Course Development

The course development process generally takes about four to six months from the initial proposal until final completion. This includes approval of the course proposal, completion of the course, and finally the review of Quality Matters standards. Support is available in all developmental phases: course design, content creation with technology, and the Quality Matters review process.

In this section:

Course Proposal

Courses should be approved by the department head and the academic dean and be submitted to the Distance Education Committee at least 6 months prior to the anticipated start date. After approval by that committee, course development can begin and the faculty can apply for a course development payment.

  • Download the proposal form or the revision form and get appropriate signatures.
  • Submit the proposal to
  • When approval is received, you will be contacted by an instructional designer assigned to the course.

Best Practices

There are many rubrics, standards, and guidelines for online courses. Lamar University subscribes to the standards from its accrediting agency, state agencies and distance education organization in the continual process of creating quality distance education courses.

Course Design

Instructional design services are available to all faculty developing online, hybrid, and face-to-face courses at Lamar. The division has a team of designers ready to aid you in course layout, creation of digital course materials, and support of best practices in online teaching. Whether you are new to online learning, or a seasoned veteran, we have the instructional design services in place to support you. If you are developing a course, please call 409-880-7579 or email to set up an appointment.

The ADDIE model is a framework for designing online course material used by the instructional design staff at Lamar University.

  • Analyze
    • Ask yourself the following questions about your course. How do you want to use Blackboard? What is the purpose in using technology? What challenges make you want to put this online? What improvements do you expect in student learning? What technologies are appropriate for your students, your discipline, and your instructional style?
  • Design
    • This step involves using a course blueprint. Identify your learning objectives. What activities/assignments should you use to achieve student learning? What are the appropriate technologies to engage students in these activities/assignments? What assessments will be used to demonstrate student learning? Learning objectives, activities/assignments and assessments should be aligned. Do the activities/assessments all directly relate to the objectives? Do the assessments measure what the students are expected to learn?
  • Develop
    • What tools will be used to create content for the course? How should the content look? How do I use these tools to create visually appealing and instructionally sound course materials?
  • Implement
    • How do I prepare my students to effectively engage in this instructional experience? What is my role as faculty in this course? How do I promote student to materials, student to instructor, and student to student interaction? How do I establish my social, physical and intellectual presence in the course? What support do my students need to be successful in this course?
  • Evaluation
    • How can I give prompt, effective feedback to students? What are appropriate assessments for the student learning objectives? Do I have both formative and summative assessments? Did I test exactly what I taught?

Create Content

There are multiple methods and sources used in creating content for online courses. Open Educational Resources, publisher, as well as instructor created content are combined to create a powerful and effective course.

  • Assignments
  • Discussion Boards
  • Video: The Division of Distance Learning maintains a full service video studio. Come and shoot professional level video for your online and hybrid courses. The videos will be edited, captioned, and loaded into your Sorenson video server account. You will be asked to supply scripts of your videos in advance of your filming date. These will be loaded into the teleprompter to assist you in your delivery to the camera. They will also aid the video editor in captioning your videos. Please email or call 880-7382 to schedule your appointment. While all instructors are welcome to record professional level video content in the video studio, some prefer a more hands on approach. To get started, you only need a webcam, microphone, and some simple software  (screencast-o-matic) to begin recording your own video content. Most current laptops have built-in cameras and microphones. If you don't have access to this equipment, please email and an instructional designer can assist you with possible options.
  • Publisher Material: Should you need assistance with adding content from your publisher, please contact your specific publisher representative. You may also email and an instructional designer can assist and help you troubleshoot.
  • Other Resources
    1. YouTube
    2. Merlot
    3. TedTalks

Quality Matters

Quality Matters (QM) is a rubric-based course review system intended to evaluate the effectiveness of your online course’s design not the course content. Internal QM reviews are performed by the Division of Distance Learning. Below you’ll find a link to the QM Rubric. If you’d like to request a review of your online course, simply fill out a short Google form, and your request will be loaded into the review queue.

QM Frequently Asked Questions:

Do I need my course QM reviewed?

  • All online courses offered by Lamar University will need to be QM reviewed.

How long will it take to review my course?

  • Internal QM reviews will take a minimum of four weeks to complete.

Who will review my course?

  • Your course will be reviewed by Lamar University faculty/staff who have gone through extensive training from Quality Matters.

What happens if my course does not pass the review?

  • If your course doesn't pass the initial review, don’t worry. The review is meant to be a collaborative process. Your reviewer will work with you, offering detailed suggestions on how you can meet standards you might have missed. Once you work with the reviewer, making any needed adjustments or changes, the reviewer will reevaluate your course until it achieves a passing score.


Blackboard Learn

Adobe Connect

Kaltura Video Server

  • Faculty are welcome to use Kaltura to store their copyright cleared video content. Kaltura will privately host your videos, and allow you to embed that content directly into Blackboard. There is no limit to the number of videos you may post to your Kaltura account. Accounts are also available for staff members looking to host content for their respective departments. Please email to request your Kaltura account.
  • You can view your videos by logging into Blackboard and clicking the My Media link. The My Media is your personal Kaltura storage folder where you can upload your videos and then embed them into your courses.