Example Course Development Timelines

As you begin to plan changes to your fall course, you can use these course development steps to help you distribute your workload. We have included examples of how you might divide the work over 12, 8, or 4 weeks. While you do not have to have your entire course created by the first day of class, it is helpful to outline the structure of your course, provide a general overview of major assignments, and create everything you need for the first few weeks of fall. Additional materials and assignments can be created as you teach and can be modified, if necessary, during the semester. There are several ways to approach course development, so feel free to add, remove, or rearrange steps to fit your course and workstyle.

Step 1: Set the stage for hybrid or online teaching 

  • Explore the differences in hybrid and online learning on the Preparing for Fall Teaching webpage.

  • Reflect on your course and use the Prioritizing What to Put Online Worksheet. This will help you identify the course elements that are already digital or easily translate online. You can prioritize these when you are ready to begin building your course site in Canvas. 

Step 2: Create the course structure and gather existing materials 

  • Determine how to divide your content into modules or units so that you can begin to organize your course

    • Refer to the Organizing Your Course webpage.
    • Use the Developing a Unit/Module Course Cycle Worksheet
    • Evaluate the pace of the course and note weeks that may need adjustment or simplification.
    • Assess the connections between course learning outcomes, assessments, assignments, and activities and consider strategies to make connections explicit to students.


Step 3: Test technology and build the first few weeks of your course

  • Revisit the digital teaching tools you’ll be using in your course 
    • Review resources for Canvas features and other UC supported tools 
    • Test the tools from a faculty perspective and a student perspective (if possible)
    • Collect relevant technology resources to help students get started and troubleshoot problems (e.g., Canvas guides written for students, IT@UC Service Desk information, tech support for publisher integrated tools)
  • Create parts of your course needed for the first few weeks of classes which might include: 
  • Additional Tasks
    • Establish that publisher integrations are working, troubleshooting with publisher representatives as needed (if applicable)
    • Hide buttons that you aren’t using in the Canvas navigation settings menu  

Step 4: Review your course and make it available to students

  • Review your course from the student perspective using student view
    • Does the organization of the course make sense to students?
    • Can students easily find information and resources within the course? 
    • Consider creating a video for students explaining how your Canvas course is organized and how they should navigate it
  • Make your Canvas course available to students
    • Publish all the parts of your course that you want to be visible to students (e.g., Modules, Assignments, Pages, Discussion Boards, Quizzes, Files)
    • Publish your Canvas course 

Example Timelines

12 Week Timeline

  • Weeks 1-3: Step 1                     
  • Weeks 4-6: Step 2                
  • Weeks 7-9: Step 3                 
  • Weeks 10-12: Step 4

8 Week Timeline

  • Weeks 1-2: Step 1              
  • Weeks 3-4: Step 2     
  • Weeks 5-6: Step 3       
  • Weeks 7-8: Step 4 

4 Week Timeline

  • Week 1: Step 1      
  • Week 2: Step 2      
  • Week 3: Step 3     
  • Week 4: Step 4