Development Services

Professional Development| Quality Assurance and Assessment | Multimedia Development | Instructional and Organizational Design

Professional Development

We are committed to ensuring that instructors are prepared to teach quality, online courses. Therefore, we offer a variety of services, including consulting on instructional design and development, as well as facilitation and management of online courses. Instructors work one-on-one with designers and technologists to develop their course. Likewise, they have the opportunity to receive pedagogical and technological assistance on a variety of topics to teach the course.

Instructors also have the option to take workshops and/or explore our comprehensive website, both provide strategies for designing, teaching, and engaging learners in an online course. For more information about these opportunities please visit our Designing and Teaching Online Courses resource page.

Quality Online Course Design Using Quality Matters

There are many factors that affect the quality of an online course, including: course design, course delivery, course content, technology, institutional infrastructure, faculty readiness for online teaching, and student readiness for online learning and support. That is why the Educational Innovations team is committed to work with UW-Madison faculty to develop quality online courses.

A metric for success.

To focus on course design, the Educational Innovation uses the valuable tool known as Quality Matters (QM), a faculty-centered, peer review process designed to certify the quality of online and blended courses. The QM rubric consists of eight General Standards and 43 Specific Review Standards—all of which were selected because research, national standards, and instructional design principles have found these elements to positively impact student learning.

Why we use Quality Matters.

UW-Madison subscribes to Quality Matters so instructors can use the research-based rubric as a guide to develop their course. Instructors can also participate in either an informal or formal peer review process to receive constructive feedback to improve course design. The annotations provided in the QM Rubric are quite extensive and address the nuances in each standard, issues of interpretation and examples of good and poor practice.

For an in-depth summary of the rubric standards, visit

To view a rubric with annotations or for information on QM course reviews and future training opportunities, contact Karen Skibba,


To assist faculty with online course development, we offer a variety of services, from design consultations to development and multimedia support. Our experts work with faculty to create multimedia components that help them meet course objectives, including:

  • Lecture Capture
  • Video Services (Filming and Editing)
  • Audio Services (Recording and Editing)
  • Podcasting
  • Narrated PowerPoints
  • Interactive Case Studies and Scenarios and other Instructional Tools
  • ADA Accessible Course Materials
  • Graphic enhancements

Please note that our services are not limited to this list. We are always looking for innovative ways to work with faculty and deliver content to students.

Instructional and Organizational Design

Teaching online involves more than just converting your in-class documents into a digital format and using a course management system. The success of an online course also depend heavily on the following dynamics:

  • The way course material is organized and presented
  • The pace of the course—it needs to allow for  self-paced instruction under a controlled schedule
  • The meaningful interaction of students with content, instructor with students, and sometimes students with students

While technology plays a major role in delivering a course online, the ultimate success depends on how the dynamics listed above are integrated into course design. Here are some brief tips on “How [not] to Design an Online Course”.

The keys to success: We can help you to build the ultimate online course

To help faculty with online course design, the Educational Innovations team utilizes the following strategies:

Quality Matters

Quality Matters emphasizes that it is important to employ a deliberate design process when developing online or blended courses. This process includes purposefully selecting instructional methods, content, activities, and assessments to help learners acquire skills and knowledge. It is important to organize instruction and develop coherent learning units that can easily be understood by the learner.

"Critical course elements work together to ensure that students achieve the desired learning outcomes."

As this statement suggest, the most important concept in Quality Matters is alignment. Taking a holistic view of the course and research, Quality Matters has found students learn best when course objectives ALIGN with:

  • Assessments
  • Interaction
  • Technology
  • Resources and materials

More details on the rubric and alignment are available on the Quality Matters Website:

Backward Design Process

In the Backward Design Process, instructors design their courses based upon the following three questions:

  • What is worthy and requiring of understanding?
  • What is evidence of understanding?
  • What learning experiences and teaching promote understanding, interest, and excellence?

For more information regarding the Backwards Design Process, click here.


When developing a course, it is important to follow an instructional design model. Do so will allow you to thoroughly think through important questions regarding course design and delivery. The most common model used by instructional design experts is the ADDIE model, which stands for:

Analyze—Pre-planning stage focused on the BIG picture and identifying what must be preserved and transformed in your course redesign.
Design—Planning stage where learning activities and key course components are identified
Develop—Creation of the learning activities, assessment plans and content for your course.
Implement—Delivery stage; this happens when you actually teach your course.
Evaluate—Determining the effectiveness of the course and planning for future improvements.







Take an in-depth look at each of these steps here: