November 20, 2015

Online Course Design and Development at UNTHSC



New_UNTHSCUNTHSC adheres to rules and notification procedures established by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board for the conduct and approval of distance education including the Principles of Good Practice for Academic Degree and Certificate Programs and Credit Courses Offered Electronically and Approval of Distance Education, including Off-Campus Course and Programs. Approval of online courses uses the Quality Matters Rubric and review process.

Faculty who plan to offer distance education using electronic resources in support of a degree or certificate awarded through the UNTHSC must obtain two levels of approval as described by the Distance Education and Course Development Policy. First, approval to offer the course must be granted by the respective authority in the college or school from which the course is offered. Second, approval to deliver the course must be obtained from the UNTHSC Distance Education Committee (DEC).

DEC approval is accomplished through a two-step process. The first step toward gaining DEC approval is completed during the development process (see Approval to Develop form below). Faculty members planning to offer distance education electronically are encouraged to contact the CIL early in the development process. This helps to ensure faculty sufficient time to interact with the CIL staff in order to assure the course satisfies requirements that are imposed on DE by state regulations and the UNTHSC. Approval to develop a DE course is not required if the course has been approved previously through the CIL and DEC.

The next step is to gain approval for course delivery from the DEC. If approval to deliver the DE course is not granted at least two (2) weeks prior to the first date of registration for the course, registration for the course will be suspended.

Faculty members are asked to allow sufficient time for reviewing and processing of these requests by the CIL and the DEC. A fully online course takes a minimum of 4 months to develop. The approval to deliver process could take a minimum of 30 days depending upon CIL workload and the DEC schedule of meetings. Questions about these approval processes should be directed to the CIL at (817) 735-2941.

Please download the appropriate form, fill it out and save it electronically. Submit all required information for course development and/or delivery to the CIL for processing. Provisional approval, which is obtained using the Approval to Develop form and process, allows a DE course to be listed in the UNTHSC Schedule of Classes and for fees to be attached.

Submit the form and any supporting materials to the CIL at

For assistance with online course design and development, please contact the CIL at 817.735.2970 or visit the Instructional Design and Technology page. See the Course Development Toolkit for best practices and information on online course creation. Want to know more about Quality Matters? See Quality Matters Program Page. Faculty new to UNTHSC who will be teaching online are required to take Preparing to Teach Online.