Online Course Development

We are always looking to add new programs to our Online degree options. We can assist deparments with:

  • Program planning/marketing/reporting
  • Market research
  • Multiple course development planning
  • Customized program course templates

Deparments interested in developing fully online programs can contact Kevin Shanley, Director of USU Online, or 797-8177.

How to Request Online Course Development Funds

USU Online may provide development funding for departments that need funds to cover course development expenses. Funds are limited to up to $5,000 per course. Examples for funding use include:

  • Purchasing additional materials (e.g. hardware/software) needed for development.
  • Paying student employees to assist with development.
  • Paying 3rd party subject matter experts.
  • Licensing external media as course content.
  • Other expenses that cannot be covered by the department.

USU Online will provide course development support through Instructional Design consultations, faculty training, online resources, media production, Canvas tutorials, and staff labor.

Requests for funding can be submitted at anytime. Developments are typically planned one semester before the course is planned to be offered.

  1. Submit a request for online course development funding. The proposal should include:
    • The approved course number, title, credits, and enrollment capacity.
    • How much funding is needed.
    • A development timeline.
    • A description/justification of why the funding is needed.
  2. The USU Online office will review the course request with the following considerations:
    • The course has been approved by the department head for online development and delivery.
    • The course is planned as a Master/Template course.
    • The course is not currently offered online.
    • The course is intended for students everywhere. (e.g. not location specific)
    • The course fullfills requirements for a fully online program or general education.
    • The course has appeal to students at Statewide Campuses and/or Out-of-State.
  3. If approved, USU Online will add the course to the online schedule and send a course development agreement to be signed by the Department Head and EVP Associate Vice President.
  4. An Instructional Designer be assigned and will schedule an initial consultation with the instructor/developer and create a development timeline.
  5. The instructor begins course development, working with the assigned Instructional Designer. Course developments must be completed before the semester begins. All online courses must meet the USU Course Quality Standards

Submit a Proposal

How much time is involved?

To develop 1 credit hour of completed course content:

Traditional/Instructor-Led Training: (includes: lesson plan, handouts, workbooks, PowerPoint visuals) 
Instructor/Subject Expert = 20 hrs.
Instructional Designer = 5 hrs.
Total = 25 hrs.

E-Learning (Basic/Passive): (includes: content pages, some graphics, simple audio, simple video, simple test questions).
Instructor/Subject Expert = 25 hrs. 
Instructional Designer = 50 hrs. 
Total = 75 hrs.

E-Learning (Interactive/Complex): (includes: Basic E-Learning, interactive exercises, liberal use of audio/video/animations, complex assessments).
Instructor/Subject Expert = 50 hrs. 
Instructional Designer = 50 hrs. 
Total = 150 hrs.

Course Development Process

Development begins with a meeting between the course instructor/developer and the Instructional Designer. The Instructional Designer will help plan a development schedule, assist with the development, and define the technology or training necessary to complete the development. Courses may be cancelled if the course development is not completed before the semester begins.

USU Online Contribution

USU Online provides Instructional Designers and Media Production staff as part of the development proccess. A typical complex and interactive, 3-credit hour course, will include an average of:

  • 150 hrs. of Instructional Design consultation and content development
  • 10 hrs. of Canvas Training
  • 10 hrs. of Graphic Design
  • 30 hrs. of video production


Once the course development request is approved, course development funds will be transferred to the associated department.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who owns the developed course?

As per USU Policy 587 (reference 3.5 & 3.6) USU designates online course development as a Commissioned Work and as such acquires and retains title to all USU IP related to the online course as developed.  Decisions related to the use of the online course will be under the direction of the academic department to which the course is assigned.

Why does USU retain the title to the developed content? 

By retaining the content, departments can continue to offer courses after an instructor leaves or stops teaching a course. This is essential to providing consistency for online students who need specific courses to complete their online programs. Additionally, retaining content, allows a department to develop a course that can be re-assigned to other faculty as needed.

Can another instructor use the course I developed?

The department may assign another instructor to use previously developed course content for a USU course. The instructor may adapt and personalize the content to fit their individual needs.

What happens to lecture recordings or media content I have developed?

Decisions on the re-use of developed content (e-media and other recorded content) will be made by the academic department in consultation with the original content developer and new instructor. We encourage new instructors to re-record any media containing an original instructor’s voice or image.

Can developers/instructors use the course content outside of USU?

Once the course has been developed the developer/instructor may retain copies of the content to be used at another institution provided they receive permission from their academic department.

How often can a course be redeveloped?

Requests for course redevelopment funding follow the same process as the new online course process above and are subject to the same USU IP designation.

For additional questions concerning online course development, please contact Kevin Shanley, Director of USU Online, or 797-8177.