Projects will consist of three stages: professional development, design, and quality assurance. Not all projects will be the same and the Provost’s office is interested in having campus leaders articulate pathways that will lead to online and hybrid courses that make sense for your College and its circumstances. At the same time, we also want to provide enough structure in this RFP to guide the creation of your program or common thread. In the spirit of allowing space to dream up your project within a framework, please articulate the pathway you envision for your project, based upon the criteria listed below. Feel free to discuss ideas for your pathway with members of Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning or knowledgeable people in your area. You may find some examples of pathways in the FAQ section.

Professional Development

Professional development refers to the intellectual and practical skills that instructors will want to hone for their courses. For example, instructors who are new to online instruction may want more general training in designing and delivering courses for the online environment. More experienced instructors may wish for targeted training about specific aspects of online teaching, such as facilitating group work.


The design phase occurs on two levels at once. At the curricular level, the design phase is concerned with the overall tone of the program or common thread. To what degree should the courses have a similar look and feel? What shared experiences will there be among the students? To what degree will students across the modalities (online, face-to-face, hybrid) interact? How will the program ensure a common student experience in all modalities?

On the course level, the design phase will seek to have each course express the vision the instructor has for it. At this level, we will seek to implement the information from the professional development phase in the particular courses.

The extent of commonality of design will depend upon the interests of the program or common thread that writes the application. Some applicants may wish to use a community of practice model for design and have regular meetings to decide upon key elements of their curricular and course design. Other programs may opt for greater autonomy and allow instructors to develop their courses largely on their own (in consultation with CATL).

Quality Assurance

How will you ensure that courses in your program will encourage the student experiences you are after in a sustainable way? Quality assurance need not be heavy handed. In fact, it should be a collegial, learning experience. It can be a method for instructors to learn from each other and exchange ideas for teaching within a common curriculum. Simple methods of quality assurance can include the development of a checklist that is based upon the course design elements that instructors agree upon. More involved methods can include a peer review process. Another idea can be for instructors to agree upon implementing a scholarly teaching practice and reporting their findings out to each other. The process you choose should be sustainable by your instructors and be organic to the type of project you envision.