Course Development

Course Design Services:
Levels of Service and Timelines for Delivery

If you are looking for some help with your face-to-face, hybrid, or online course, you are in the right place. This document is intended to offer some starting points and guidelines for our course design and revision services. Estimates of the faculty time commitment required to complete each service are included.

We also provide training in online teaching issues and edtech teaching tools. Interested in learning more? You may want to explore our ongoing Webinars & Workshops, our Video Tutorials library, our Online Teaching Certificate courses or our Faculty Resources pages.

You can use the jump menu, below, to navigate to the section of this page you need.


What to Expect

Instructional design projects run the gamut from minor edits to full-fledged course build-out, covering a wide range of tasks, levels of complexity, technologies employed, etc. Proper needs assessment as well as advance planning allow us to budget our resources--and your time--and ensure the successful and timely completion of your design requirements.

Please take the time to read the following description of our levels of service. It is designed as a helpful reference as you plan for your face-to-face, hybrid, or online course.

Some of you may have already worked with prior instructional design teams. Please be aware that our services may not be identical to your previous experience. We focus on partnering closely with the instructor to ensure that each course meets best practices for online course design. In addition, we aim to empower the instructor with the skills necessary for effective course delivery and maintenance. This may include training and practice with relevant education technology tools.


About Us

Who We Are

We are the Office of Instructional Design, part of Teaching and Learning with Technology, Division of Continuing Studies, Rutgers University.

  • Mary Labrada
  • Dena Leshner
  • Marie Li
  • Will Pagan
  • Kyle Whitmus
  • Joe Yankus

Where We Are

College Ave and Cook-Douglass:
Public Safety Building
55 Commercial Ave., Suite 201
New Brunswick, NJ 08901

How to Reach Us


For immediate technical assistance, contact our Rutgers Online Learning Help Desk at 848-932-4702 (24/7/365)


How to Get Started with Course Design

Let us  know what Level of Service you need. Email and tell us what you need, whether a quick fix, extended support, or full course design. One of our Instructional Designers will ask for some basic information and set up an informational meeting if necessary.

If you would like to revise a course or design a new one, please fill out our Instructional Design Intake form. It will help your assigned instructional designer zero in on your needs. If you complete the form before your first meeting, let your ID know, so they can access and refer to it.


Course Design Level 1: Quick Fix (1-2 Days)


A quick fix call should be made when you require 1-3 minor revisions. Every effort will be made to complete faculty requests for a quick fix within 2 working days.


1-3 minor revisions

Examples of a ‘Quick Fix’:

Adjusting due dates for weekly discussions; updates to a course calendar; editing or moving text from one module to another; updating due dates, incorporating library links; adding instructions.

Expected Faculty Time Commitment:

Up to 2 hrs

OID Deliverable:

Resolution within 2 days

Please Note: Only minor revisions can be accommodated in this category. Ideally, all revisions should be completed before students enter the course, but if an issue comes up while a course is running please don't hesitate to contact us.


Course Design Level 2: Extended Support (2-8 weeks)


Ask for extended support when you need help with a specific, complex or multi-stage task. This may include course revisions or new content development.


4-10 minor revisions or larger task

Example of an ‘Extended’ service:

Creating a new major course project, and scaffolding it through several sub-project stages. Identifying and implementing an appropriate tool for a particular assignment such as, for example, using Kaltura for student presentations.

Expected Faculty Time Commitment:

Up to 10 hours

OID Deliverable:

Resolution within 2 - 8 weeks

Please Note: If you have more than 10 major revisions to make to a course, you should consider it a full course revision. Please see Level 3 below.


Timeline for Course Revisions or New Content Development

  • 1 revision / content item – 1 week minimum

  • Faculty Commitment: 5 hrs / revision or content item

Please count on at least a week for development of each revision or new content item.  If the content item is a complex one or requires the assistance of other TLT units (for example, an interactive game or video with embedded comprehension quizzes) 2-6 weeks may be necessary.


