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 Canvas Module Template - This is a partial example of how the same completed sample might look in the Canvas 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 for Distance and Online Development

Gwenna Moss Centre for Teaching and Learning (GMCTL) Instructional Designers (ID) can support colleges, departments, faculty and instructors in a variety of ways during their online course developments. Not only can we help faculty organize and design your course materials for use in Canvas, but our IDs can work directly with you to match effective online teaching strategies and develop engaging activities that will help you successfully harness your face-to-face teaching skills in an online teaching environment. 


Online Course Development Support Models

A one-on-one collaborative approach to online course development. One dedicated Instructional Designer works with one Instructor to collaboratively design and develop a complete and engaging online course from start to finish. This complete development model ensures the highest level of one-on-one support from our online teaching and learning professionals throughout the project. This is also called the Full Development Support Model (FDSM). 

This team-based approach to online course development can support up to 5 course developments with up to 5 members of a College or Department. Scheduled group consultations connect Instructors directly to a dedicated Instructional Designer who can answer technical and pedagogical questions, provide resources, links, how-to’s and samples, discuss online teaching strategies and provide feedback and recommendations throughout the online developments. 

Our Instructional Design Team is always happy to share our experiences designing online learning activities and using learning technologies effectively in online or blended classrooms and even across an entire program. Our staff can help you with questions about,  

  • Full online course development support 
  • Customized program development templates 
  • Learning design strategies for a unified online program  
  • Hybrid, multi-access and blended learning designs 
  • Open textbook and OER developments 
  • H5P and other interactive learning design 
  • ePortfolios and implementation  
  • Assessments and exam strategies for online learning
  • Academic Integrity online 
  • Copyright clearances, acquisitions and OER licensing 
  • Ensuring accessibility standards are being addressed 
  • Ed tech support before and during delivery 
  • Course quality reviews and recommendations 
  • Resource curation and dissemination 
  • Non-credit learning design 

 And much more. Contact us at to discuss your course or project. 

Support for Distance and Online Class Delivery

As part of a long-term online strategy for your college or department, Gwenna Moss Centre for Teaching and Learning (GMCTL) offers a full range of administrative supports for online class delivery both on- and off-campus. In addition to supporting colleges and departments on campus, GMCTL is responsible for managing the delivery of most of the face-to-face programs at the USask Prince Albert Campus. GMCTL has well-established working relationships with several off-campus sites, including regional colleges and First Nations communities across the province of Saskatchewan and beyond. With this network of delivery sites, GMCTL can help extend the reach of your distance delivered course or program.

You may contact the program manager for your department of college directly with your inquiry. If you are unsure of who to contact, please email

GMCTL (DEU) has long-standing relationships with off-campus sites across the province that can support your enrolment strategies by leveraging these relationships and connections. Do you have an idea for a class you would like to deliver to multiple locations across the province? Do you need to know if you're class will fit within degree completion programs at regional colleges? Not sure the best delivery model for your class? We are also your central contact for recruitment, marketing, orientation, and program planning at off-site locations and can help boost your enrolment. 

GMCTL has extensive experience with contract development and administration for degree completion programs delivered off campus and on First Nations in Saskatchewan. We can support your contract proposal process as well as administer the contract to completion.  

Following the development of an online class with a GMCTL instructional designer, we can manage the class approval and class build process. We will request online class approvals with the appropriate department head and build the classes in Banner. We will also monitor enrolments for classes requested at off-campus locations to ensure the best enrolment outcome. 

Following the development of an online class with a GMCTL instructional designer, we can help support all technical aspects of the class build in the learning management system. For instructors who are new to teaching online, we can provide personal instructor orientation with an instructional designer or an instructional technologist.   

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

The Gwenna Moss Centre for Teaching and Learning workshops and short courses 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

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. As well, GMCTL supports design, development, and delivery of distance education. 

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.