The Peabody Institute offers faculty the opportunity to formally develop fully-online courses in collaboration with the Learning Innovation team (LI). This page provides basic information about the process of developing a fully online course with the support of an instructional designer and development team. One of the primary functions of the Learning Innovation is to promote and support the innovative use of academic technologies and enhance teaching and learning; the online course development process is the cornerstone of this mission.

Course Development Process

What to Expect  

Throughout the process, the faculty and the LI team plan, design, develop, and implement the course, and construct a teaching plan that incorporates strategies addressing our diverse student population and learner variability. The online course development process is a six-month cycle that includes four phases: (1) Planning, (2) Content Development, (3) Quality Review, (4) Launch and Iteration.

Some of the key experiences you’ll encounter as part of this process:  

  • Course design that starts with learning objectives and an assessment plan
  • Technology integration and how to improve the student experience
  • Identification of and collaboration on pedagogical best practices for online teaching methods
  • Opportunities for professional development relative to online course development, online teaching best practices, and universal design for learning 

Roles and Responsibilities

The course development team includes the faculty course developer, the instructional designer, the instructional technologist, the librarian, and the multimedia specialist. Several members of leadership also participate in the course development process to ensure the completed course meets academic and institutional standards.

Faculty should expect to dedicate 5-10 hours per week on average over the 6-month development period (see the timeline breakdown below). This is not an exaggeration. By the time course development is complete, prior to the beginning of the first time the course runs, the course will be fully developed from learning objectives and assessments to content map and live session structure.


The formal course design process with the LI team is six months in length. Faculty may begin independently prior to the formal process if desired, but the development must be completed by the end of the formal process. The timeline and deadlines are based on the contractual terms, not when students have access to the course. In some cases, a course may be developed more than a semester before it is available to students. The visual below outlines the phases and timing within the 6-month cycle. The duration of the phases within the cycle is flexible; the 6-month completion timeline is not.

Course Development Timeline

For more information regarding the course development process, please download Peabody’s official Online Course Development Guide.

Online Course Proposals

Online Course Proposal Details

Online course proposals may include brand new content areas or may be established courses to be converted to a fully-online format. The Peabody Institute has the capacity to develop six fully-online 3-credit courses per year (or the equivalent thereof). Two courses are developed in each of the development cycles below. Faculty contracts for course development are signed one month prior to the start of the course development – on January 1, May 1, and September 1. All of these slots are utilized based on institutional needs; a portion are pre-filled by leadership in the Conservatory and Preparatory, and any remaining slots will be filled from the pool of proposals.

Any stipends and other terms will be included in a faculty’s online course development contract.

Any faculty who would like to develop a fully-online course in collaboration with the LI team may submit a proposal. The proposal must include all the necessary details, as well as the signature of the Chair overseeing the content area. If the proposal is being submitted by a Chair, it must contain the signature of their Senior Associate Dean.

Course Selection and Approval Processes

A committee consisting of senior leadership, select staff, and faculty will review the submissions. The committee will meet approximately six weeks before the beginning of each development cycle. If a selected course is new to Peabody, the course will then be processed through the Curriculum Committee. The Online Course Coordinator will notify the chosen developers at least two weeks prior to the contract deadline and six weeks prior to the start of development.

Proposal Cut Off Date Developers Notified Signed Contract Development Starts
July 15 August 15 September 1 October 1
November 15 December 15 January 1 February 1
March 15 April 15 May 1 June 1

The committee will review proposals considering the following factors:

  • Academic Merit and Clarity of Course Plan
  • Number of Students Affected
  • Complement and/or Diversify Existing Course Offerings
  • Possible use for External General Education
  • Possible Interest for External Music Students

Submit an Online Course Proposal

To submit an online course proposal:

  • Download and complete the Online Course Proposal PDF. Note that the form needs to be signed by both the proposed course developer and the department chair for the department in which the course will reside.
  • Submit the completed PDF via the Online Course Proposal form.