Online Course Development Process

Credit Courses

When developing a new online course or converting a face-to-face course online at the University of Minnesota, consider the following four step process:

1. Administrative approval. Begin by consulting with your department head (or equivalent) to seek course approval, and to find out who in your unit will assist you with the Electronic Course Authorization System (ECAS) submission process.

2. Design and development process. Many academic units have instructional designers, as well as specific templates and guidelines to assist you. Consult your collegiate or campus academic technology group to determine how they can support you develop an online course. You may also place a request with Teaching Support. For questions about undergraduate education policies, contact Leslie Schiff; for graduate policies, contact Etty DeVeaux. You may also wish to consult the following University resources:

3. ECAS submission, review and approval. ECAS is the system by which individual courses are proposed, reviewed and approved. Use ECAS for both new online courses and conversion of existing courses to online or blended. For both new and existing credit courses, check with your unit’s ECAS support staff about entering your proposed course into the ECAS system. Once approved, this person will enter the information into the PeopleSoft system and the class schedule. Advance planning is required (up to a full year) to ensure that the course will be available for registration in the appropriate term. The sample syllabus for PHCL 4343, a 3 cr. hybrid course, shows the Twin Cities undergraduate curriculum committee how the instructor determined the number of credits proposed.

4. Build your course. Contact Teaching Support for assistance. Your message will be routed to the appropriate local or central support unit. 

Non-credit courses

Most of the information listed above is also relevant for non-credit courses. There are, however, several important differences. Non-credit courses:

  • do not require entry into the ECAS system
  • do not require regular and substantive faculty-student interaction or justification of credits; and
  • use the Destiny One Registration System (DORS) instead of PeopleSoft for registration and scheduling (ask the DORS contact in your unit to enter your course information).