The College of Arts and Sciences supports distance learning students by offering the core courses they need to earn their degrees online. All online courses in Arts and Sciences go through a two-semester development and review process, and then an additional revision process after the course has been taught for three years. Below are the forms used for development and delivery, as well as a description of the current review process and the instructor certification requirement.


The online course development/revision process is a collaborative effort between a content expert (faculty), the Instructional Technology and Academic Services (ITAS) team, and the College of Arts & Sciences. The process begins with a meeting between the content expert and eTech, followed by the initial experience with an instructional designer.

Online Course Development Proposal: This form proposes an online course be developed within a particular department.

Online Course Developer Authorization: This form identifies the faculty member who will develop the new online course and indicates whether this development is in load or will be treated as supplemental pay.

A&S Course-Level Evaluation Rubric: eTech uses this form to guide the faculty developer toward creating student learning outcomes that align with the assessments in the course.

Memorandum of Understanding (MOU): Early in the development process, the faculty developer will sign an MOU with the College of Continuing Studies, which licenses the intellectual property of the faculty developer to the College of Continuing Studies for a period of three years.

Online Course Development Schedule: This page outlines the course development process and relevant deadlines. Dates provided beyond the current development cycle are offered to assist in planning and are subject to change by CCS.

Note: The College of Continuing Studies only supports the development of courses that are part of the University’s core curriculum. 


The final stage in the course development process is to obtain approval from eTech and the department chair. Each course undergoes two separate reviews — one of the course manuscript and one of the Blackboard shell. Both versions must be approved by eTech and the department before the course goes live.

A&S Online Course Review Checklist: eTech uses this checklist to evaluate the newly developed online course.

Department Review Checklist: The department chair, or a departmental subject specialist, will read the reviews from eTech and conduct a review using this checklist.

Quality Matters Rubric: The College of Continuing Studies uses the matrix developed by Maryland online.


Instruction Approval Form: Prior to delivery of the new online course, the department chair will circulate this form.


All faculty and instructors teaching and developing online courses in the College of Arts and Sciences must be certified through the Online Educator Development Program. This requires the completion of 7 core courses and 3 elective workshops. These workshops are offered both online and on campus.

Register for the online version by visiting and completing the electronic form. Contact Ruth Pionke at or (205) 348-4832 with any questions.