OID Levels of Service

Online Course Design:

Levels of Service and Timelines for Delivery

If you are looking for some help with your hybrid or online course, you are in the right place. This document is intended to offer some starting points and guidelines for our course design and revision services. Estimates of the faculty time commitment required to complete each service are included.

We also provide training in online teaching issues and online course tools. Interested in learning more? You may want to explore our ongoing Faculty Training Workshops, our Online Teaching Certificate Workshops or our Faculty Resources pages.

You can use the jump menu, below, to navigate to the section of this page you need.


What to Expect

Instructional design projects run the gamut from minor edits to full-fledged course build-out, covering a wide range of tasks, levels of complexity, technologies employed, etc. Proper needs assessment as well as advance planning allow us to budget our resources--and your time--and ensure the successful and timely completion of your design requirements.

Please take the time to read the following description of our levels of service. It is designed as a helpful reference as you plan for your hybrid or online course.

Some of you may have already worked with prior instructional design teams. Please be aware that our services may not be identical to your previous experience. We focus on partnering with the instructor to ensure that each course meets best practices for online course design. In addition, we aim to empower the instructor with the skills necessary for effective course delivery and maintenance. This may include training and practice with relevant education technology tools.


About Us

Who We Are

We are the Office of Instructional Design, part of the Center for Online & Hybrid Learning and Instructional Technologies (COHLIT), Division of Continuing Studies, Rutgers University.

Where We Are

Center for Online & Hybrid Learning and Instructional Technologies (COHLIT)

Rutgers University

55 Commercial Ave., Suite 201

Public Safety Building, College Ave Campus

New Brunswick, NJ 08901

How to Reach Us

Email: oid@docs.rutgers.edu

Phone: 848-932-4702 - Rutgers Online Learning Help Desk (ask for an Instructional Design team member)

For immediate technical assistance, contact our Rutgers Online Learning Help Desk at 848-260-2941 (24/7/365)


How to Get Started with Course Design

Let us  know what Level of Service you need. Email oid@docs.rutgers.edu and tell us what you need, whether a quick fix, extended support, or full course design. One of our Instructional Designers will ask for some basic information and set up an informational meeting if necessary.

If you are interested in designing or substantially revising a course, please also complete our Course Intake Worksheet. This will give us a better idea of your needs.

If you don’t hear back from us within 48 hours, please feel free to email or phone again.

[click here for a fillable PDF version of the Course Intake Worksheet]

[click here for a MS Word version of the Course Intake Worksheet]

When you have completed the Intake Worksheet, please email it to us at oid@docs.rutgers.edu.


Course Design Level 1: Quick Fix (1-2 Days)


A quick fix call should be made when you require 1-3 minor revisions. Every effort will be made to complete faculty requests for a quick fix within 2 working days.


1-3 minor revisions

Examples of a ‘Quick Fix’:

Adjusting due dates for weekly discussions; updates to a course calendar; editing or moving text from one module to another; updating due dates, incorporating library links; adding instructions.

Expected Faculty Time Commitment:

Up to 2 hrs

OID Deliverable:

Resolution within 2 days

Please Note: Only minor revisions can be accommodated in this category. Ideally, all revisions should be completed before students access the course, but if an issue comes up while a course is running please don't hesitate to contact us.


Course Design Level 2: Extended Support (2-8 weeks)


Ask for extended support when you need help with a specific, complex or multi-stage task. This may include course revisions or new content development.


4-10 minor revisions or larger task

Example of an ‘Extended’ service:

Creating a new major course project, and scaffolding it through several sub-project stages. Identifying and implementing an appropriate tool for a particular assignment such as, for example, using VoiceThread for a student presentation.

Expected Faculty Time Commitment:

Up to 10 hours

OID Deliverable:

Resolution within 2 - 8 weeks

Please Note: If you have more than 10 major revisions to make to a course, you should consider it a full course revision. Please see Level 3 below.


Timeline for Course Revisions or New Content Development

  • 1 revision / content item – 1 week minimum

  • Faculty Commitment: 5 hrs / revision or content item

Please count on at least a week for development of each revision or new content item.  If the content item is a complex one or requires the assistance of other COHLIT units (for example, an interactive game or video with embedded comprehension quizzes) 2-6 weeks may be necessary.


