Concordia University



Getting Started

Even though technology is a major factor in the development of online courses, it shouldn’t be the focus. Like in the classroom, learning objectives, sound pedagogy and engaging learning activities define the main elements of the course framework. This being said, an online course format adds a layer of complexity to curriculum development, and careful consideration of the way students learn in online environments is essential.

Students are engaging in online environments for shorter periods of time, and much of their learning process is done independently. In addition, not all face-to-face content will convert well to an online course. Therefore, the instructor and the instructional designer have to carefully integrate online tools in their curriculum planning.

How long does it take to develop an online course?

Generally, an online course at Concordia takes 12-14 weeks to develop. For this reason, it's important to plan ahead of time and ensure that you set time aside for getting yourself familiar with the technologies and features well before you start teaching the class. Our eConcordia staff provides instructors with comprehensive training for all technologies used in our online courses.

What is the process for moving a course online?

Once an idea is presented to and approved by both the Department Chair and Vice-Provost, Teaching and Learning, the course moves to the development stage where instructors are paired with an eConcordia development team. This team collaborates with the instructor to design, develop, implement, evaluate and later improve the online course. In addition to the instructor, this team includes:

Onlien course Development Team
  • an instructional designer
  • a graphic and multimedia designer
  • a video producer
  • a programmer
  • a web developer
  • a content editor
  • a usability analyst

Instructors are involved from the beginning of the process in order to ensure alignment of pedagogical approach and the course content.  During the development stage, instructors also receive training on the technologies built into their course (i.e. assessments and grading, discussion boards, wikis, as applicable), so they are prepared to administer the course when it launches.

Once the finished product has been approved by the instructor and Vice-Provost, Teaching and Learning, the course is published on the eConcordia portal. Instructors receive further technical and administrative support needed to continually improve the course, and as a result, the online learning experience.


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The learner experience is a key component in this process as it provides us with valuable information about the course. eConcordia designs and conducts surveys, evaluations, interviews, focus groups, and uses other types of data collection methods with learners to find ways to improve the learning experience.


1. Moving from the Classroom to Online (Video) by Contact North.
2. The Challenges of Teaching Online (Video) by Contact North.

Additional Reading

Hirumi, A. (2009). A framework for analyzing, designing, and sequencing planned elearning interactions.  In A. Orellana, T. L. Hudgins & M. R. Simonson (Eds.), The perfect online course: best practices for designing and teaching (pp. 201- 261): Information Age Publishing.

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