Skip to main content

Course Design

ITSO is dedicated to supporting faculty with the design, development and implementation of quality online courses at Hawaiʻi CC.

Many organizations nationwide promote research and best practices for online courses, including Quality Matters and the Online Learning Consortium (formerly known as Sloan Consortium). An evaluation rubric based on these nationally recognized best practices was drafted and is currently being used, tested, and revised by ITSO and the College.


ITSO has created a Course Design Template to assist faculty in developing online courses that address key elements of the evaluation rubric. The rubric is for faculty new to online teaching, and for experienced online faculty interested in redesigning their current courses using a logical, consistent and efficient structure.

Contact us to find out more about the template. The template can also be modified to work with hybrid and blended courses.


Teaching online is different from teaching in a face-to-face course. Therefore, it makes sense that the design process of an online course will be different from that of a face-to-face course. The following list of guidelines is intended to serve as a guide to developing online courses at Hawaiʻi CC. These guidelines are based on the online evaluation rubric, accreditation standards, requirements established by federal and state law, as well as established best practices within the field of online education and distance learning.

Guidelines for creating a high quality online course:

  • The syllabus includes Student Learning Outcomes (the same as those for face-to-face versions of the course).
  • The syllabus includes statements regarding College policies such as academic honesty, disability, privacy/confidentiality, resolving academic grievances, and netiquette, as well as no-show and disappearer policies.
  • The learning in the online course is comparable in content and rigor to learning taking place in its face-to-face counterpart.
  • Course requirements, grading policies, and how evaluation of student performance will occur (e.g. assignments, quizzes, projects, exams etc.) is described.
  • Measures are taken to assure the registered student is the one doing the work of the course. If this authentication is not done through proctored exams or activities, the instructor needs to make clear alternative methods of authentication.
  • Course material is significant, current, and relevant to the course.
  • Learner-centered and authentic activities that incorporate instructor-student and student-student interaction are included, with measurable learning coming from these activities.
  • How students are to contact faculty (including office hours for those who come to campus or call) is stated. All communication and feedback is timely. Turn-around times for communication are clear so that students know what to expect.
  • The course is designed with an awareness of copyright and accessibility issues, and these issues are addressed.

ITSO has many resources that can help you check items off this list, including a syllabus template, sample statements, information on copyright and accessibility issues, and course design worksheets. Contact us for more information.


ITSO also offers services that help promote effective course planning and appropriate use of instructional strategies. Course design support services can be provided through consultations, workshops, and the provision of resources that will guide faculty through the different stages of design, development, revision, and teaching of an online course (or a component of a course).

Some specific areas of consultations include:

  • Supporting the exploration and use of innovative teaching strategies that engage students in the learning process
  • Guiding faculty in the selection of appropriate media and technology for the course
  • Assisting faculty in developing and reviewing fully online courses

ITSO offers one-on-one consultations, workshops during the fall and spring semesters, and the Online Course Development Program (OCDP) which includes a five-week fully online course during the summer. The purpose of these training opportunities is to facilitate the course design and development process. Instructional designers work collaboratively with faculty to help transform courses to the online format based on the Evaluation Rubric Standards, as well as the Principles for Universal Design for Learning (accessibility).