Course Development Toolkit

The following toolkit provides templates, samples and checklists to walk you through the course design and development process prior to offering a course.

Design Plan

A course-at-a-glance view of your overall course design. Use the template to assist you in chunking and sequencing the content for your course while aligning objectives with content and assessment.


The module template follows from the course design plan and outlines the components required for a typical week of study. Use the template to help you move your lecture into an online module.

Module Samples

  1. WGST 398 MS Word Module Template - This completed sample makes use of all the design components of the module template including learning highlights and learning activities.
  2. WGST 398 Blackboard Module Template - This is a partial example of how the same completed sample might look in the Blackboard Learning Management System (LMS).


Use the partial table to complete your own assessment rubric with some instructions.

Assessment Sample for Discussions

This is an example of a completed assessment rubric for online discussions.

Instructional Design Support

Online learning creates challenges and opportunities not found in the face-to-face classroom. Our instructional designers in the Distance Education Unit will help match your teaching style with online technologies and instructional strategies and will show you modern examples of online teaching and learning that you may want to use in your class development.

Working with an instructional designer will ensure that content matches both the learning objectives and the class assessments and rubrics, meaning you teach what you said you would and measure accordingly.

The instructional designer offers a variety of skills and can assist you with:

  • Full course design
  • Educational technology innovation
  • Course design evaluation services
  • Interactive learning activities
  • Student assessments
  • Open textbooks
  • Copyright compliance 
  • Customized Blackboard site building
  • Word processing and text editing

Development of a three credit unit class typically takes six to eight months.

Support for Class Delivery

Distance-delivered classes and programs create challenges not found in the on-campus classrooms. DEU provides a full range of administrative supports.

  • Personalized instructor orientation
  • Class approvals & scheduling
  • Registration support/class limits
  • Marketing
  • Exam invigilation
  • Distance student support
  • Relationship with off-campus sites including regional colleges
  • Class revisions and maintenance
  • Copyright maintenance
  • Blackboard site maintenance
  • Distance delivery tools

Online Teaching Strategies

Strategies for teaching with technologies to create an effective community of learners

Competencies for Online Teaching

Being a successful instructor in an online or distributed learning environment requires different competencies than in a traditional classroom environment. As an instructor you will need to develop and use skills and abilities related to the technical, administrative and pedagogical roles an instructor plays.

Synchronous Activities

Synchronous activities enable you as an instructor to connect live at the same time and dialogue with your learners virtually in real time, regardless of where you – and they – are located geographically. Learn the main technologies and approaches to synchronous learning that can be integrated into distributed and online courses.

Assessment Tools and Activities

Assessment in a distributed or online course need not be limited to online quizzes and papers or essays. This guide suggests a wide variety of assessment tools and activities that may be suitable for integration into your course. 

Discussion Forum Activities and Rubric for Discussion Participation

Discussion forums are foundational in online courses and, when implemented effectively, can provide a powerful learning experience for learners. The guide offers an overview of best practices and provides a variety of options for using online discussion in your course. Rubrics or grading guides are a standard way to grade learner participation in an online course’s discussion forum. Feel free to revise the sample discussion forum rubric to best meet your learning objectives and the needs of your course.

Teaching Strategies support

The Gwenna Moss Centre is committed to supporting and improving teaching and learning at the University of Saskatchewan. We have a variety of programs and resources to help faculty, instructors and grad students. We offer one-on-one or group consultations on a variety of topics, including:

  • Student Assessment
  • Course Design 
  • Syllabus Development
  • Curriculum Development and Mapping
  • Experiential Learning
  • Feedback on Teaching
  • Open Educational Resources
  • Reflective Practice and Teaching Portfolios
  • Research on Teaching
  • Teaching with Technology (e.g., clickers, student response systems)
  • Teaching Strategies

Intro to Teaching Online Course

Interested in teaching an online course or incorporating online components? 

Gwenna Moss Centre for Teaching and Learning offers an online course that will provide instructors with information and ideas for teaching online, whether the intention is to teach a course exclusively online, or simply to incorporate online components. 

Creative CommonsExcept where otherwise noted, the content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.

Getting Help

Distance Education Unit (DEU)

The Distance Education Unit (DEU) is a full-service unit that supports design, development, and delivery of distance education. 

Distance Education Unit

Gwenna Moss Centre for Teaching and Learning

Staff at the GMCTL can provide consultation and a variety of resources including courses and workshops for those wanting to teach a course exclusively online, or simply to incorporate online components.

Media Production

Media Production provides consultation or full video production support for your online course.

ICT Support

The ICT Academic Technologies Unit provides technical consultation and analysis for instructors about the use of ICT-supported technology in their teaching. We also provide an interface between other service units on campus such as the DEU and GMCTE, different groups within ICT (such as Client Services and Administrative and Data Systems) and ultimately the students.