Steps for Online Course Development

How can we build an online course? What can we do to start with? What are the suggested steps that we need to follow? Below is a high-level summary of the tasks involved in creating online course or content for your class. Depending on the capacity and complexity of each development, the required steps for each stage may vary.

Stage 1 – Course Planning
First, we need to think about the question – Why is online learning necessary? Identify the basic course information such as the target audience, the number of students, the location of the students, the issues of the existing learning mode, for example, how to improve the efficiency of the use of class time. We also need to define the course description, the course and module learning outcomes for a new course. If not, we will review the course information.
In this early stage, we can decide the mode of delivery, the percentage of online components to be included in the development and the relevant learning platform.

Stage 2 – Content Design
After the initial planning stage, we will design the course sequence, i.e. the topics to be taught in each module. A matrix of learning activities aligned with the learning outcomes of each module will be prepared. Besides, the assessment of the course will be determined. In the design, we need to bear in mind that the activities and assessment will allow students to demonstrate their mastery of each outcome. Additionally, our instructional designer will work closely with the Programme Team and teachers to come up with a detailed lesson plan for further development.

Stage 3 – Material Preparation
The Programme Team and teachers will, in this stage, prepare the course materials such as the reading materials, notes, Web pages, YouTube links or online journals. For the video lectures development, scripts for videos will be prepared. In addition, the instructions of the activities, assessment with feedback and rubrics, support and guidance to learners will be designed and developed by the Programme Team.

Stage 4 – Online Adaptation and Development
In this stage, online course materials will be developed, based on the detailed lesson plan drawn up in Stage 2. If the course contains video content, video shooting and production will be conducted. Other tasks include audio recording and production, multimedia files (images, audio and video files) sourcing and copyright clearance.
Once the online materials are ready, they will be posted onto the learning platform. Then, testing and review on the online materials will be carried out.

Stage 5 – Delivering and Monitoring
Upon review and revision, the online course will be released for learners’ access. For online courses, support and proper guidelines to learners are key to success. Teachers have to monitor the learners’ progress and mediate online discussions and activities. Students’ feedback will be collected by the end of the course for further improvement.