The Bama By Distance online course development/revision process is a collaborative effort between a content expert (faculty) and the Instructional Technology and Academic Services (ITAS) team to deliver a high quality online course that supports a University of Alabama distance degree program.

To find out if you are eligible to partner with ITAS to develop your online course or program, contact the Program Manager who serves as the liaison for your University of Alabama academic unit


What is an online course?

Online courses developed in collaboration between University of Alabama faculty and the ITAS Team are delivered in Blackboard, the University’s course learning management system.  In this environment students access course materials, conduct course activities, interact with other students, participate in discussion and collaborate on projects.  In addition, students interact with their professors and complete examinations in a secure online environment.  The ITAS Team works closely with faculty to assure that online courses are engaging, interactive and support the same academic goals as courses delivered on campus in Tuscaloosa.

The Course Development Process

As a course is identified for online development, an instructional designer is assigned to partner with the course content expert to begin the course development process. As the content expert is introduced to the course development process, the instructional designer will share information about available course development resources, processes and policies.  In addition, the content expert will be encouraged to share their ideas and goals for the course.

In addition, the content expert will learn more about the course outline and the role it plays in the development of their online course.  The development of the course outline encompasses establishing course-level learning objectives and creating the title and learning objectives of each module, resulting in a “big picture” outline view of the course. The activities and assessments intended to reinforce and assess student-learning are added to finish up the outline and provide instructional designer with sufficient information to begin to build course materials in an interactive and student-centered manner.

From there the outline is used as a guide for the content expert to create content that, with assistance from the instructional designer, evolves into a robust and interactive online course.

Following an academic department review of the course, the ITAS tech support team makes the finished course available for students in Blackboard, the University of Alabama’s online course Learning Management System.


The Course Development Schedule

In the early stages of course development, the instructional designer will suggest “milestone” dates for the content expert with the goal of staying on pace to develop and deliver the course by the pre-determined course delivery semester.  When necessary, the instructional designer will customize a development schedule that both meets the needs of the content expert while insuring there is sufficient time to produce the necessary content for the course.


Quality Matters

Quality Matters is a faculty-centered, peer review process that is designed to certify the quality of online courses and online components. QM has received national recognition for its peer-based approach to quality assurance and continuous improvement in online education.  The ITAS Team uses the QM Rubric as a guide to ensure quality in all online courses.

For Technical Support Contact:

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Phone:  (866) 205-1011