Online Course Development Timeline and Process

Ideally, an instructor begins developing their course at least 4 months (16 weeks) before the course start date.  This gives them time to build a quality and highly engaging course.  Instructors don’t often realize how much time it takes to put all of their course content online.

The Office of Online Learning (ODL) has setup an online course development process that includes 5 steps.  Each step serves as a check point for how the course is coming along.  Below is a guideline for online course development:

Step 1:  Initial meeting with ODL Instructional Designer:  16 weeks prior to the course Start Date.

Step 2:  Course Foundation:  14 weeks before Start Date:  Create Learning Objectives, Course Syllabus and Course Schedule

Step 3:  50% of Course Developed:  9 weeks before Start Date:  Module Setup, Introductions and Overviews, Teaching and Learning materials added to modules, Narrated lectures, Assignments and Grades

Step 4:  100% of Course Developed:  5 weeks:  100% of course Content Due, Final course review with Instructional Designer

Step 5:  Course Complete:  3 weeks before Start Date:  Final edits completed; links and dates verified.

For appointments with Instructional Designers, please call:

Anne Douglas at 334-244-3172 or email adougla5@aum.edu
Josh Hill at 334-244-3025 or email jhill5@aum.edu
Sandra Vigilant at 334-244-3024 or email svigilant@aum.edu

University Requirements for Online Courses:


Online courses should be equivalent to a face-to-face course in every way except how the materials are delivered—you are still actively a part of the course, interacting with students, and teaching.  All of the experiences and content your face-to-face students receive (or an equivalent) should be given to your online students.

Copyright and Fair Use

It is important to take copyright and fair use into consideration when compiling your course content.  Note that academic use of things like movies is different in the online classroom.  Ultimately, it is your responsibility to decide if the content you use falls under fair use or if you need to make arrangements for students to use it.  If you have questions about fair use in the online environment, please contact the Library for assistance.

ADA Compliance

All of the content you create in Blackboard must be ADA compliant or easily made compliant.  This includes, but is not limited to, the color and contrast of pages in Blackboard and captioning on videos.  For help with captioning videos, please contact the Center for Disability Services.


Online Course:  An online course is fully online with no physical classroom time with the instructor.

Hybrid Course:  A course in which no less than 51% of class sessions are conducted face-to-face and the remaining sessions are conducted in an online environment.

Web Enhanced Course:  A course in which the instructor supplements face-to-face instruction with digital material housed in Blackboard.

Online Teaching Certification

Auburn University at Montgomery offers a four week, non-credit Online Teaching Certification Program, available to AUM faculty, staff and graduate students.  This course is designed to prepare you for online teaching, or sharpen your skills if you are already teaching online.  The course is self-paced.  A certificate of completion, a $300 technology allowance and other items are given are awarded for successful completion of the course.

Why earn an Online Teaching Certificate from Auburn University at Montgomery?

  • In order to teach online or hybrid courses at AUM, a faculty member must be certified.
  • Each module is 100% online and gives you the necessary knowledge and skills to successfully teach online.
  • Each module was designed and developed by instructional designers with years of online teaching experience
  • No cost to the participate
  • The course is facilitated by the instructional design team from AUM
  • Online teaching certification is a marketable trait for any faculty member

Want More Info About AUM?


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7400 East Drive Montgomery, AL 36117

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