Course Design Level 3: Full Course Design or Revision (one semester)

Design (Full Course)


Ask for full course design when you are planning your hybrid or online course or major revision and you have at least one semester to complete the planning stage.


Multiple, see stages below.

Example of a ‘full course design’ service:

Your department chair has just offered you the opportunity to teach online for the first time. You have a syllabus but not much else.

Expected Faculty Time Commitment:

5 hrs/week, one semester

OID Deliverable:

Resolution within one semester

Please Note: requests for full course design must be made at least one full semester prior to course launch. No prior experience with educational tools or online teaching is necessary. We will train you as needed.

Course  Design Phases

  1. Kickoff: This is the initial consultation with faculty member to discuss the course and any ideas or materials on hand.

  2. Early Planning & Course Map (4 weeks): This is to create a map of course and module level learning objectives, course materials, and assignments that will allow students to process materials and practice to achieve objectives. The map does not need to be detailed at this stage, but objectives, at least, should be developed fairly thoroughly.

  3. Module-by-Module Planning/Development (1 week/module = up to 15 weeks): This is where detailed planning of each module, its materials, and its activities takes place. This is also when development of materials like video lectures and multimedia presentation assignments is done.

  4. Quality Assurance Review (2 weeks): This is where the course is reviewed to make sure it meets the best practice standards for online instruction.

  5. Revision (1-4 weeks): If any revisions are recommended in QA, this is when adjustments can be made, prior to course launch.


Revision (Full Course)


Ask for this service when you plan to revise your existing online course which will result in changes to more than 50% of your online modules.


Multiple, see stages below.

Example of a ‘full course revision’ service:

You've taught this course online before but want to revise it for its next run, or you've inherited a course that's been developed already but want to tweak the majority of activities, assignments or lectures.

Expected Faculty Time Commitment:

5 hrs/week, one semester

OID Deliverable:

Resolution within one semester

Course Revision Phases

A full course revision involves changing half to two-thirds of the course content, or making ten or more major revisions to an existing course. At this point, OID strongly recommends the following steps:

  1. Course Map (2 weeks): Map out the revised modules or items to make sure they are consistent with your course learning objectives, and that any new content is integrated and aligned with your objectives.

  2. Module-by-Module Planning/Development (1 week/module): Allow one week to plan and develop each new or substantially revised module.

  3. Quality Assurance Review (2 weeks): A substantially revised course calls for review, to ensure it continues to meet best practice standards for online instruction.


Definition of Terms

Course Representative / Faculty / Instructor:

We use these terms interchangeably

Full Course Design:

A one-semester commitment where a single instructor partners with an instructional designer to build a course from the ground up. The course may or may not have been designed or taught previously. Minimum Expected faculty commitment: 5 hours per week.

Full Course Revision:

A commitment of 2-4 months where a single instructor partners with an instructional designer to revise an existing course. This may involve introducing new technologies, redesigning activities or assignments, or reconceptualizing the entire course. Minimum Expected faculty commitment: 5 hours per week.

Instructional Designer:

Assists faculty by providing instructional technology support

Major Course Revision:

Changing a module worth of content; altering the titles of all the modules in the menu and landing pages, and course schedule; deleting a module and building a new one; advising on re-writing or changing the nature of an assignment; formatting a content page into valid and accessible HTML from a Word or Google document; formatting a module worth of content for consistent/attractive appearance.

Minor Course Revision:

Changing a few paragraphs worth of content; altering the title of a module in the menu and landing pages, and course schedule; moving a content item into new location and editing framing directions; advising on tweaking the wording of an existing assignment; formatting a single content item for consistent/attractive appearance.

New Content Development:

Creating a new assignment; advising and assisting with the creation of a new video lecture; locating and acquiring multimedia such as a movie for students to watch; formatting a new content page from a Word or Google document.

Online Teaching Certificate:

This is a four course, non-credit Online Teaching Certificate available to Rutgers and non-Rutgers faculty, staff, and graduate students members.  These courses are designed to prepare you for online teaching or sharpen your skills if you are already teaching online. Courses can be completed in any sequence.

Training (workshops):

In addition to course design, we also provide hands on workshop training in online teaching issues and online course tools. Interested in learning more? You may want to explore our ongoing Faculty Training Workshops, or our Faculty Training Videos page.

