Development of courses

The impetus for developing a course or program for distance delivery may come from several directions:

  1. Student needs and interests identified by requests made directly to Continuing and Distance Education.
  2. A faculty member or academic department who feels there is a demand for a course/program via distance delivery.
  3. Continuing and Distance Education staff may actively seek a course or a sequence of courses to support existing distance learning programs and other new initiatives, such as a teacher endorsement program.

In making a determination whether or not to develop a specific course or program, critical considerations will be the need and the market. Key questions that must be addressed are: “What is the potential audience for the online course or program?” and “Why would students choose to take the course or program at a distance through UNI?” In general, courses that meet Liberal Arts Core requirements, certification requirements, or courses that can be applied to one or more majors tend to have more appeal than electives.

After a need has been identified and the market evaluated, Continuing and Distance Education will contact the appropriate academic department head to establish the willingness of the academic department to sponsor the needed course and to identify a faculty member who is qualified, willing, and able to develop the course.

A meeting will be arranged between the instructional developer and the faculty member who has agreed to explore the possibility of developing the course. At this time, factors such as content, format, time frame, and methodology will be discussed. If the faculty member and the instructional developer agree to proceed with the project, an approval form will be completed.

Faculty members teaching online guided independent study courses agree to maintain and provide instruction for a course for at least three years unless they leave the university. In the event the primary instructor leaves the university, or is unable to correct lessons for any reason, the academic department agrees to identify another faculty member to allow currently enrolled students the opportunity to complete the course. Continuing and Distance Education should be notified of any changes in teaching assignments as soon as they are known. In the event that an instructor leaves the University or chooses not to evaluate student work, Continuing and Distance Education reserves the right to continue using the course materials and to pursue another instructor to evaluate student work.