Course Development Checklist

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Course Development Checklist

The resources and templates available on this page are all licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0. You may use the attribution “Course Development Checklist / [Name of Resource]” by Cambrian College is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Our course development checklist, process, and templates provide an overview of the major steps involved in developing a new course. We hope this may be helpful to you in creating your in-person, virtual, hybrid, HyFlex, and fully online courses. 

Before You Begin

Please contact Mel Young, Educational Developer, upon hire to begin developing your course. Mel will orient you with the following materials and connect you with the Hub team for support.

Course Development Requests

Administrators who wish to request the support of the Hub team in course development for their program can complete the following Course Development Request form. This provides the Hub team with all the required items to get started with the course developer.

Course Development Checklist

  • Begin with our 0.0 Cambrian Course Development Checklist (Google Doc / Microsoft Word / PDF) to customize your course development timelines and to track your progress.
  • Use our 0.2 Course Development Homework (Google / Word / PDF) document to manage your project and plan next steps.

Jump to a Section

Sprint #1: Course Outline

1. Create the Course Outline

10-15 weeks before course completion deadline

Min. 2 hours

  • Complete 1.0 Course Outline Template (Google / Word / PDF)
  • Complete 1.1 Outcomes and Objectives Worksheet (Google / Word / PDF)
    • Refer to 1.2 Bloom’s Taxonomy (PDF) for action verbs
  • Optional:
    • Select publisher textbook or Open Textbook (Refer to 0.1 Copyright Quick Reference Guide (PDF) for textbook usage permissions) 

2. Create the Assessment Plan

10-15 weeks before course completion deadline

Min. 2 hours

  • Complete 2.0 Assessment Plan Template (Google / Word / PDF)
  • How will you evaluate that students have met the Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs)?
  • Ensure all assessments, learning activities, and instructional materials are aligned to Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs) – ex: CLO 1, 2
  • Request DEV shell in Moodle

Sprint #2: Syllabus

3. Create the Syllabus

8-10 weeks before course completion deadline

Min. 3 hours

  • Complete 3.0 Syllabus Template (Google / Word / PDF)
  • Ensure all topics, assessments, learning activities, and instructional materials are aligned to Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs) – ex: CLO 1, 2
    • Map learning objectives to each module/unit in the course (1.1, 1.4, 2.5, …)
  • Must have Instructional Materials and Learning Activities each week 

Sprint #3: Assessments

4. Create the Assessments

8-10 weeks before course completion deadline

Min. 5 hours

  • Complete one 4.0 Assessment Description Template (Google / Word / PDF) per graded item
    • Create clear grading criteria (rubrics/checklists)
    • This includes discussion forums
    • Include grading criteria, instructions, templates etc. within drop boxes
  • Optional:
    • Complete 4.1 Aiken Format Template (Google / Word / PDF) for multiple-choice Moodle quizzes
    • Refer to 4.2 Aiken Format Instructions (PDF) for help formatting your questions

Sprint #4: Course Design

5. Customize Course Design

8-10 weeks before course completion deadline

Min. 2 hours

  • Review 5.0 Cambrian Template Screenshot (PDF / Moodle Template) to see how the course is structured
  • Review live course in Moodle
  • Identify course colours, theme, visuals, icons, header image
  • Discuss custom templates (slideshows, documents, etc.)

Independent Work

6. Create / Curate Instructional Materials (Lessons)

6-8 weeks before course completion deadline

Min. 30 hours

  • Refer to the plan for instructional materials in the syllabus
  • Find or create articles, slideshows, videos, documents, podcasts, cases, lab demos, textbook chapters, etc. 
  • Consider resources from diverse viewpoints and worldviews
  • Consider Open Educational Resources 
  • Consider library resources (books, academic journals, databases, simulations, etc.) 
  • Input the amount of time students may expect to spend on each item
  • Refer to 0.1 Copyright Quick Reference Guide (PDF) for usage permissions 
  • Optional:
    • Complete 6.0 Source References List Template (Google / Word / PDF)

7. Create / Curate Learning Activities (Practice)

6-8 weeks before course completion deadline

Min. 14 hours

  • Refer to the plan for learning activities in the syllabus
  • Develop quizzes, discussions, self-checks, concept maps, worksheets, reflection questions, peer reviews, etc. 
  • Consider eCampus Ontario H5P Studio, Padlet, Nearpod, OER modules 
  • Input the amount of time students may expect to spend on each item

8. Input Course Materials into Moodle

6-8 weeks before course completion deadline

Min. 18 hours

  • Upload Course Outline
  • Upload Syllabus 
  • Upload Assessment Plan 
  • Input relevant learning objectives (1.1, 1.4, 2.5, …) into labels at the top of each unit 
  • Build assessments:
    • Build rubrics and checklists using Moodle Advanced Grading
    • Set due dates and settings for quizzes, drop boxes, discussions, etc.
  • Build instructional materials 
  • Build learning activities
  • Create and upload header image
  • Create any custom templates 
  • Apply colour theme, graphics, icons, etc.
  • Check for accessibility and build where needed 
  • Add text transcripts, Alt text, accessible documents
  • Upload Source References List to course (optional)

