Faculty Instructional Technology Services > Course Design

Course Design and Enhancement

Course Development Timeline

A quality online/hybrid course takes 20 weeks to develop. To design a high-quality online/hybrid course necessitates sufficient time for planning, designing, developing, and testing. These development activities should start two terms before the course is being offered. To ensure that you receive FITS support for both course design and course material development, please follow the timeline below to schedule the development cycle of your course:

Course Offer Term Deadline to Start the Course Development Process
Winter 2016 June, 2015
Spring 2016 September, 2015
Summer 2016 January, 2016
​Fall 2016 ​March, 2016

Course Revision Timeline

For course revisions, please contact your instructional technology consultant at least two months before the beginning of the course offer term.

Course Design Standards

FITS follows course design standards established by Quality Matters, an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to promoting effective online learning. The Quality Matters rubric provides a set of nationally recognized standards developed by a consortium of experienced online instructors and online learning experts from multiple institutions.

Course Design and Enhancement Examples

The examples below highlight several projects that FITS staff have worked with faculty to create. To propose a project, contact Sharon Guan at xguan@depaul.edu.

Islam Quiz Game

This game was created for a Religious Studies course offered by Dr. Chris Tirres. Dr. Tirres wanted to offer students an online game to replace an activity he typically conducts in his face-to-face courses to help students review key facts about Islam. Inspired by the popular gameshow Jeopardy!, this web-based game allows students to check their knowledge through multiple-choice questions grouped by category and difficulty level. To help motivate students, Dr. Tirres offers a reward to the player who attains the highest score in the shortest amount of time.

View tool

Learning Disability Simulation

Dr. Eva Patrikakou and Dr. Carol Wren wanted their students in the College of Education to see an assignment through the eyes of a student with a learning disability. In this simulation, students are given two minutes to write a short essay about their weekends, but they are not allowed to use several common letters. Alert messages with startling sound effects interrupt students if they attempt to enter a forbidden character, while other warnings automatically appear at specific intervals, belittling students with messages such as, “Can’t you write any faster?” At the end of the activity, students are reminded that the humiliation and frustration they felt in trying to complete this task is similar to what students with learning disabilities feel on a regular basis when trying to complete activities in class.

View tool

Text Revision Tool

This tool was created for Jim Sowerby, an adjunct professor in the College of Law. When teaching legal writing, Professor Sowerby found it challenging to show students that there isn’t always a single, ideal way of communicating an idea. The text revision tool allows users to quickly compare variations in short writing samples and recognize how small changes in word choice can have a big impact on a reader’s interpretation of the information being presented. While the version shown here contains mostly law-related examples, the content can be easily changed to improve students’ persuasive and creative writing skills in other disciplines.

View tool

Visual Phonics Tool

This tool was created for Beverly Trezek, an assistant professor in the School of Education. Dr. Trezek wanted an interactive tool to help students learn “visual phonics,” a series of gestures that correspond with specific phonetic sounds. This system is used to help students with hearing impairments and other learning disabilities improve their reading and pronunciation skills. To view a demonstration of this tool, contact your instructional technology consultant.