Digital Education's Online Course Development Program

Digital Education (DE) and the ITaP Instructional Design provide consultation and training to Purdue instructors interested in developing online versions of courses. DE’s Online Course Development Program funds the transformation of selected face-to-face courses to an online format, provides training and support, and follows up with research and assessment focused on how the online environment supports student success. It is expected that courses developed under this program will be offered at least three times; DE provides some limited subsidies for instructional costs for some courses developed through the Online Course Development Program.

The current priorities for the Online Course Development Program are:

  • To increase the online undergraduate portfolio:
    • By adding more University Core Curriculum courses.
    • By adding 50000-level courses that can count as undergrad courses for seniors (to help them graduate in 4 years), and may be part of 4+1 or 3+2 bachelors/masters programs.
  • To increase access for Purdue students by offering more 2nd 8 week course sections.
  • To provide instructional support for faculty interested in developing new and innovative online courses that go beyond what is normally included in online design. (For example, integration of MOOCs into a course to expand interactions of Purdue students with a global audience, modular design to allow multiple uses, virtual reality, extensive use of OER).
  • To create more opportunities for online education research by giving priority to online course development proposals that include an element of education research.

DE prioritizes proposals for development of new or substantially revised online courses based on the goals above and the following criteria:

Criteria for 10000 – 40000 level courses:
Serves a large number of students.
Enrolls students from a variety of majors.
Existing sections operate at or near capacity, or have a substantial wait list.
At least one online section will be offered in the fall and the spring.
At least one online section will be offered as an 8 week course in the fall and spring.
Can be taught by different instructors as demand dictates
Criteria for 50000 level courses:
Courses that are commonly taken in fulfillment of undergraduate degrees as well as by graduate students.
Courses that are in high demand.
Courses that meet requirements for dual credit teachers in high schools who need 18 graduate credits in their teaching discipline.
Courses that can be taken by students in more than 1 major.
Courses that count towards a certificate program.

If a proposed course is not selected through the review process to receive DE support for development, the ITaP Instructional Design team can provide some consultation services to help you get started.


Spring Development
Development January - February - March - April
Taught for First time May - June 
Semester Summer
Summer Development
Development April - May - June - July
Taught for First time August (16 weeks)
Taught for First time October (8 weeks)
Semester Fall
Fall Development
Development August – September – October – November - December
Taught for First time January (16 weeks)
Taught for First time March (8 weeks)
Semester Spring


Course Development Process Course Application


If the proposal is funded, the following are expected of the faculty/instructor lead:

  • Complete online course development training (if not completed previously).
  • Meet regularly with a DE instructional designer to construct the course according to established best practices.
  • Remain engaged throughout the development process, which averages twelve to sixteen weeks, but varies according to preparation and course. Typically this will require several hours per week of effort on the part of the faculty/instructor lead.
  • Participate with the ITaP instructional designer and DE staff to internally review the final course construct using the Quality Matters rubric.
  • Ensure that at least one section of the online course is offered for three upcoming AY semesters (preferably taught by the faculty/instructor lead).
  • Participate in research and assessment related to online education. This will include, but is not limited to, student surveys, instructor surveys, and focus groups.

After the completion of the project, awardees may be asked to share their experience and expertise with colleagues, for example, in proposal preparation briefings for prospective applicants, a teaching conference presentation, a DE program, or one-on-one or group peer consulting with a colleague.


We welcome questions at any time in the process. Questions can be addressed to Associate Director Jim Pukrop at

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