The GMCTL collaboratively supports intentional design for learning and advancing flexible and equitable learning opportunities at USask. Our goal is to help create learning experiences that lead to students achieving course outcomes and developing core competencies, while advancing institutional strategies and meeting engagement and retention goals.

Our team includes instructional designers, learning technology specialists, and administrators with expertise and experience in: 

  • Designing courses for flexible (online, blended, and hybrid) modalities.  
  • Developing full course environments and digital media for online, blended, and hybrid learning.  
  • Using the learning technology tools of USask’s Learning Technology Ecosystem (LTE) in learner-centered and intuitive ways. 
  • Working alongside faculty and instructors as they expand their teaching skills into virtual spaces. 
  • Helping departments and colleges define and execute flexible learning plans for their programs. 

On this page, you will find resources from the GMCTL to support your work in course design, course development, and teaching in flexible formats. You can also learn more about connecting with our team to get more customized supports for your online, blended, and hybrid learning projects. 

Good design is crucial in education because much of the learning that students undertake is without direct supervision, meaning that learners only have designed instructions, artifacts, and scaffolding to guide their activity. (Bower, M., 2017)

Intentional design matters in all types of learning, but it is particularly important to online, blended, and hybrid learning environments because of how critically the design influences several elements, including:

  • Alignment of objectives, assessments, and activities. 
  • Engagement of the learner with the content, the instructor, and their fellow learners. 
  • Providing a valuable learning experience (or “look and feel”) in virtual contexts. 
  • Accessibility in digital environments. 

All these elements are essential for effective and successful learning experiences, and particularly so with an online, blended, and hybrid approach, where the learner may have fewer immediate supports and instead must rely on the previously designed structure and resources to navigate and succeed in their learning journey.

Supported Course Design & Development

The GMCTL can work alongside USask faculty and educators by customizing the WHAT of Learning Design (what will you be producing?), as well as the HOW of Learning Design (how can we best support you?). Understanding your design problem and your support needs will help us customize an approach that works for your course, your program, and your learners. See the following table for some examples.

list of services depicted in a woven table format
* Denotes support approaches that require departmental validation or approval.

Deciding on the WHAT of Learning Design is driven by analysis of the learners and their needs, and defining the learning goals at hand. It also depends on your starting point. The approach to take might be: 

  • Enhancement: add or change a specific element to improve an existing course or learning resource. 
  • Revision: make updates or overhauls to a course, transfer a course from one delivery format to another (for example from in-person to online), or adapt/remix an open resource to better fit your needs. 
  • Creation: make a new course or other learning resource, from the ground up.

Deciding on the HOW of Learning Design is driven by conversation with the educator to understand their needs, and the broader context in which they are working to facilitate learning. The approach to take might be:

  • 1:1 Consultative Support: as-needed advice and coaching to help an individual meet their own teaching goals. 
  • Cohort Support: group-based advice and coaching to help several educators, working together in a cohort, meet the teaching goals of their department or program.  
  • Collaborative Project Support: hands-on design and/or development support tied to a particular project.
Learn more about these approaches in the following sections.
cover image of Flexible Learning Portfolio

See What We've Done!

To see examples of digital learning materials and flexible courses that the GMCTL has helped to create, explore the samples in our Flexible Learning Projects portfolio.


1:1 Consultative Support

The GMCTL is always happy to share our experiences designing online learning activities and using learning technologies effectively in online, blended, or hybrid classrooms, and even across an entire program. Our staff has expertise to answer your questions, and give you advice and guidance about: 

  • Instructional strategies in online, blended, and hybrid courses 
  • Selecting and using the right learning technology tools 
  • Using the LMS (Canvas) to structure learning experiences 
  • Open textbook and OER developments  
  • Fostering interactive and social learning at a distance 
  • Assessments for online learning, from exam strategies to ePortfolios and beyond 
  • Academic integrity in online contexts 
  • Copyright clearances, acquisitions, and OER licensing  
  • Digital accessibility standards (i.e., WCAG)

…And much more. It’s pretty simple – just email to make a request and a specialist with the GMCTL will connect with you to provide the support you need. 

Online Course Reviews  *New Service

One of the consultative services GMCTL offers to instructors at USask is an Online Course Review. This collaborative process begins with a brief review of your course by one of our Instructional Designers. Using a rubric, we then provide questions, comments, and feedback on your approaches to:

  • Course overview and information
  • Course technology and tools
  • Design and layout
  • Content and activities
  • Interactions
  • Assessment and feedback
  • Accessibility
The feedback provided will help you define some goals for improving your teaching practice, and from there we can direct you to resources to help you achieve those goals.

