As with planning a traditional course, there are numerous areas of focus for a department and faculty to consider when planning for online delivery, including:

Programmatic Focus

  • Goals and Motivation
    • How broadly are you considering: content, courses, or entire online programs?
    • What are some of your motivations for producing online content/courses/programs?
  • Audience
    • Have you identified the audience, market segment, or enrollment potential?
    • Is the potential market reinforced by local industry or other commercial support (i.e., will employers pay for employees to take the course or program)?
  • Identifying Course or Program Alignment
    • Lower division
    • Lower division GE course
    • Upper division
    • Certification
  • Course Approval Issues
    • Is this a new or an existing course?
    • Does it require Senate or EPC approval?
    • Are there implications for WASC or other accreditation agencies?
  • Credit-bearing
    • Credit-bearing
    • Non-credit bearing
  • Delivery Term
    • Summer-only
    • Regular academic year
    • Extension
  • Student Population
    • UCLA-only
    • UC-only
    • Non-matriculated students

Pedagogical Issues

  • Course Models and Formats
    • Fully-online
    • Hybrid
    • Flipped
  • Primary method of instruction (e.g., full-length video lectures)
  • Communication strategies (synchronous vs. asynchronous)
  • Assessment and testing modes
  • Academic integrity
  • Help desk (technical and instructional)
  • Course materials (media, textbooks, readers, intellectual property, and copyright)

Administrative Issues

  • Student support
  • Accessibility
  • Intellectual Property, Copyright, and Ownership


  • Course features (video, gaming simulations, etc.)
  • Platform needs (video conferencing tool, etc.)
  • Availability (geographically disperse audience; remote student bandwidth capabilities)


  • Production costs
  • Development resources

Ongoing Commitment

  • Dean or organizational leader
  • Department chair
  • Instructor of record
  • TA availability
  • Student support
    • Levels of support
    • Setting expectations
  • Counseling


  • Market surveys and research
  • Promotion