1 Course Development Resource Guide Professional Development & Community Engagement Educational Technology Support
3 Introduction The Course Development Resource Guide provides information to course writers who are developing, or instructors who are teaching, fully online or blended courses for the Faculty of Education (supported by Professional Development & Community Engagement). This Guide provides: 1. An overview of the delivery models; 2. An overview of the Learning Management System; 3. An overview of the course development process and schedule; 4. A course development checklist. 1. Delivery models The goal of the course development team is to create dynamic learning environments that are responsive to student needs. Courses can be offered in various flexible delivery models that use a blend of instructional methods to bring Faculty of Education (FoE) programs and courses to students. These models include: 1. Fully online: This model gives students the greatest freedom to choose when, where, and how they wish to study. Learning can take place wherever students have Internet access via a computer or a mobile device. There are often weekly scheduled learning activities or assignments in which the students may complete individually or in groups. Online courses require a significant amount of reading, writing, reflection, and completion of activities and assignments. It is important to keep in mind that learning at a distance requires self-discipline, persistence, time management and organizational skills. The fully online course is delivered via the Learning Management System (LMS). UBC uses the Blackboard LMS and has branded it as Connect. Connect offers a variety of tools: 1) Communication tools such as discussion forum, blog, wiki, and real-time web conference. 2) Instructional tools such as embedded videos, online library reserves, quiz and assignment submission, and learning journals. 3) Administration tools such as grade-book, announcement, and group sign-up. 2. Blended (also called mixed-mode or hybrid): This model uses a combination of online and classroom space. Every UBC credit course now automatically has a space on the LMS, which means teaching and learning can be extended beyond the scheduled classroom hours by utilizing some of the online tools mentioned above.
4 Additional information: For more information on how to use the tools in the LMS, contact the Educational Technology Support (ETS) group at For the list of online courses or cohort programs supported by and offered through the PDCE office, please check: inecourses.php 2. Learning Management System (LMS) All Connect courses are password protected by Campus Wide Login (CWL) and can be accessed through the UBC learning portal This portal contains a vast array of information and resources for students and instructors and is a great place to start if you wish to find out more about Connect. These resources may help you envision what your course will look like and give you ideas about incorporating various tools into your course. Additional information: New instructors are strongly encouraged to attend a Connect orientation. Sessions are available throughout the year and are listed on the ETS events calendar To request one-on-one training, please send an to Additional instructor resources are available on the UBC elearning website: 3. Course Development Process and Schedule Developing a high-quality online course requires collaboration between the course writer, instructional design team, media specialists, the library, and the Copyright Office. For courses funded by PDCE, the process usually begins with a request from the Department to the Assistant Dean, Dr. Mark Edwards The request is then forwarded to the ETS unit.
5 After the approval of the course development or revision process, the next step is to schedule a meeting between the following group of people: The course writer. The writer is often, but not always, also the course instructor; Dr. Natasha Boskic, Senior Manager, Educational Technology Support (ETS), who coordinates the course development process and provides instructional support; Sharon Hu, Instructional Designer and Media Specialist (ETS), who provides instructional support, including the development of rich media; Ian Linkletter, Learning Technology Specialist (ETS), who works on course development and the best tool selection and application. Other participants in the meeting may include: An Academic Reviewer (assigned by the Department), or a Program Coordinator Any other person important to the project development People working behind the scenes are: Course Support Specialist: building the course in Connect and troubleshooting technical problems Copyright Office: clearing the copyright of material used in the course, such as published illustrations and videos. Education Library: troubleshooting issues related to online readings in the Library Course Reserve. or ; Senior Program Assistants: providing administrative support to instructors and students; A number of students, assistants or experts: assisting with the graphic design, audio and video material production, etc.
