The first step to producing quality online courses is quality course design. Designing an online course according to Susan Ko and Steve Rossen, writers of Teaching Online: A Practical Guide, states design means "…purposefully planning the course, rather than simply letting it happen" (Ko and Rossen, pg.57, 2004). Ko and Rossen go on to say, "Putting your class online doesn't mean copying your lectures and syllabus word for word" (Ko and Rossen, pg.45, 2004). Instead, designing a course for the online environment means re-evaluating, re-assessing, and re-developing your course content to fully take advantage of online tools and delivery methods.

The Seven Principles for Good Practice is a foundational element in teaching. Incorporating technology into teaching should be done in a way that is consistent with the best practices and principles of good teaching. The following resources explain the "how" and the "why" of utilizing technology in teaching. Review "Implementing the Seven Principles: Technology as a Lever" below.

Seven Principles for Good Practice 

Step 1: Identify Course Goals

Course goals is the overarching aim of the course--which is usually a broad term. One instructional design method which will assist in identifying course goals and course objectives is to use the Backward Design Model (UbD). The Backward Design Model is defined as " In the backward design model, the teacher starts with the end, the desired results, and then derives the curriculum from the evidence of learning called for by the expectations and the teaching needed to equip students to perform." (Retrieved from

Read the Backward Design Model below then utilize the UbD Design template to identify your goals of the course.

Backward Design Model whitepaper

UBD Design Template

Step 2: Identify Course Objectives

Course objectives are measurable learning outcomes that clearly explain what the students must be able to do, or demonstrate, at the end of a module or course. To ensure that your course/module objectives are measurable, use action verbs from Bloom's Taxonomy document below. Use the Objectives Map below to list the objectives identified in the UbD template.

Blooms Taxonomy

Objective Map

Additionally, here is a helpful resource for creating learning objectives:

Step 3: Course Mapping

Course mapping is laying out a course on paper to ensure that the learning objectives, learning activities, and assessments are aligned. Using a module map helps instructors ensure that they have identified measurable learning/course objectives, which are aligned with the overall course activities and assessments.

Complete the Module Map template below.

Module Map

Course DevelopmentCourse Development
Academic TechnologyAcademic Technology
Faculty ChecklistFaculty Checklist
Student ChecklistStudent Checklist