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WSU Online Courses > Developing an Online Course > Time Line
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Developing an Online Course

Time Line

Below is an example of a 17-week course development timeline (course development length can vary considerably).

FD –Faculty Developer

Initial meeting

  • Discussion of instructional goals, concerns, resources
  • Time line presented and agreed upon by Instructional Designer and FD
  • Discussion of basic online teaching principles-engagement
  • Student-student, student-content, student-instructor
    • Presentation and explanation of design tools and resources including design matrix
  • Link to student demo course\media toolkit CD\other resources (as needed)

Development weeks 2 - 4


  • Work on design matrix (ongoing)
  • Starts identifying the media (commercially-produced or WSU Online-produced) for the course

Instructional Designer:

  • Provides support in development of activities/assessments portion of matrix
  • Schedules meeting with media team as needed
  • Researches resources (e.g., websites, videos) as needed

Development weeks 5 - 6


  • Confirms text
  • Begins to identify eReserve readings
  • Begins submission of course content beginning with syllabus, overview, goals and course schedule

Instructional Designer:

  • Provides rough cost estimate of required resources
  • Creates course space and builds course as content is received
  • Works with internal processes as needed to: secure copyright permissions, communicate with media team, prepare eReserves

Development weeks 7 - 8


  • Completes design matrix
  • Confirms media choices
  • Begins to submit lessons content

Instructional Designer:

  • Continues to build course
  • Provides more specific media costs

Development weeks 9-10


  • Completes and submits lesson content
  • Begins work on assessments

Instructional Designer:

  • Completes input of course content (course content may include: syllabus, lessons, course schedule, course information, assignments, rubrics, policies, discussion board topics, PowerPoint, images, etc.)

Development weeks 11-12


  • All course content and assessments submitted

Instructional Designer:

  • Sets up LMS tools: assignment drop boxes, discussion forums, grade book
  • Completed media items placed in course space

Development weeks 13-14

  • FD reviews:
    • All LMS tools and settings
    • All course content
  • Assessments completed and reviewed, including assessment settings

Final Preparation

  • Development timeline should allow for two weeks of ongoing review between Instructional Designer and FD
  • New course Q&A review
  • Course/semester begins


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