6 3.1 Development Flowchart Request for course development Department forwards course development request to PDCE. Initial meeting Signing of the Course Development agreement. The document defines the roles and responsibilities, the development timelines, and the payment schedule. The course template (in Word) is forwarded to the course writer. The entire development process usually spans across 8 months. Course writer develops the content Content includes the learning modules and the reading material. The writer communicates directly with the UBC Copyright Office and the Education Library for issues related to copyright and online course reading material. ETS provides instructional support Support includes feedback on course structure and learning activities and instructional design. ETS provides technical support Support includes LMS orientation, consultation on the use of educational technology, and media production. Factors that may increase the process include extensive multimedia production and copyright clearance. ETS uploads the content into the LMS. Academic reviewer (appointed by the Department) reviews the course and provides comments. Course writer completes final revisions based on reviewer s comments. ETS completes course creation in Connect. Instructor completes final check and opens course to students. (After the first offering) Instructor makes modifications to the course based on student feedback.
7 3.2 Course development timeline The course development process spans 8 months. The completion of each task by the deadline is important to ensure that the next stage of the development process can begin on time. The following tables show the approximate breakdown of the 8-month schedule. Please note that extensive media production or copyright clearance will require additional time. Standard schedule Phase Completion due date Agreement Signed Week 0 Term 1 Phase 1: Outline and Modules 1-4 Phase 2: Modules 5 9 Phase 3: Modules Week 9 Week 13 Week 18 Term 2 Course is ready on-line for Academic Review Academic Review Suggestions from the review are incorporated into course Final version is available online Course is opened to students Week 22 Week 26 Week 28 Week 30 Week 35 Term 3 Orientation to teaching online Course content development, including media development, such as annotated PowerPoint, illustration, lecture capture, etc. Orientation to educational technology Copyright clearance Create Library Course Reserves for course readings. Content revisions, based on the academic review. Finalize Library Course Reserves Orientation to Connect for instructors
8 Sample schedules Time Start of developme nt process Example #1 Sept. 01 (Term 1) Example #2 Jan. 01 (Term 2) Example #3 May 01 (Term 3) Phase 1: Outline and Modules 1-4 Phase 2: Modules 5 9 Phase 3: Modules Nov 01 December 01 January 6 (Term 2) March 01 April 01 May 01 (Term 3) July 01 August 01 Sept. 01 (Term 1) Course is ready on-line for Academic Review Academic Review Academic review suggestions incorporated into course Final version available online Course open to students Feb 01 March 01 March 15 April 01 May 1 (Term 3) June 01 July 01 July 15 August 01 Sept 1 st (Term 1) Oct. 01 Nov 01 Nov 15 Dec 01 Jan 01 (Term 2) In the event the actual development timeline deviates from the schedule in the Course Development contract, a review of all commitments and resources will be conducted. The ETS Senior Manager and the Assistant Dean must then approve an exception.
9 3.3 Course structure template Templates that outline the course and module structure are included at the end of this document, or can be downloaded from: When developing the content, please use the Styles in Word to indicate the various heading levels and refrain from applying special formatting such as text boxes, or varying fonts. If you would like a block of content to be presented in a different format, please insert a comment such as put into a text box. The completed content in Word document should be sent to the ETS instructional designer, Sharon Hu by the designated due dates outlined in the course development agreement Reading material Information about the textbooks and required readings should be included in the first part of the course content that you submit to the instructional designer. Reading material for the course can be compiled by using the Library Course Reserves in Connect. For courses with non-ubc students, reading material needs to be compiled into a custom course package through the UBC Bookstore. An overview of each method is listed below. Library Course Reserves: Reading material is available free-of-charge to the students in the electronic format and accessible directly within Connect. You will be able to 1. Select electronic material from the UBC library catalogue; 2. Request PDFs be made from print-only material in the UBC library collection; 3. Upload PDFs from your personal collection. Requested material will then be available to the registered students. For more information about the Course Reserve System, please go to or contact the Education course reserve librarian Please note that Non- UBC students, taking non-credit courses do not have access to Library Course Reserves. The Library Course Reserves is the recommended method of providing reading material to the students because a) the material is free of charge; b) the material can be accessed anywhere, anytime c) the reading list can be modified throughout the duration of the course. Custom Course Package (CCP): Reading material is available to the students in the print version that can be purchased from the UBC Bookstore. This option is only recommended for courses with Non-UBC students. The CCP may include copies of articles from journals or periodicals, chapters from books, or materials from various other sources that do not have an electronic version. The Bookstore will complete all the work required to have the package ready for the students. The Bookstore will obtain the copyright permissions, photocopy, assemble, and package the materials, and stock the finished CCP on the shelves at the bookstore. For more information about creating Custom Course Package, please visit:
