A free weeklong webinar series offered by Penn State’s Information Technology Services unit that will discuss five key phases of massive open online course (MOOC) or online course creation:

  1. Planning
  2. Design
  3. Development
  4. Delivery
  5. Evaluation


By attending this series, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of how to create online educational resources with a high level of quality and professionalism. Each session in this webinar has been crafted to provide you with a detailed understanding of each phase of the course creation process, how to adequately prepare, what types of information to gather and key questions to ask to ensure you are reaching the highest level of quality possible.


  • Effectively planning your course design and development projects
  • Discussion of the design process and major challenges associated with creating MOOCs
  • Selecting the appropriate types of media to use and how to successfully develop them
  • Practices, approaches and challenges associated with delivering MOOCs
  • Strategies for evaluating online courses


In 2013, members of our Penn State instructional design community attended a series of webinars on MOOCs. We were disappointed to find that most of the sessions offered minimal information for instructional designers or other professionals who are involved in the creation process. While it is important to understand the nuances of teaching a MOOC, it is equally important to understand how to create one. Thus, the idea for the series was born.

Penn State is one of only a few institutions that employ instructional designers to help guide and facilitate the creation of online courses, MOOCs, and open educational resources. In addition, most Penn State colleges have their own units dedicated to the creation of online resources, which provides our online initiatives the opportunity to excel.

The value of employing well-formed design and development teams can clearly be observed in the MOOCs recently offered by Penn State. With retention rates as high as 17 percent (Art Fundamentals) and an international first place ranking out of 200+ science MOOCs (Epidemics: Infectious Disease Dynamics) on CourseTalk,  the benefits of a collaborative relationship between faculty and instructional designers is proven to be a successful component of any online initiative.