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This phase is where everyone becomes involved—the subject matter expert (you) and the whole development team. Your project lead/designer will be your main point of contact, keeping you informed of the progress on various aspects of the course, as well as helping to bridge the communication gaps between the technical specialties. The project lead/designer will also provide guidance in developing a learning design that incorporates your vision for how the course should be taught and will play a key role in conceptualizing the online learning environment. Enjoy this phase! There is a great deal of satisfaction you feel when you are part of a well-functioning curriculum development team.

The project lead makes sure that all team members are aware of the project timelines. He or she keeps the team informed of any outside developments that may affect the project. The best, most efficient way to work is when communication lines between team members are open and professional. It is essential that team members feel free to discuss any difficulties that they feel may affect the course delivery date.

The project lead will work with you in developing a course blueprint, which serves as the foundation for the course development. With a well crafted blueprint in hand, development should proceed quite smoothly.

What development involves

Development pertains to the creation of all the various parts of an online course, from the content (text, multimedia, video, graphics) to the assessment tools (quizzes, exams, assignments, self-tests). One of the overlooked aspects of development is the importance of assessment. Your project lead/designer will help you develop an assessment plan. While you are developing the content portion of your course, think about how you will assess what you are developing. It is much easier to make a note for an assessment piece while you are developing rather than after the content is complete.

Development scenarios

The development process will depend upon what your desired end result is as articulated in the blueprint you and your project lead have created. If your course is mainly text-based, you might follow a fairly traditional, linear process that has been adapted from the process used for developing print-based courses (Development – Scenario 1). However, if you want to build your course around video presentations or interactive multimedia, with less emphasis on text and readings, you would choose a process that matches (Development – Scenario 2).

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