Cohort Support

This team-based approach to online, blended, or hybrid course development involves scheduling a defined period for recurrent group PD sessions that connect several instructors directly to an Instructional Designer. The ID can answer technical and pedagogical questions, provide resources, links, how-to’s and samples, discuss online teaching strategies, and provide feedback and recommendations as your team prepares their courses. With a cohort-based approach, you can access advice and coaching support from an Instructional Designer who will: 

  • Scope out your team’s needs and identify any customized resources you might require. 
  • Customize the selection of learning strategies and the development of resources and tools (e.g., program-specific development templates) that will fit with the needs of your students and your program. 
  • Coach your team members in how to apply those strategies and tools as they develop and teach their courses. 
  • Debrief with your team at the end of the cohort period, gather feedback on your team’s progress, and connect you with further supports as needed. 

If you are interested in arranging cohort support for your team, email
*Please note that accessing this support approach requires departmental validation or approval.

Collaborative Project Support

The GMCTL uses a well-established process to creating effective and engaging learning experiences for online, blended, and hybrid formats. With a project-based collaboration, an Instructional Designer and the educator works together to create a full design plan and then develop a new course (or another resource, like an open textbook), from start to finish. With a project-based collaboration, you can access support from the GMCTL who will work alongside you to: 

  • Scope out your project by analyzing your support needs and the needs of your learners and your program. 
  • Design your course fully by defining objectives and assessments, and selecting strategies, materials, and tools for learning. 
  • Develop (or co-develop) learning materials, with possible supports including media creation, completing the Canvas build, ensuring copyright compliance, and quality assurance review. 
  • Support the instructor during the pilot offering of the course with as-needed teaching and technical help. 
  • Evaluate the completed learning experience by gathering student and instructor feedback, identifying areas of potential improvement, and assisting with necessary post-pilot revisions. 

This customizable development model ensures supports from our teaching and learning professionals are applied where you need them most, including (according to department needs) delivery support arrangements while the course is actually offered. 

If you are interested in arranging a new development project, email
*Please note that accessing this support approach requires departmental validation or approval.

Learning Technology Support

The GMCTL supports programs and instructors in implementing learning technologies effectively in their teaching across all delivery modalities, including in-person, blended, hybrid, and fully online. We work with you to choose the best technologies for your context and teach you how to use them in ways that align with your goals and USask’s Learning Technology Ecosystem principles. We offer a variety of supports, including: 

If you are interested in discussing learning technology support with the GMCTL, email

Drop-in Consultations *New Service

Are you looking to elevate your online or blended course through innovative technology and strategies that enhance learning experiences? The GMCTL is here to help!  
Join us every Friday from 9:00-11:00 am over Zoom to engage directly with our experts, addressing any queries or challenges you may encounter while navigating online and blended course design and implementation. Whether you seek advice on interactive tools, pedagogical strategies, or technical support, our team is dedicated to offering personalized guidance tailored to your specific needs. Topics of discussion could include (but are not limited to): 

  • Enhancing activities
  • Reviewing assignments
  • Group task strategies
  • Online quizzes
  • Canvas gradebook
  • Engaging students
  • Time-saving tips
  • Tech troubleshooting
Online drop-in hours: Fridays 9:00-11:00 am

Delivery Support for Online and Off-campus Courses

Following the development of your course, the GMCTL offers a full range of delivery supports for online, blended, or hybrid learning classes delivered both on- and off-campus. Our staff have well-established working relationships and connections with many off-campus sites, including regional colleges and First Nations communities across the province of Saskatchewan and beyond. With this network of delivery sites, we can extend the reach of your distance-delivered course or program to students beyond the Saskatoon campus and support your long-term flexible learning strategy.  

When you arrange delivery support from the GMCTL, we can work alongside you to ensure student opportunities and success. Our team can help you: 

  • Connect your program offerings with class requests from regional colleges and other off-campus sites. 
  • Collaborate with your department/college to define and execute your flexible learning strategy, and plan for needed administrative, instructional design, and technological supports. 
  • Coordinate the administrative work of your program, including creating off-campus sections and monitoring registration, completing Canvas course builds, making instructor postings and appointments, and payroll management.
  • Coach incoming instructors and ensure their teaching success with quality-assured learning materials, personalized course orientations, and as-needed technological support. 

If you are interested in discussing delivery support with the GMCTL, email

Delivery Mode Screening Tool  *New Service

There are many things to consider, and lots of questions about how best to meet the learning needs of your students. The GMCTL Delivery Mode Screening Tool is a questionnaire that takes about 10 minutes to complete and is designed to help you decide the optimal delivery mode for a program or course. After answering a series of questions related to demographics, teaching approaches, educator resources, and physical infrastructure, you will be provided with a ranked list of delivery modes that fit your answers. These delivery modes could include: 

  • Fully in person
  • Blended
  • Hybrid
  • Web, Synchronous
  • Web, Asynchronous
The tool is not meant to be prescriptive. Rather, it is meant to highlight points of consideration and guide further discussion amongst stakeholders and decision makers.

Get Started

Still have a question about online, blended, or hybrid learning? Not sure where to begin? Have a project in mind, but not sure where it fits in?

Get in touch with a specialist at the GMCTL by emailing