Course Development

When developing online courses at Creighton, we use a team-based approach.  The team includes the course instructor, an instructional designer, a librarian, a media specialist and other expertise as needed.  The design of online courses is based on widely accepted online instructional design best practices.  As a Quality Matters institution, all of Creighton's online courses undergo the Online Course Design Review process.

Online Course Development
The following process for online course development has been established to provide online instructors support and expertise throughout the course development and implementation processes. BlueLine, the University's learning management system, is used for all online courses and the online portion of hybrid courses.  Additional information about the tools available in BlueLine, as well as other instructional technologies available, may be found under the Teaching Technologies menu.

Online Courses within an Online Program: Instructors should contact the program director for information about the process for developing a new online course.

Summer Session/Winter Term Online Courses:  Instructors should contract University College for information about the process for developing a new online course.

Online Course Development Approvals: For courses outside of an online program, Summer Session/Winter Term,  or solicited for the Magis Core, complete the new Online Course Proposal Form (listed below) and return the form to the Teaching and Learning Center (TLC).  New online courses within an online program, Summer Session/Winter Term, or Magis Core will contract with the program for course development.  The program will notify TLC of new courses to be developed.

New Online Course Proposal Form (Other than Graduate)

          New Online Course Proposal Form (Graduate)

Instructional Design

Instructional designers are Master’s prepared staff with expertise in using instructional design models, online pedagogy, and the tools employed in the online classroom. The instructional design staff works with faculty and their content to design innovative and intuitive online learning communities. The team may help faculty with existing or new academic technologies to incorporate in the face-to-face or online course environments. The instructional designer and the faculty collaborate on the content and design process to continue to provide the high level, quality learning experiences students have always received from the Creighton University faculty. The faculty member serves as the subject matter expert and concentrates on the course content. The rest of the team is available to support the instructor. That support includes meeting with the faculty member to work on course structure and design, assist with BlueLine, and provide information and research on academic technologies. In conjunction with the Center for Academic Innovation (CAI), the Libraries provide great resources and services to augment a course. When involved from the beginning, members of the CAI team assist with creating a high quality course with clear navigation, consistency, and activities to promote student engagement. The review process ensures a well-designed course. The process is outlined below.

Instructional Design process

* Design based on Rapid Prototyping Development Process

To request instructional design or instructional technology support, contact the Center for Academic Innovation office at or call 402-280-3428.

Backward Design

Backward design is a method of designing curriculum that starts by setting overall goals before choosing individual learning activities or assessments. In backward design, the instructor first determines what learning the student needs to achieve by the end of the course. This serves as the basis for course objectives. The next step is to determine how the student will be assessed, and to ensure that the assessment directly measures student achievement in one or more objective. The final step is to select learning activities that will prepare the student to be successful in those assessments. A well designed course includes learning activities that adequately prepare students for assessments, which in turn accurately measure student achievement in the course objectives. This planned progression through course elements is called alignment. The backward design process is further described by Wiggins and McTighe (2005) and Fink (2013). The graphic below displays these steps.

Backward Design steps

The following Course Alignment Grid in Word document format can help you plan a well-aligned course.

Course Alignment Grid

Fink, L.Dee. Creating Significant Learning Experiences: An Integrated Approach to Designing College Courses, 2nd Edition, Jossey-Bass, 2013. Print.

Wiggins, Grant P., and Jay McTighe. Understanding by Design. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 2005. Print.

Distance Course Review