Course Design Level 3: Full Course Design or Revision (one semester)

Design (Full Course)


Ask for full course design when you are planning a new course or major revision and you have at least one semester to complete the planning stage.


Multiple, see stages below.

Example of a ‘full course design’ service:

Your department chair has just offered you the opportunity to teach this course for the first time. You have a syllabus but not much else.

Expected Faculty Time Commitment:

5 hrs/week, one semester

OID Deliverable:

Resolution within one semester

Please Note: requests for full course design must be made at least one full semester prior to course launch. No prior experience with educational technology tools is necessary, even if teaching online. We will train you as needed, given that time.

Course  Design Phases

  1. Kickoff: This is the initial consultation with faculty member to discuss the course and any ideas or materials on hand.

  2. Early Planning & Course Map (4 weeks): This is to create a map of course and module level learning objectives, course materials, and assignments that will allow students to process materials and practice to achieve objectives. The map does not need to be detailed at this stage, but objectives, at least, should be developed fairly thoroughly.

  3. Module-by-Module Planning/Development (1 week/module = up to 15 weeks): This is where detailed planning of each module, its materials, and its activities takes place. This is also when development of materials like video lectures and multimedia presentation assignments is done.

  4. Quality Assurance Review (2 weeks): This is where the course is reviewed to make sure it meets the best practice standards for online instruction.

  5. Revision (1-4 weeks): If any revisions are recommended in QA, this is when adjustments can be made, prior to course launch.


Revision (Full Course)


Ask for this service when you plan to revise your existing course which will result in changes to more than 50% of your material.


Multiple, see stages below.

Example of a ‘full course revision’ service:

You've taught this course before but want to revise it for its next run, or you've inherited a course that's been developed already but want to tweak the majority of activities, assignments or lectures.

Expected Faculty Time Commitment:

5 hrs/week, one semester

OID Deliverable:

Resolution within one semester

Course Revision Phases

A full course revision involves changing half to two-thirds of the course content, or making ten or more major revisions to an existing course. At this point, OID strongly recommends the following steps:

  1. Course Map (2 weeks): Map out the revised modules or items to make sure they are consistent with your course learning objectives, and that any new content is integrated and aligned with your objectives.

  2. Module-by-Module Planning/Development (1 week/module): Allow one week to plan and develop each new or substantially revised module.

  3. Quality Assurance Review (2 weeks): A substantially revised course calls for review, to ensure it continues to meet best practice standards for online instruction.


Definition of Terms

Course Representative / Faculty / Instructor:

We use these terms interchangeably.

Full Course Design:

A one-semester (or more) commitment where a single instructor partners with an instructional designer to build a course from the ground up. The course may or may not have been designed or taught previously. Minimum expected faculty commitment: 5 hours per week.

Full Course Revision:

A commitment of 2-4 months where a single instructor partners with an instructional designer to revise an existing course. This may involve introducing new tools, redesigning activities or assignments, or reconceptualizing the entire course. Minimum expected faculty commitment: 5 hours per week.

Instructional Designer:

A professional, versed in course design research and practice, who assists faculty by providing advice and course-building expertise.

Major Course Revision:

Changing a week/module worth of content; altering one element of all the modules in a course; deleting a module and building a new one; advising on re-writing or changing the nature of a major assignment; formatting a content page into valid and accessible HTML from a Word or Google document; formatting a module worth of content for consistent/attractive appearance.

Minor Course Revision:

Changing a few paragraphs worth of content; altering one element of a module; moving a content item into new part of the course and editing all framing directions; advising on tweaking the wording of an existing assignment; formatting a single content item for consistent/attractive appearance.

New Content Development:

Creating a new assignment; advising and assisting with the creation of a new video lecture; formatting a new content page from a Word or Google document.

Online Teaching Certificate:

This is a four course, non-credit Online Teaching Certificate available to Rutgers and non-Rutgers faculty, staff, and graduate students members.  These courses are designed to prepare you for online teaching or sharpen your skills if you are already teaching online. Courses can be completed in any sequence.

