Course Planning Resources

Our course development process will help you design and develop an online learning experience to be delivered through Elearning. Online instruction is different than face-to-face instruction and requires additional considerations to create a positive experience. This process will help you articulate the rationale behind your choices, including how you organize and deliver content, engage and support students, and assess learning.


Getting Started

Your instructional designer will collaborate with you throughout the process, but you need to answer these key questions:

  1. What are your overarching objectives?
  2. What are your major assignments/assessments?
  3. How do these assignments assess your objectives?
  4. What do you look for to ensure that students met the objectives?
  5. What will students do each week to prepare to meet these objectives?
  6. How will you know each week that they have understood and are ready for the next week's assignment/assessment?
  7. What benchmarks exist in the course?
  8. What will you do if they need assistance?
  9. What are the common areas of challenge for students?
  10. How can we organize the course to avoid these common challenges?
  11. What additional resources do online students need?

Once you've answered these questions, you are ready to create your storyboard. A storyboard is a tool that helps you design your course by:

  • Organizing content into modules by topic or duration
  • Identifying module objectives and their connection to your course goals
  • Identifying assignments and assessments that measure these objectives
  • Identifying and organizing the content students need to learn and the activities they can complete to practice or explore new knowledge, skills, and abilities before the assessment

On a practical level, the storyboard template arranges content so you can use it as a roadmap for developing your course in Elearning. More importantly, it helps you align each module's objectives, assignments, assessments, and content so students successfully learn and meet course goals.

The Association of College and University Educators has developed an online teaching toolkit to assist instructors that are transitioning to online learning. This toolkit has many resources and recommendations that will be useful to you both during the course development process and as an online educator.


WMU Online Teaching Introduction Videos

The WMUx instructional design team has created video resources to help you better understand essential practices for online learning. Watch our video series of online teaching basics and best practices here:


  • Video of Introduction to Teaching Online
  • Video of Introduction to the WMU Elearning System
  • Video of Instructional Design Process Overview
  • Video of Course Organization Tips and Tricks

Best Practices

  • Video of Instructional Best Practices: Course Presence
  • Video of Instructional Best Practices: Learner Support and Communication
  • Video of Instructional Best Practices: Learning Activites and Assessments
  • Video of Instructional Best Practices: How to Structure Assignments
  • Video of Instructional Best Practices: Continuous Improvement and Course Management

Tools & Templates

Syllabus Template

This syllabus template includes verbiage that provides instructions and support for students use of Elearning and technology use in online, hybrid or web-enhanced courses. It also includes links to WMU policies and the WMU grading scale.

Bloom's Taxonomy Verb Chart

Bloom's taxonomy is a model for the classification of complexity of student learning. This chart outlines example objectives, helpful verbs and examples for assessment/activities for each level of understanding.

How to use Bloom's Taxonomy to write effective learning objectives:

Video of 3.2 - How to Write Learning Objectives Using Bloom's Taxonomy