Online Course Development

Please note, before you get started:

  • No course can be accepted until the proposed course is in the Registrar’s master course catalog, or has been fully approved by the University Curriculum Committee (UCC); however, this process can be taking place simultaneously
    • Distance education course development can take place while UCC new course approvals are being considered
    • Please include a copy of your UCC forms when you submit your development forms to us.
  • Existing Special Topics courses are permissible; however, note that just like their face-to-face counterparts, they can only be offered for a finite number of times under the SpTp designation.

Updated deadlines through Fall 2021 term: 
All summer 2021 courses can be delivered without approval, regardless of course delivery method.
All Fall 2021 semester ecourses and hybrid courses should be submitted for approval by August 1, 2021.
All new distance education courses that are to be offered Spring 2022 must meet the normal deadline of August 15, 2021.

Normal deadline dates:
Final submission for course review to be offered during the Spring term: August 15th
Final submission for course review to be offered during the Summer term: January 15th
Final submission for course review to be offered during the Fall term: May 15th

How Marshall handles all online course development proposals from faculty

The Distance Education Course Committee (DECC) handles all online course development proposals from faculty. This committee reviews new course proposals, conducts the review process for new courses, serves as the academic/administrative unit for online instruction, and works closely with the technical support staff to ensure that you get the help you need. The content of your course is entirely up to you; however, since we use Quality Matters rubric to review courses there are certain requirements of all distance education courses. We also require all faculty to: work with an instructional designer and have all content available before a designer can begin developing your course.

The experienced staff of our Instructional Design Center will be happy to arrange a one-on-one consultation for any topic related to online course development. From specific Blackboard tools to course management strategies to software tips, let us know how we can help.

Contact the Instructional Design Center
Huntington: Drinko Library 235, 304-696-7117. Hours: M-F, 8:30 am – 5:00 pm

How Online Courses are Evaluated

Completed courses are evaluated FIRST by your academic unit. This step can occur by whatever means the academic unit establishes and should focus on the course content. Please note: Content Approval must be obtained from your chair and dean BEFORE the DECC reviews your course.

Second, your course will be evaluated by a peer review team from the Distance Education Course Committee. The team will evaluate your proposed course using the Quality Matters Higher Education Rubric. Note that the Instructional Design Staff regularly assist faculty in preparing courses according to the standards of the Quality Matters Higher Education Rubric to ensure that all required elements are present so that reviews can proceed smoothly.

The purpose of the evaluation, in part, is to assure a consistent level of quality in Marshall University online courses. This evaluation process was established because of the unusual level of institutional support associated with course development and because of the public presentation of these Marshall University courses worldwide via the Internet.

Members of the review panel are granted temporary access to your course under the student role for the sole purpose of viewing it using the QM rubric that concentrates on course design and alignment. Evaluation of course content is the responsibility of the academic unit.

The review process takes approximately two weeks. Members of the review panel send the results of their course review to the coordinator of DECC who compiles the review reports. You will then receive a summary recommendation from the coordinator based on these reports.

Ready to submit an application to develop a new online course? Access the Application for the Development of a New Online Course and begin!

Please direct questions or comments to Dr. Monica Brooks, V.P. of Libraries and Online Learning at 304-696-6474 or

Documents to Familiarize Yourself With

Having Trouble with Blackboard?

Contact the IT Service Desk

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