Training (workshops):

In addition to course design, we also provide hands on workshop training in teaching issues and edtech tools. Interested in learning more? You may want to explore our ongoing Webinars &Workshops, or our Video Tutorials page.


Things to Keep In Mind

M-F Work Week: OID is an office, not a faculty department, and the staff keep weekday office hours. The Help Desk has more wide-reaching hours. If you require immediate technical assistance, please reach out to the Help Desk.

Multiple Clients: OID serves all of Rutgers University. Instructional designers will always be working with more than one faculty member at a time, and often with 3-4, and cannot devote all of their time to any one client.



Required Timelines: Requests for many major revisions or full course development will not be accepted less than 10 weeks before course launch date.

Faculty Deadlines: Faculty are expected to meet established deadlines. OID cannot guarantee project completion if the faculty member does not provide the necessary information or materials.

Faculty Authorship and Ownership of Content: OID cannot write content for faculty (e.g. create an assignment, select materials, etc.). Each faculty member is expert in their own field and will be the one teaching the students; they are the only ones with the knowledge and context to write the course content. OID can help format content, can advise on content, and can assist in creation of multimedia content, but cannot compose content for faculty. For this very reason, all course content belongs to the faculty (as defined by the faculty member’s contract with the University).

Accessibility: We are committed to providing fully accessible content for students. This is both an ethical and a legal requirement of the University, and your instructional designer will do their best to advise you on how to create accessible materials from the first step, thus preventing last-minute scrambles after appropriate accommodations.

Quality Matters: Our office relies on the QM rubric as the standard for best practices with online course design. QM also has much applicability to face-to-face courses. To learn more about QM, visit the Quality Matters website.


Q & A

Q: I’m confused about all the units that are part of TLT - should I call the Rutgers Online Help Desk or your Office of Instructional Design or New Media or what?

A: If you need immediate assistance and a quick resolution with a technical issue, your best bet is the Help Desk; they have extended hours to assist you. If you would like some time with an expert to brainstorm or set-up multi-staged tasks or you have questions related to online pedagogy, reach out to an Instructional Designer. If what you want is assistance creating multimedia, such as a video you already have planned out, then you should contact New Media.


Q: I was hired to teach an existing course and it is already complete. Am I allowed to make changes?

A: TLT does not determine policy when it comes to course content. If you are unsure about what changes you are allowed to make, ask your Department Chair or Program Director. We are happy to assist you in making approved changes.


Q: How do I learn more about copyright and licensing issues?

A: Visit the Rutgers Library's website on Copyright.


Q: My course already started. I just realized that I made a mistake. Do I have to wait until next semester or can changes be made now?

A: Yes, but it depends on the situation. Our priority is ensuring that students do not encounter barriers as they learn. We understand that there are urgent situations that require immediate intervention (for example, when a student can’t access a required reading or see an assignment grade). If your issue is not urgent, however, we ask that you wait until next semester to make improvements. It can be difficult to make changes to an active course. In order to avoid confusing students we will not accept applications for substantial revisions (Course Design Levels 2 or 3) to a course shell that is currently active. If you want to start work on revisions to a template shell for next term, though, we are happy to work with you on a fresh copy of the course!


Q: What are some examples of “quick fixes” (i.e. Level 1 Service)?

A: Editing or moving a content item; updating the course schedule or due dates; inserting general directions about how to use tools; incorporating persistent links for access to libraries materials including journal articles.


Q: What are some examples of “extended support” (i.e. Level 2 Service)?

A: One or more of the following: creating a new module or assignment; cleaning up formatting throughout a module; re-structuring a module to, for example, center around different materials or activities; gradebook fixes; identifying and implementing an appropriate tool for a particular assignment such as, for example, using Kaltura for a student presentation.


Q: I don’t understand! Just tell me, where do I begin?

A: Email us to set up a meeting! We can meet with you in-person or remotely and answer any questions you have.