe adequate to accommodate for the following steps to be completed prior to the term that the course will be delivered. Courses offered prior to the standardization of the Distance Education (DE) course delivery development process must be re-submitted utilizing the process outlined below.

Step 1 : The instructor meets with the instructional designer to discuss the various design elements of the course.

Step 2 : The instructional designer meets with the DE Team to coordinate acquisition/development of course related elements: i.e., audio/video, graphic design, copyright permissions, marketing publications, interlibrary loans, acquisition of materials, custom textbook orders, adherence to ADA regulations etc.

Step 3 : The instructor participates in faculty training (this is a four week course delivered totally online) covering techniques for teaching online as well as the Blackboard Learning System.

Step 4 : The instructor reviews the course progress with the instructional designer to ensure that the “Best Practices” are being successfully incorporated into the course design.

Step 5 : The instructional designer meets with the DE Team to ensure that the technologies chosen are consistent with and appropriate for the objectives and outcomes of the course, as well as meeting ADA requirements.

Step 6 : The instructor reviews the course development progress with the instructional designer to include a review of the “Best Practices” documentation . Additionally, any required hands-on training should be requested and conducted during this step.

Step 7 : The instructor pilots the course with a peer or designated individual. After the course has been successfully piloted the instructor submits the official “Best Practices” documentation, to include an attached copy of the syllabus using the on-line format, through ACRES to the appropriate Associate Dean for signatures. All documentation is then routed to the Associate Dean for Distance Education, the Dean of Instruction, and the Vice President of Learning Services for final review and signatures. All transmittal documents, inclusive of the on-line syllabi, are stored electronically in the Office of Transfer Curriculum and Articulation. The Office of Distance Education will print a final copy of the “Best Practices” documentation, to include a copy of the syllabus using the on-line format, to store as hard copy.

Step 8 : The Office of Distance Education notifies the instructional designer that the course is ready for activation and student view.

Step 9 : The instructional designer notifies the Blackboard administrator that the course is complete and ready for transfer to the live server.

Step 10 : A minimum of 48 hours prior to the date that the course will be active for student view the course will be populated with students.

Step 11 : A minimum if 24 hours prior to the date that the course is being delivered the course will be activated for student view.

Note: A recommended timeline for this process is 6 – 8 months prior to the term that the course will be delivered.

The Office of Transfer Curriculum and Articulation will provide a “summary of actions” document to the Office of the Dean of Instruction and the Office of Distance Education once a semester. Associate Deans should refer to this document prior to scheduling courses to ensure that they have been approved for distance delivery.

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