10 3.5. Copyright clearance UBC takes copyright very seriously. The University also understands the copyright rules can be very confusing, so the Scholarly Communications & Copyright Office was established to provide assistance. The Office is dedicated to answering your questions, and to clearing copyright for material you wish to include in your course. If a figure, table, image, or video clip from a published sources (e.g., website, journal article, book, DVD or VHS) is included in the course content, it is the course writer s responsibility to contact the Copyright Office to ensure copyright is observed. If you have any questions about how copyright is applicable or if you require assistance with copyright clearance, you are strongly encouraged to visit the website or to contact the UBC Copyright Office at Copyright drop-in clinics are held frequently, please check the website for exact dates. Often, well-chosen images or videos can greatly liven up the course material and can convey an idea very effectively. You may also use photos you took yourself. If individuals are clearly identifiable in the image, be sure you have a signed media release from each individual (or the guardian for minors). A sample media release form is available here: Additional information: Images, illustrations, videos embedded inside a PowerPoint also need to have the proper copyright clearance. Check the Images Sources page to find out more about resources in the public domain
11 3.6. Media Production ETS provides support to create illustrations, photographs, or videos in the course creation process. Whenever possible, ETS will arrange to provide free equipment, software, and technician time to complete the project Open the course to students The instructor is responsible for making sure the online course is ready before the start of the term, such as checking for broken links, setting assignment due dates, entering calendar entries, and updating course information. Instructional and technical assistance is available to all instructors at any time during the course development process, as well as during course delivery. Please send your inquiries to 3.8. Course Revisions The final part of the course development process is the course revision and it is completed after the course has been offered for the first time. Revisions are based on student feedback and the instructor s own opinion on how to improve the quality of the course. Revisions may include making minor editorial changes and fixing broken links. Instructor who taught the course will be making the revisions. In the case where the course writer is different from the course instructor, the remuneration for making the revisions (as outlined in the course development agreement) will be payable to the course instructor. 3.8 Final comments on the course development process When thinking about your course, consider what you would like your students to do and to achieve. The instructional designers will utilize various technologies to make your ideas a reality in your online course. Contact ETS at any time if you need suggestions on how educational technology (such as blogs, wikis, web conferences) can be incorporated into your course. Think broadly and creatively!
12 4. Course Development Checklist The following should be considered as guidelines only. Not all the items may be applicable to every course Course Information The Syllabus / Course Overview and schedule documents contain all necessary information in a format that is easily accessible to students. Done 1.1 Syllabus / Course Overview contains clear instructions on how to get started and where to find various course components. 1.2 Overview contains a description of the course and its structure 1.3 Prerequisite knowledge in the discipline or any required competences are clearly stated 1.4 Course objectives/goals are clearly defined 1.5 Required textbook(s) and readings are listed. Course readings are entered into the Library Reserve System. 1.6 Syllabus / Course Overview includes statements on reasonable expectations for instructor response time. 1.7 Expectations regarding student logins per week and required interaction are clearly articulated, as well as netiquette regarding discussions, and other forms of communication. 1.8 Course assignments are clearly described, grading/evaluation, definition of attendance, etc. * Before writing about course policies, academic honesty, and accessibility, please check the information provided in the General Info folder in every course Learning Objectives Course Goals and weekly learning objectives apply to different learning styles, go across different domains of learning activity, and move from lower-order to higherorder objectives 2.1 The course goals describe outcomes that are measurable. 2.2 The module/unit learning objectives describe outcomes that are measurable and consistent with the course level objectives. 2.3 All learning objectives are stated clearly and written directly to students, e.g. You will be able to
13 2.4 The learning objectives are appropriately designed for the level of course*. * For help with writing learning objectives, consult Bloom s taxanomy at: Course Content / Instructional Materials The course provides weekly modules or units, which may include a topic overview, learning objectives, activities, assignments, and a resource list. 3.1 Content is provided in a progressive manner that consists of separate, clearly identified and manageable weekly units or modules. 3.2 Content format is consistent from module to module. 3.3 How students progress through course and modules is apparent through design and/or instructions. 3.4 The instructional materials contribute to the achievement of the stated course and module/unit learning objectives. 3.5 The instructional materials are current. 3.6 All resources and materials used in the course are appropriately cited and references The distinction between required and optional materials is clearly explained Active Student-Centered Learning Course design facilitates active or student-centered learning. 4.1 Students are given opportunities for practice, reflection, and engagement with the course content. 4.2 Pedagogy is focused both on content and the learning process. 4.3 Teaching practices allow for experiential applications from students lives (as appropriate) and with consideration of student confidentiality. 4.4 Teaching strategies are in accordance with course and module-level learning objectives. 4.5 The course uses creative approaches to delivering content.
