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 and revision process is a collaborative effort between a content expert (faculty), the College of Continuing Studies, and the College of Arts & Sciences. The process begins with the initial experience with an instructional designer, followed by a meeting with the content expert and eTech.

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.

Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)

Early in the development process, the content expert will sign an MOU with CCS, which licenses the intellectual property of the content expert to CCS 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.

The College of Continuing Studies only develops courses that are part of the 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 chair before the course goes live.

A&S Online Course Review Checklist

eTech uses this checklist to evaluate the newly developed online course and provide constructive feedback on the course design.

Quality Matters Rubric

CCS uses the matrix developed by Maryland online (typically distributed during the initial experience).

Department Review Checklist

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

A&S Course-Level Evaluation Rubric

eTech uses this form to guide the content expert toward creating student learning outcomes that align with the assessments in the course.


Instruction Approval Form

Prior to the 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 – Go the Distance. This requires the completion of a seven-module core program, which is now offered fully online.

Register for the Online Educator Program.

For more information, contact Ruth Pionke at or (205) 348-4832.