Online Course Development

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.

  • Course Authorization: This form, which is distributed each semester by the CCS program manager, 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 Designations: This page lists the campus codes for online courses at UA.
  • Online Course Development Policy: This policy outlines the criteria for developing and teaching online courses within the College of Arts and Sciences.
  • 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 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. Learn more about the review process.

  • 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).



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 – Excellence in Online Teaching. This requires the completion of a five-module core program, which is now offered fully online. For more information, contact Cheryl Bosarge, CCS’s Program Manager for Faculty Development, at

Register for the Online Educator Program

More Information

For questions about online course development in the College of Arts and Sciences, contact Andrew Richardson, director of information technology, at, or Jessica Porter, manager of digital content, at