This week I thought it might be useful to talk about development plans, as I work within them nearly everyday within my current role.
What is a Development Plan?
A development plan is a document that outlines an entire course. Typically, it will consist of the following information:
- Course Developer, including contact information
- General Course Information, such as:
- Course Name
- Course Title
- Calendar Description
- Required Text
- Credit Weight
- Overall Course Goals
- When the course will be offered or revised
- Enrolment information
- High-Level Leaning Objectives
- Module Information, including:
- Module Names
- Module-Specific Learning Objectives
- Learning Activities, which may or may not be assessed
- References or Resources (e.g. module readings/videos/etc.)
- Assignment Information
- Assessment and Evaluation Strategy
Wow. That’s a lot of information. Why is a Development Plan important?
That’s exactly why development plans are important – because that IS a lot of information! Development plans serve as a course outline, and streamline things once the course developer gets to the development phase. A well written development plan will have a lot of elements that have been fleshed out and are ready to be copied from the development plan into the course site.
Development plans are also important because they allow key reviewers (e.g. department chairs, subject matter experts, etc.) to review the plan and make necessary changes or recommendations prior to entering the development phase…and it’s a lot easier to modify a Word document than it is to modify content in an authoring tool.
In online learning, development plans may also come in handy when it comes to fleshing out your activities and assessment strategies with an instructional designer, especially if you’re used to teaching in more traditional mediums (e.g. in a classroom).