Course Planning Timeline

4 - 6 Months from Course Start Date

  • Meet with the Instructional Services team's instructional designers to discuss differences between face-to-face (F2F), blended and distance courses.
  • Conceptualize learning objectives and assessments that will enable to measure progress towards those objectives
  • Meet with e-learning specialists at the Faculty Development Center to learn Learning Management System tools (Blackboard) and web tools to maximize course delivery methods.
  • Sign up for professional development and training opportunities to get the most out of the tools you are using to deliver your content. 

3 - 5 Months Out

  • Meet with the Instructional Services (both instructional designers and e-learning specialists) team to begin mapping out & aligning all course assessments and activities (your students will expect to know all deliverables & other components so they can schedule their entire semester on the very first day).
  • Begin gathering supplemental materials for the course (audiovisual content, supplemental readings on the web, etc).
  • Review methods of creating active/engaging content for online learners with instructional design team.
  • Begin/plan any video and audio recordings of course content.

2 - 4 Months Out

  • Meet with instructional design & e-learning support team to discuss options-based assignments, get feedback on content accessibility & policies for student work completion.
  • Map out the “wireframe” or “navigation pattern” or “organizational strategy” you plan to use on your Learning Management System (e.g. Blackboard).
  • Begin uploading test questions, resources, supplemental materials, documents, content, & assessments into Blackboard. 
  • New faculty: Submit a Faculty Policies form to indicate your preferences for attendance, delayed viewing, etc. Returning faculty: please review your course policies and re-submit the Faculty Policies form to update any course policies.
  • Any copyrighted materials, including but not limited to, articles, drawings, CDs and DVDs, must go through a clearance process before they may be copied, broadcast or posted. Submit legally-purchased originals of broadcast media (CD, DVD, audiotape, etc.), or camera-ready copies of print media to UC Learning Services. If you will be posting a course schedule/syllabus exclusively to a course website, please forward any exam dates to UMA Academic Logistics.

1 - 3 Months Out

  • Meet with the Instructional Services instructional design & Faculty Development Center team to test web tools & course layout to ensure that your students will be able to navigate the course, schedule, & deliverables you’ve laid out for them.
  • Make revisions to course design as necessary to ensure students can navigate your modules.
  • Begin drafting new policies around communication & work submission in the online/blended environment.
  • Map out grading rubrics & course “netiquette” or “ground rules” for online discussions & other assessments.

1 - 3 Weeks Out

  • Familiarize yourself with the Grade Center and add any grading columns, categories, or weights necessary (if you need help, please reach out to the FDC).
  • Double check that all of your course content is Copyright Compliant for online courses.
  • Launch the course. 
  • 10 days prior to student use, submit handouts or exams, preferably via email at Complete the exam policy form with each exam.

As soon as possible

  • For center-based courses: return graded work to students electronically or send them to UMA Academic Logistics (UMA-AL), where they will be recorded and then mailed out to the distance sites.
  • If you change your course in any way (e.g. postponing exams, canceling a broadcast, starting a course late, etc.), please notify UMA-AL so we may inform staff at your distance sites. This is especially important with ITV and videoconference courses.


Getting Off to a Good Start 

 Course Design