• Progyamita Bhattacharya

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Developing Online Course

I know many of us wonder how to get started with the process of an developing online class? Some faculty will come and tell me I have been teaching this class for the past 4 year face 2 face what do I need to do to teach it online. Couple of things will help them to get started. I give them a checklist of things that they need to make sure they have when they are teaching online. The checklist is adopted from: Southworth, H, Cakici, K, Vovides, Y, & Zvacek, S (2006). Blackboard for Dummies. Hoboken, NJ : Wiley Publishing, Inc..

A Blackboard Course-Building Checklist


As you’re developing your course in Blackboard, a handy-dandy checklist might be just the thing to keep you on target. The checklist can give you at least a head’s-up to what you might have forgotten, or give you an idea of something that you might want to add later. We include references to chapters that provide instructions for how to get certain aspects into your course. Have fun!


  • Post a “Welcome to the Class” letter.
  • Post a reminder about the first assignments due.
  • Post a message about how you plan to use Blackboard.

Faculty and staff information

  • List your title.
  • List your e-mail address.
  • List your phone and fax numbers.
  • List your office location.
  • List your office hours.
  • List your contact preferences.
  • Post a photograph of yourself.
  • Post a link to your personal Web page.
  • List other instructors’ contact information.
  • List your teaching assistant’s contact information.
  • List guest lecturers’ contact information.


  • List class meeting days and times.
  • Post the course description.
  • Post the prerequisite course list.
  • Post a reading list.
  • List requirements and deadlines.
  • Add notes about graded events or items.
  • List learning objectives.
  • Post your grading policy.
  • List your course expectations.
  • List your paper and project turn-in procedures.
  • Post instructions for navigating the Blackboard course.
  • List outside learning resources.

Course content

  • Consider learners’ learning styles.
  • Decide on a course structure (sessions, topics, and modules, for example).
  • List corresponding Content Areas on the course menu.
  • Post materials in the appropriate Content Areas.
  • Create subfolders where appropriate.
  • Describe the subfolders below the title.
  • List outside Web links where relevant.
  • Double-check completeness of materials.
  • Assessment
  • Post assignment-submission procedures.
  • Ensure that assignments match the course objectives.
  • Post due dates.
  • Ensure that quizzes and tests are written.
  • Enter automated feedback.
  • Choose assessment settings.
  • Add additional graded items to the Gradebook
  • Split learners into project groups.


  • Decide on your personal communication comfort level.
  • Create Lightweight Chat sessions.
  • Create Virtual Classroom sessions.
  • Create discussion forums.
  • Decide on forum settings.
  • Plan Chat and discussion topics.
  • Consider how to encourage learners to communicate online.
  • Consider how to assess online participation.
  • Give project groups communication tools.
  • Create at least one forum in the group discussion boards.


  • Create an online course evaluation.

3 Responses

  1. Very good information!

  2. Rheema — this is very helpful. I’m using these guidelines to organize my Blackboard site.

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