Course Development and Review Process

Faculty interested in teaching online are encouraged to connect with MTSU Online regarding the course development process.  This process is intended to connect faculty with Instructional Designers and with best practice resources to support the development of high quality, engaging courses.   

Synchronous Online Course Development

At the direction of the Provost, MTSU Online reviews courses offered as Synchronous (formerly called "remote") and Synchronous/Online. To offer a synchronous online course please follow these steps as the faculty developer.

  1. Get approval from your department chair to offer the synchronous course.
  2. Complete this brief course self-report -- the MTSU Synchronous Course Checklist. 
  3. A MTSU Online instructional designer will review your submitted checklist and your D2L shell and provide feedback to you about elements relating to FERPA, accessibility, and SACS accreditation standards. 

If a course has already been offered as synchronous (remote) in a previous term, the course does not have to be reviewed by MTSU Online and you do not have to complete the checklist.

Unlike blended and fully asynchronous online courses, compensation is not available for Synchronous (Remote) and Synchronous/Online course development. 

Asynchronous Online Course Development 

  1. Complete and submit a Course Development Proposal Form.
  2. Submit a draft Syllabus using the accessible syllabus template within D2L.
  3. Sign an Online Course Development Agreement.
  4. Meet with your designated MTSU Online Instructional Designer who will support you through development process. 

Note that new online and hybrid courses are added to a semester schedule only after the peer review/approval process has been completed. 

Semester Course to be Offered Proposal Due Dates Course Completion and Self Evaluation Dates
Summer & Fall October 1 March 1
Spring April 15 October 1

Course Delivery Approval Process

This section describes the process to be followed when development of a new online or hybrid course is complete.  New online and hybrid courses are not listed in the distance section of the semester schedule until this process is complete, and new courses may not be added to a semester schedule less than four weeks prior to the beginning of a semester. 

Course Approval Instructions 

  • When the development of an online or hybrid course is complete, please follow these instructions for delivery approval.     

Course Designer 

  • Adds the assigned Online Faculty Mentor (OFM) and department chair or school director to the course by completing the Add A User Request Form.  ITD should inform the course designer when they are added. 
  • Conducts a self-evaluation of the course using the Peer Review Form. 
  • Emails the self-evaluation to the assigned instructional designer to begin the review process. 
  • Has the opportunity to make revisions based on OFM recommendations. 

MTSU Online Faculty Services 

  • Requests course review and approval by emailing the completed Peer Review and Course Approval forms to the appropriate department chair/school director. 


  • Chair/school director reviews the course design and content. 
  • Signs Course Approval Form to either approve or not approve the course for delivery.  Modification instructions must be included for non-approved courses. 
  • The signed original Course Approval Form or a scanned/signed copy must be sent to MTSU Online Faculty Services. 

MTSU Online Faculty Services 

Approved Courses: 

  • MTSU Online Faculty Services adds the approved course to the Approved Distance Courses inventory. 
  • Backs up the course content onto a private server in the MTSU Online Faculty Services Office for security and archival purposes. 
  • Emails the Scheduling Center that the course designer’s department/school may add the course to the target semester schedule. 
  • Completes a pay document to compensate the course designer per the fee noted in the development agreement. 
  • Emails the course designer that the pay document has been completed. 

Non-approved Courses: 

  • Modification instructions (determined by the chair/director) are sent to the course designer by MTSU Online Faculty Services. 
  • MTSU Online Faculty Services sends the final Peer Review Form and the Approval Form to the Chair/School Director. 
  • When the course is approved, the instructions for Approved Courses above apply. 


  • Adds course to the semester schedule. 
  • Schedules meeting rooms as required for hybrid courses. 
  • Schedules meeting rooms for optional meetings for online students, if requested by instructor. 

Course Designer 

  • Receives development fee usually within eight (8) weeks of course approval (if Online/Hybrid Course Development Agreement is approved and on file in MTSU Online Faculty Services). 
  • Teaches the course in the target semester. 
  • Serves as the lead designer of the course for the term of the three-year contract, the duties of which include: 
  • updating the master shell each semester as necessary 
  • familiarizing other professors with instruction of the course and assisting in updating welcome page, contact information, and calendar; 
  • sharing and uploading course for sectional instructors; 
  • working with department to obtain textbooks and other course materials; 
  • working with the department to schedule the course.