USG Course 1: Developing an Online Course


Welcome to Course 1: Developing an Online Course, of the USG Online Instructor Series for USG faculty. You will learn about the theories and best practices associated with online course design and development. While Course 1 focuses on course development and not course facilitation, you will learn enough about course facilitation to enable you to design an effective online course. To explore more about facilitating an online course, please see Course 2, Improving Student Engagement and Cultivating an Online Learning Community, of the USG Online Instructor Series.

This course was put together under the direction of Patricia Riley, MS.

If you are interested, you can receive an online instructor badge by completing the learning activities, quizzes, and discussions for this course in the USG Online Faculty Development Series. For more information, contact Amy Austin at


In this course, information will be provided to help you design an effective curriculum for your online courses. You will learn about course design principles, specifically Backward Design and how to ensure that your course meets Quality Matter’s expectations for course alignment. You will learn about best practices for universal course design and how to ensure your online course is compliant with federal and institutional requirements for accessibility. You will also learn how to use OER’s (Open Education Resources) and free third-party tools to increase student engagement in the online classroom.

And, more importantly, you will learn the basics of D2L to help you put all the learning materials and activities together to make a functional online course.

Objectives for this course are:

  • Design and plan learning activities for online courses

  • Make use of Open Education Resources to support course content

  • Apply principles of Accessibility and Universal design in creating course content

  • Use D2L tools and third-party learning applications to build learning content