Online Course Development




CATLR envisions online course development as a cycle of developing, teaching, evaluating and revising classes, and we are committed to assisting you at any point in this process to apply what research tells us about learning to help you enhance your online teaching and make your online experience is a success.

You already have experience teaching. In classes you have taught in the past, you had clear learning outcomes in mind. You assembled content that supported those outcomes and crafted interactions in class that helped students meet those outcomes. You used formative and summative assessment to evaluate whether students in fact met the outcomes, and used that evaluation to adjust your content and interactions for future classes.  Now you will be doing the same, but in a new online environment. One could argue that teaching online is no different, but we disagree – the “practices” you will use to achieve your learning outcomes in an online environment may be very different.

To learn more about the services CATLR can provide as you move through this process, click on the buttons below.






If you need to DEVELOP an online course, we explore the process and timelines associated with adapting an existing on campus course for online, or developing a new course from scratch. Then we will consult with you through the process of developing a detailed design for your course and identifying the skills and resources needed to produce it.

When you are ready to TEACH an online course, our Facilitating Online Courses Program can help you identify and plan for the new practices associated with online instruction. Practices that have worked for you in the past on campus may or may not translate well online. Within our workshops and consultations, we differentiate between practices associated with “teaching and learning” with practices associated with “managing” your online class. We also help you think through technology options that can enhance learning.

If you want to EVALUATE an existing online course, we have developed an instrument to help you examine the degree to which your course design reflects researched-based learning principles. We suggest using this instrument for self-assessment, while working with a CALTR consultant. We can also facilitate peer review of courses among colleagues.

When you are ready to REVISE a course, we explore processes for updating existing online courses to improve instruction, using the feedback generated through self assessment and student feedback, and your own processes for keeping content current.

If you are interested in EXPLORING literature on online learning, we provide a list of relevant research articles and books that address a variety of aspects of learning and teaching online.

At any time, you can contact Laurie Poklop ( or Gail Matthews-DeNatale ( for more information or a consultation to further explore teaching online.

Faculty Voices

When designing an online course, practical advice from those with experience can be invaluable. In these short (< 5 minute) videos, Northeastern faculty walk you through aspects of the courses they built and describe things they learned while teaching them.