For Faculty: Designing an online course

If you are interested in developing a new online course for residential U-M students, you may be wondering where to begin. Careful planning and preparation for an online course is the best way to get started designing your course.


1. Identify support for online courses

While during 2020-2021 school year, many courses were taught remotely, Fall 2021 changes mean that we recommend checking with your department about requirements and procedures for having your course listed as an online course.  

In addition, it’s a great time to identify support areas that can provide additional technological and instructional design support, if needed.

2. Make a plan

Most expert online teachers cite making a detailed plan for instruction as critical for success. It’s also one of the more time-consuming pieces of the process. A well-articulated plan including learner analysis, clear learning objectives, and a timeline for activities can make the actual building of your online course go much more efficiently. 

The planning stage is also the best time to think about how you can ensure that your course is accessible, inclusive, and meets Department of Education requirements


3. Build your course

Once your plan is in place, the building can begin. This is a great time to evaluate what technical skills you might need. ITS Teaching & Learning has a library of training videos that can help you learn Canvas, our learning management system.  Additional workshops and support are available for specific software or assistance leveraging online pedagogies.

Check out our Finding Usable Materials guide to find Open Education Resources (OERs) to ensure that your content is available to all students and reduces issues around copyright

Need help? Find resources across campus

If at any point you need assistance, there are many areas available to help. Whether you are looking for workshops, a consultation, or documentation, there is something available to everyone.