Types of distance courses
Courses eligible for online development
Development assistance
Course designer responsibilities
Development fees
Development timelines
Development process-brief description
Generic design


Welcome to online course development at MTSU!  MTSU is committed to providing high quality distance/alternative educational experiences for its students, and is endorsed by the Online Learning Consortium (OLC).  Faculty members have the opportunity to develop and teach a variety of alternative delivery courses, and the following information will help determine the type of course to develop and offer to your students.

Types of Distance and Alternative Delivery Courses

MTSU faculty members have the opportunity to develop (development fees apply) and teach:

  • MTSU Online;
  • MTSU Hybrid.

Faculty may also develop and teach the following types of alternative delivery courses which do not require approval through MTSU Online and for which development fees do not apply:

  • synchronous online;
  • videoconferencing (via Zoom);
  • web-assisted;
  • web-enhanced.

Check the definitions link for course types and scheduling codes.

Only existing MTSU courses approved by the University Curriculum Committee or the Graduate Council may be developed for online delivery and must not have been developed previously by another faculty member.  Please contact MTSU Online Faculty Services at 615/898-5332 for a list of approved courses developed by faculty in your department.  

Development Assistance

Faculty course designers are provided the following resources to guide them throughout the development process:

  • Online Faculty Mentor (OFM);
  • Instructional Designer;
  • D2L/Technology Training;
  • Instructional and Development Training.    

Online Faculty Mentor (OFM)

Each faculty course developer is assigned an Online Faculty Mentor (OFM) to assist them throughout the process and to conduct a peer review of the course upon completion.  

Instructional Designer

Course developers are assigned an MTSU Online Instructional Designer to plan course design, implement best practices to enhance course pedagogy and ensure a successful online student learning experience.

D2L Training

Faculty new to online course development (including full-time and full-time temporary) are required to complete training on the MTSU-supported learning management system, Desire2Learn (D2L), prior to course development.  Completion of the "New to Online Essentials" Online Learning Consortium (OLC) week-long workshop is also required. 


Online course development contracts expire after three-years.  An element of the contract is that online course developers are expected to serve as the lead designers for their courses for that period of time.  Lead developer responsibilities include:

  • updating the master shell each semester as necessary;
  • each semester meet with professors new to the instruction of the course to familiarize them with the content and to assist in updating the welcome page, faculty contact information, and calendar;
  • uploading approved course content into each section being taught;
  • working with the department to obtain textbooks and other course materials for sectional faculty;
  • working with the department to schedule the course.
  • Note:  These services should be provided by the lead designer even if he/she is not teaching a section of his/her own course during the semester.
  • At the end of the three-year contract period, course designers must substantially redesign their online and hybrid courses and will receive a redesign fee.  If the original course developer is unavailable or unwilling to redesign the course, the department chair must assign a new lead developer, or the course will be removed from the online inventory.  The peer review/chair approval process also applies to course redesigns.

Development Fees

Development and redesign fees are paid based on the number of credit hours created/redesigned. 

Development Deadlines

Online course development must be complete and the course ready for the peer review by these deadlines:

  • Spring Semester delivery – October 1;
  • Summer and Fall delivery – March 1.

Brief Description of the Development Process

Course developers complete the following steps to develop and deliver an online course:

  • Complete and submit a Course Development/Redesign Proposal Form;
  • Submit a draft Syllabus using the accessible syllabus template within D2L;
  • Review the Peer Review Online Course Development Form;
  • Sign an Online Course Development Agreement (available at MTSU Online office);
  • Meet with assigned Online Faculty Mentor (OFM);
  • Meet with Instructional Designer;
  • Complete D2L training;
  • Complete development of the course using the resources mentioned above;
  • Due to FERPA, SACSCOC and other regulations/issues, instruction of course content must be limited and student educational records must not be shared in e-publisher websites or other third party vendor sites unless a contract with the institution is in place.  Course designers should contact the FITC to determine if interface with D2L is possible and if a contract is in place for the specific vendor being used.
  • Conduct a self-evaluation of the completed course using the Peer Review Form;
  • Assigned OFM conducts a peer review also using the Peer Review Form;
  • Department Chair reviews course and the peer review form in order to approve course for delivery;
  • Scheduling Center is notified, via department, that approved course may be added to the semester schedule;
  • Development fee is paid.

    At least two semesters should be allotted for completion of a new online course.

Generic Design

Because department chairs/school directors have the option to assign instructors to teach online and hybrid courses they did not develop, courses must be developed with that thought in mind.  Course designers serve as lead designers of their approved courses and are responsible for updating course content and sharing it with sectional instructors.              

Find us on Facebook  Find us on Twitter  Find us on LinkedIn

How can we help?


Adult Learning Focused Institution


Register to Vote!