Utah Tech Online


Backward Design

A backward design process is used to ensure that the course learning outcomes are achieved and aligned with the learning activities and assessments.

The course design process is a collaborative team effort that often includes multiple team members including, but not limited to:

  • Faculty Course Lead or Approved Discipline Expert
  • Learning Designer
  • Peer Reviewers (including the Department Chair and/or Program Coordinator/Director)
  • Project Manager
  • Technologists
  • Library Specialist
  • Media Designer/Specialist

backwards design process

Planning to Pilot

The course development process is comprised of 4 phases: planning, design, development, and pilot.

Development compensation is available to eligible faculty according to course credit hours. Payments are associated with designated deliverables associated with the design, development, and pilot phases of the project.

Priority is given to courses that are associated with online programs and General Education (or other high-enrolled courses) where master course designs are applied.


Timeline: 1-2 weeks


  • Organize Team
  • Project Agreement
  • Kick-Off Meeting


Timeline: 6-7 weeks


  • Design Plan
  • Module Prototype
  • Department Review

Payment 1: 40%


Timeline: Up to 4 months


  • Module Development
  • Active Learning Activities
  • Department Review

Payment 2: 45%


Timeline: Up to 4 months


  • Course Revisions
  • Teaching Guide

Payment 3: 15%

Synchronous vs Asynchronous

Isn’t all online learning the same? No! There are different ways online classes can be delivered, and you can learn more about synchronous and asynchronous learning in this downloadable pdf. Utah Tech Online can help you design a course with either (or both) methods.

Get the pdf here


Who owns a developed course?

As per Utah Tech University Policy 160 (reference 4.2) UT designates online course development as a Commissioned Work and as such acquires and retains title to all Utah Tech IP related to the online course as developed.  Decisions related to the use of the online course will be under the direction of the academic department to which the course is assigned.

Why does Utah Tech retain rights to the developed content?

By retaining the content, departments can continue to offer courses after an instructor leaves or stops teaching a course. This is essential to providing consistency for online students who need specific courses to complete their online programs.

Additionally, retaining content, allows a department to develop a course that can be re-assigned to other faculty as needed.

Can another faculty member use a course design that I developed?

The department may assign another faculty member to use previously developed course content for a Utah Tech course. The faculty may adapt and personalize the content to fit their individual needs.

What happens to media or lecture recordings that are developed?

Decisions on the re-use of developed content (digital media and other recorded content) will be made by the academic department in consultation with the original content developer and new instructor. We encourage new instructors to re-record any media containing an original instructor’s voice or image.

Can faculty use the developed materials outside of Utah Tech University?

Once the course has been developed the developer/instructor may retain copies of the content to be used at another institution provided they receive permission from their academic department.

Ever wondered

What Does a Learning Designer Do?

If you’ve ever wondered what exactly a Learning Designer does, take a moment to listen to our staff talk about what design is all about.

Watch video


Talk to Huck

Display image of Huck Stewart

Huck Stewart

Learning Design Manager

Email: huck.stewart@utahtech.edu
Phone: 435-879-4838
Office: TECH 113B