Course Development Process

1)  The Department Head and course developer communicate their proposal to the Dean, Baccalaureate Studies and Academic Support. During this initial communication the scope of the project and estimated time frame for development will be established.

2) Complete the required documentation for compensation:

A) If the course developer is a full-time faculty member, complete Appendix P. in the current Collective Bargaining Agreement. The document must be signed by the Department Head (and Dean if applicable) and then sent directly to the V.P., Academic Affairs (VPAA) for approval. (Please refer to the current CBA for other information regarding faculty compensation and intellectual property rights.)


B) If the course developer is any person other than a full-time faculty member (e.g., adjunct), the Department Head will determine fair compensation for the developer and complete an eLearning Course Development Agreement and a Contract Memo. Both forms should be signed by the Department Head (and Dean if applicable) and then sent directly to the VPAA for approval. The VPAA will then forward the documents to the President for final approval.

3)  The VPAA will notify the Department Head and the Dean, Baccalaureate Studies and Academic Support when all documents related to compensation have been approved (A or B above).

4)  After compensation has been approved, the Department Head will complete and submit an online Request to Develop form (RTD). (The form is received by the Dean, Baccalaureate Studies and Academic Support.)

5)  The Dean, Baccalaureate Studies and Academic Support will assign an Instructional Technologist (IT) to work with the course developer and notify the DH and course developer that development may begin.

6)  The course developer will meet with the assigned IT. Please note, it is the responsibility of the course developer to initiate this partnership.

7)  The course developer and Instructional Technologist work together to accomplish the following objectives during the course development process:
  • Establish a timeline for course development
  • Acquire the necessary technological and pedagogical training
  • Incorporate sound instructional design principles, based on Quality Matters Standards.
  • Evaluate and edit course content
  • Complete the “Pensacola State College Course Development Support Checklist”

  A peer review is required for all Distance Learning courses prior to being placed on the course schedule with the following exception: Distance Learning courses being developed by an individual who has successfully developed a distance learning course at Pensacola State College (and the required peer review) on two separate occasions, after 8/1/2010, may be approved to offer following a recommendation from the assigned IT and the Dean, Baccalaureate Studies and Academic Support. Note: Hybrid courses may bypass the formal peer review process and instead undergo an internal review by the assigned IT.

When the IT and course developer (i.e., subject matter expert) feel the Distance Learning course is ready, the assigned Instructional Technologist will form a Peer Review Team (PRT). In addition to the course developer and the assigned Instructional Technologist, the PRT will consist of three PSC instructors with a proven record of successful online instruction – one of whom is a fellow subject matter expert. (The relevant department head is always invited to attend.) Note, PRT members receive Professional Development credit for their participation in the peer review process.

Peer Review Team Objectives

  • To examine course via student-level access
  • Evaluate course orientation and navigation components
  • Ensure course elements align with “PSC/Quality Matters Guidelines”
  • Make suggestions or recommendations for improvement


9)  Upon successful completion of the PR process for Distance Learning courses (or approval per the exception noted above) the Instructional Technologist will submit an “Approved to Offer” recommendation to the Dean, Baccalaureate Studies and Academic Support.

10) The Dean, Baccalaureate Studies and Academic Support will notify the SPD Office that the Peer Review is complete, and that all requirements of the course development process have been met.

Important Notes

Developing a distance learning or hybrid course takes time — on average three to six months. Be sure to plan ahead and consider the following:

  • All matters related to developer compensation (See Step 2.)
  • Required technology training (i.e., Canvas)
  • The time it takes to generate course content/instruction
  • The peer review process must be completed within 12 months after approval to develop. Failure to do so will require a new Request to Develop form and related documentation.
  • Working with an Instructional Technologist during the entire course development process is very important. Failure to do this can result in lengthy delays.
  • Important: Course Development Deadlines
    • Target date, fall semester – obtain approval to offer (i.e., peer review complete) by mid-May.
    • Target date, spring semester – obtain approval to offer (i.e., peer review complete) by mid-September.
    • Target date, summer semester – obtain approval to offer (i.e., peer review complete) by mid-February.