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Timing & Logistics for Online, Hybrid, & Flipped Courses

Before you start thinking about how you want to teach your online or hybrid course, you will need to consider the timing and logistics of creating your course. This page explores some of the elements to consider before you plan, design, and build an online course. These elements include:

  1. The type of course you plan to create;
  2. Campus resources available to help you design and plan your course;
  3. How you might use those resources to get your course designed and built.


Creating an online course can take more time than most people realize. While there is no exact formula for determining how long it will take you to develop your online course, you should consider the following factors in planning your time:

  1. Do you already have a course syllabus and course content from an face to face version of the course, or is it a brand new course?
  2. Is the course fully online or is it hybrid?
  3. Do you need to learn more about using D2L?
  4. Are you going to use applications, technologies, or platforms other than D2L?
  5. What is the maximum enrollment?
  6. What is your teaching strategy? How much interactivity is built into your course plan? Is there peer or group activity? Lab or independent work?
  7. Will you have a teaching assistant to help?
  8. Will you have release time while you develop this course?

Although all PSU courses must be delivered in D2L in order to receive full support from OAI and the Help Desk, many courses incorporate additional technologies in order to meet specific pedagogical goals. Examples include multimedia content such as videos and screencast lectures, or interactive platforms such as blogs and wikis. Your planning process should account for the time it will take to effectively incorporate the technologies you want to include.

If this is the first time you have developed and/or taught an online course, we recommend that you start by deciding how you will assess student work, give students feedback, and interact with students in D2L. The next time you develop an online course or revise this course, you can add in course content and activities that involve more applications and technologies. At OAI we refer to these as iterative design phases:

  1. Phase I: Your course is based on a learning model that incorporates a consistent and transparent pattern of feedback and interaction with students. Most, if not all of the course activity takes place in D2L using D2L tools.

  2. Phase II: Your course is based on a learning model that incorporates a consistent and transparent pattern of feedback, and also incorporates interactive learning objects and multimedia, and applications other than D2L.

Getting Started

There are many possible approaches to successfully designing an online course. Based on our experience at OAI, we can recommend the process outlined below:

  1. Research online course design and pedagogy
  2. Consult with an instructional designer
  3. Work out a detailed course development plan
  4. Learn to comfortably use tools and develop materials in D2L and any other applications you’ve decided to use
  5. Begin assembling your online course
  6. Review and troubleshoot your course before the term begins
  7. Activate your course in D2L (first day of the term)

Campus Resources

If you would like more detailed information about planning and building your online course, you can make an appointment for a consultation with an instructional designer at the Office of Academic Innovation.

If you would like to learn more about D2L and other supported instructional technologies, the Office of Information Technology offers workshops. Sign up here.

You may also want to seek out a colleague who has taught an online course and talk to them. The knowledge generated by their experience is an invaluable resource for building new online courses.


The University of Connecticut’s Primer on Writing Instructional Objectives

M. David Merrill, “First Principles of Instruction,” Educational Technology Research & Development. 2002, Volume 50, Issue 3, pp 43-59.


Turner, Philip M., Carriveau, Ronald S. 2010. Next Generation Course Redesign. New York: Peter Lang Publishing.

Resource Category: 
Designing Your Course