Instructors who are planning on developing a fully online course should begin the process early. Ideally, a course should be fully developed prior to releasing it to students. Avoid being in a situation where you are building a course while teaching it at the same time. Attempting to stay “a module ahead” of your students will most likely lead to a very frustrating and stressful experience, particularly when developing and teaching your online course.

Successful development of an online course requires a significant amount of planning, organization, and time. It is highly recommended that instructors begin development of a new online course at least 4 months before the course runs. Below is a timeline designed based on a four-month preparation, planning, and development schedule and assumes that the resulting course is a fully online, full-semester course.