Online Course Development: Start to Finish

online course development

As more learning becomes digital, the mysteries of instructional design unfold. Luckily, the secrets to developing a great online course follow a logical process.

But before developing an online course, there are several wh-questions to ask. These questions determine who the course is for, why the course is needed, and so on. The answers to the wh-questions will differ for each developed course, but the steps for developing each e-course will follow the same basic pattern.

Analyzing your online course objective(s)

Once an online course objective has been decided, it must be analyzed. Breaking the course into manageable chunks will give the online course structure. One pitfall of chunking a concept is to make the pieces too large. Each chunk should be small enough for a learner to cover in one module. This may mean dividing chunks into smaller pieces. Revision may be necessary along the way.


Breaking the course into manageable chunks will give the online course structure. However, breaking it into too many chunks will make it unmanageable. Find the sweet spot. Click To Tweet


Assembling the online course development team 

Developing an online course requires a team of experts. These include subject matter experts, instructional designers, project managers, graphic artists, and course developers. 

These positions may be filled by in-house experts, outsourced professionals, or a hybrid of these options. If a position is vacant, A Pass can provide the needed expert. 

Each team member has her own set of skills and responsibilities. Communication among all the members is crucial to decrease any time needed for revisions. The project manager should set up communication expectations and protocols, especially if any of the experts do not work in the same location.


If you are exploring developing an online course for your organization, visit our eLearning Development page for more information.

Developing and testing 

As you develop the online course, make sure you test it during the development process. Do the hyperlinks work? Is a certain piece of new technology intuitive? If testing is put off until the online course is developed, then much of an online course may have to be revised at the end, costing money and time. Testing during developing by various members of the team or even pretend users can catch many errors. 

Besides testing each piece, the online course itself needs to be evaluated. Does the online course help the learner meet the course objectives? Are the modules and units organized logically? Answer these questions during the development process.  

Launching your online course

Congratulations! After following these steps, your online course will be ready for the intended user. 

A great online course will run smoothly. The learner will never know all of the teamwork, creativity, and hard work, behind her screen. An amazing online course will seem like magic to learners, keeping the mysteries of its development a secret. 



Who is A Pass?

A Pass Educational Group, LLC is an organization dedicated to the development of quality educational resources. We partner with publishers, K-12 schools, higher ed institutions, corporations, and other educational stakeholders to create custom quality content. Have questions?

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