Training (customized):

Need to learn more about the gradebook? Or VoiceThread? Or another course tool? We can meet with you in person or online. Please allow at least one week to match schedules with an instructional designer for one-to-one training in the use of course tools. Allow one hour for our meeting, and set aside one hour following the meeting for your own independent practice and setup. Plan for 1 tool or issue = 1 hour of training. Is your faculty interested in a customized-for-your-department meeting or faculty retreat? Upon request, we can customize a training session that focuses on the needs of your faculty or program. Duration of sessions range from an hour to a full day.


Things to Keep In Mind

M-F Work Week: OID is an office, not a faculty department, and the staff keep weekday office hours. The Help Desk has more wide-reaching hours. If you require immediate technical assistance, please reach out to the Help Desk.

Multiple Clients: OID serves all of Rutgers University. Instructional designers will always be working with more than one faculty member at a time, and often with 3-4, and cannot devote all of their time to any one client.



Required Timelines: Requests for many major revisions or full course development will not be accepted less than 10 weeks before course launch date.

Faculty Deadlines: Faculty are expected to meet established deadlines. OID cannot guarantee project completion if the faculty member does not provide the necessary information or materials.

OID Time Commitment: After we review and discuss your course intake form with you, we will assign the OID time commitment (in # of hours). Once the time limit has been reached, for example if the scope of the work changed significantly, we cannot guarantee extensions.

Faculty Authorship and Ownership of Content: OID cannot write content for faculty (e.g. create an assignment, select materials, etc.). Each faculty member is expert in their own field and will be the one teaching the students; they are the only ones with the knowledge and context to write the course content. OID can help format content, can advise on content, and can assist in creation of multimedia content, but cannot compose content for faculty. For this very reason, all course content belongs to the faculty (as defined by the faculty member’s contract with the University).

Accessibility: we are committed to providing fully accessible content for students.

Quality Matters: our office relies on the QM rubric as the standard for best practices with online course design. To learn more about QM, visit the Quality Matters website.


Q & A

Q: I’m confused about all the units that are part of COHLIT - should I call the Rutgers Online Help Desk or your Office of Instructional Design?

A: If you need immediate assistance and a quick resolution with a technical issue, your best bet is the Help Desk; they have extended hours to assist you. If you would like some time with an expert to brainstorm or set-up multi-staged tasks or you have questions related to online pedagogy, reach out to an Instructional Designer.


Q: I was hired to teach an existing Master Course and it is already complete. Am I allowed to make changes?

A: COHLIT does not determine policy when it comes to course content. If you are unsure about what changes you are allowed to make, ask your Department Chair or Program Director. We are happy to assist you in making approved changes.


Q: How do I learn more about copyright and licensing issues?

A: Visit the Rutgers Library's website on Copyright.


Q: My course already started. I just realized that I made a mistake. Do I have to wait until next semester or can changes be made now?

A: Yes, but it depends on the situation. Our priority is ensuring that students do not encounter barriers as they learn. We understand that there are urgent situations that require immediate intervention (for example, when a student can’t access a required reading or see an assignment grade). If your issue is not urgent, however, we ask that you wait until next semester to make improvements. It’s difficult to make changes to an active course. In order to avoid confusing students we will not accept applications for substantial revisions (Course Design Levels 2 or 3) to a course that is currently in session. If you want to start work on revisions for next term, though, we are happy to work with you on a fresh copy of the course!


Q: What are some examples of “quick fixes” (i.e. Level 1 Service)?

A: Editing or moving a content item; updating the course scheduler; inserting general directions about how to use tools; incorporating persistent links for access to libraries materials including journal articles.


Q: What are some examples of “extended support” (i.e. Level 2 Service)?

A: One or more of the following: creating a new module or assignment; cleaning up formatting throughout a module or whole course; re-structuring a module to, for example, center around different materials or activities; gradebook fix; identifying and implementing an appropriate tool for a particular assignment such as, for example, using VoiceThread for a student presentation.


Q: I don’t understand the terminology you are using. Where do I begin?

A: We suggest you sign up for some of our “intro” level Training Sessions, or explore our Online Teaching Certificate Workshops or our Faculty Resources pages.