9. Review with Course Instructor

4-6 weeks before course completion deadline

Min. 3 hours

  • Review course materials with Course Instructor
  • Course Instructor:
    • Create a welcome message 
    • Add contact information (Cambrian email) 
    • Add response times for email, graded assignments 
    • Add in student expectations in the course 
    • Add in late assignment submission policy
    • Make any amendments as needed before go-live

10. Key Terms and Definitions

  • Accessibility – the process of designing courses and developing a teaching style to meet the needs of people from various backgrounds and abilities
  • Aiken Format – a way of writing multiple choice quiz questions in a document that can be uploaded to Moodle which will automatically turn those questions into a Moodle quiz
  • APA (American Psychological Association) – a style used to cite references and sources in psychology, education, and the social sciences
  • Assessment – a formative or summative activity within the course
  • Assessment Plan – an overview of how course instructors plan to grade students’ achievement of the CLOs
  • Bloom’s Taxonomy – a set of hierarchical verbs that correspond to different levels of learning
  • Checklist – a tool students can use to ensure they’ve met all the requirements of an assignment; also used in grading student work
  • Copyright – a license that does not allow sharing, reuse, or remixing of materials without permission. Example: a publisher textbook that requires purchase. The Canadian Copyright Act allows use of material from a copyright protected work without permission under what’s called “fair dealing”.
  • Course Completion Deadline – the deadline that needs to be met for the course materials to be complete and/or end date of the developer’s contract
  • Course Design – the process of creating a visually aesthetic course while considering accessibility and student experience
  • Course Developer – the person hired by Cambrian College to develop a course
  • Course Go-Live Deadline – the date when the Live Course is made available for students to access and/or the official course start date
  • Course Instructor – the person hired by Cambrian College to teach a course
  • Course Learning Objectives – statements that communicate the tasks or knowledge needed to meet the CLO (ex: 1.1, 2.3, 3.2…)
  • Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs) – statements that communicate the knowledge, abilities and attitudes that will be acquired in the course (ex: 1.0, 2.0, 3.0…)
  • Course Outline – an overview of the course including course goals and a breakdown of how students will be graded
  • Creative Commons – a license that is applied to resources where the author has permitted others to freely use that resource (ie: not copyright)
  • Development Course (DEV Course/DEV Shell) – the course in Moodle that the course developer and Hub team use to develop the course
  • Evaluate – the process of determining to what extent the course learning outcomes (CLOs) are met; grading student achievement
  • Educational Developer (ED) – specializes in educational theory, recommended practices, quality course development
  • Formative Assessment – an ungraded activity that allows students to check their understanding of course material (ie: a Learning Activity)
  • Getty Images – an online image repository accessible via Cambrian College’s paid license agreement where images can be downloaded for use in courses
  • Grading Criteria – the method in which course instructors communicate and grade student work
  • Graphic Designer (GD) – specializes in the creation and curation of graphic elements for courses
  • H5P – an online tool that can be used to create interactive learning activities in Moodle courses
  • Instructional Materials – resources that the students are using to learn the course material
  • Header Image – the image at the top of your Moodle shell
  • Hub Team – includes the Educational Developer, Instructional Designer, and Graphic Designer
  • Instructional Designer (ID) – specializes in the creation of instructional materials and learning activities, quality course design
  • Learning Activities – resources that the students use to practice what they’ve learned in the instructional materials before they complete an assessment
  • Learning Management System (LMS) – software that students and course instructors use to access learning materials and submit assignments. Moodle is our LMS.
  • Library Manager (LM) – advises on copyright, Creative Commons, Open Educational Resources, and course materials accessible via library databases and subscriptions
  • Live Course – the course in Moodle that students are enrolled in and have access to
  • Moodle Advanced Grading – a tool in Moodle that allows the creation of online rubrics and checklists for use in course assessments
  • Moodle (Moodle Shell) – one type of Learning Management System (LMS) for online learning. A Moodle shell is a course within Moodle
  • Nearpod – an online tool that can be used to create interactive instructional materials and learning activities
  • Online Asynchronous – a course that is delivered fully online without any live or in-person classes
  • Open Educational Resources (OER) – teaching and learning materials that course instructors may freely use and reuse; has a Creative Commons license
  • Open Textbook – a textbook that is freely accessible to anyone; has a Creative Commons license
  • Padlet – an online tool that can be used to enable discussions and content sharing in a course
  • Publisher Textbook – a paid textbook created by a publishing company; protected by copyright
  • Rubric – a scoring guide used to evaluate performances, products, or projects
  • Summative Assessment – a graded assessment that evaluates student achievement of CLOs and provides feedback to students about their progress in the course (ex: exam)
  • Syllabus – a schedule arranged by week/topic/module/unit of lessons, activities and assessments in a course
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