14 4.5. Interactions and Participation Mechanisms are in place to create a sense of community among learners. 5.1 A sense of connection and course continuity is encouraged by appropriate use of course components such as Student Profile and Discussion Forums. 5.2 Expectations regarding student interaction in the Discussion Forums or other places in the course are clearly defined in the syllabus or in a separate document. 5.3 Appropriate discussions and topics have been established in the Forums that enhance analysis of course materials. 5.4 Evaluation scheme includes discussion or other interactive participation (as appropriate). 5.5 Opportunities are or can be provided for students to engage in collaborative learning activities Evaluation/Assessments and Assignments Evaluation/Assessments and assignments are congruent with stated learning objectives. 6.1 Assignments and assessments measure the stated learning objectives and are consistent with course activities and resources. 6.2 Assignments or quizzes are clearly described with directions for how to submit or access materials. 6.3 Specific requirements are listed in assignment descriptions with due dates set. 6.4 Assignments and projects are accompanied by rubrics or sample assignments. Information such as the draft review process and detailed list of expectations and standards are listed. 6.5 Assessments or quizzes are in line with learning objectives and activities to support student achievement. 6.6 Varied assessment techniques exist to address differences in learning styles and abilities. 6.7 Overall evaluation scheme encourages academic integrity through distribution of course points across several assignments with ongoing feedback to students.
15 4.7. Feedback Methods A variety of feedback methods are incorporated to guide learners. 7.1 If quizzes are used, questions may contain automated feedback. 7.2 On the course page, assignment descriptions include how the instructor will be providing feedback. 7.3 Grade items and points match assignments listed in Syllabus / Course Overview, and in other parts of the course site Diversity The course is welcoming to students with diverse backgrounds and abilities. 8.1 The course is appropriate for university level learners, free from cultural bias and makes minimal use of idioms. 8.2 Where visuals are used, they are diverse in nature and not restricted to any single cultural group, unless warranted by specific content. 8.3 The course contains alternatives to visual and auditory content. 8.4 Instructions and guidance on how to obtain accommodations are clearly stated in the Course Overview. 8.5 Course instructions articulate or link to the institution s accessibility policies and services. 8.6 The course design facilitates readability and minimizes distractions. 8.7 All video and audio material is accompanied by captions and transcripts where possible Intellectual Property The course material reflects adherence to copyright and intellectual property considerations. 9.1 All material used in the course have no apparent violations of copyright law or university policy. 9.2 The course informs students of appropriate uses of publisher, instructor, and student-written material in keeping with the copyright law*. * Visit for more information on copyright.
16 4.10. Leaner Support Learner Support is provided on different levels to help students succeed in the course The course includes information on the types and the ways to access technical support Course instructions articulate or link to an explanation of how the institution s academic support services and resources can help students succeed in the course and how students can access the services Learning Technology Technology used in the course assists learners in achieving their goals. Its main purpose is to enable teaching and learning The tools and media support the course learning objectives 11.2 The tools used in the course are identified in the Course Overview and there is clear instructions on how to use them or where to find assistance Course tools and media support student engagement and guide the student to become an active learner Navigation throughout the online components of the course is logical, consistent and efficient Students can readily access the technologies required in the course The course technologies are current The course is designed to be delivered in an asynchronous format, but synchronous tools are also used where appropriate.