Shared Course Preparation Checklist

Utilizing the same master shell between multiple faculty is a great way to ensure students have the same experience regardless of who is facilitating the course. When developing and facilitating the course, you may want to consider the following areas within the course design and adjust elements to meet your personal preferences. You’ll want to review the following aspects of the course and ensure the elements are tailored to meet your expectations and needs.


Review the Syllabus to ensure the faculty information, course policies, communication policies, and feedback expectations are tailored to your preferences. 

Weekly/Module Announcements

Weekly announcements are part of your faculty presence and contribute to the overall communication of the course. Additionally, announcements can be pre-made and set to release on a specific date. Set up your weekly announcements based on your Presence Plan.

Getting Started Module

Course Welcome

In this section you may want to introduce the students to the course outcomes and content and also provide a video, audio, or written tour of the course. Additionally, many faculty record a welcome video for students.

Course Policies

Review the policies to ensure everything matches the syllabus. Office hours, communication methods, and communication expectations typically vary between faculty.

Faculty Introduction

This page may be left intentionally blank in the design process or pre-filled with another faculty member’s information. Be sure to review the contact information and office hours to ensure accuracy. Provide students with an introduction to who you are and add a picture so they can see you as well.

Student Introduction Discussion

It is best practice to model the behaviors you’d like to see in your online course, so many faculty provide a a model discussion post on the Student Introduction discussion. If another faculty member has commented, you can delete the post. Once deleted, create your own post to share with students and model the introduction behaviors you’d like to see.

Content Pages

Weekly/Module Overviews

Many faculty like to share personal experiences and stories in their introductions to each week. Review the overview pages to ensure the introductions align with what you want. Additionally, many faculty record quick 2- to 3-minute introduction videos each week. This is another great way to increase your presence.

Weekly/Module Lectures

  • Verify all resources, activities, and links work, and that they are current and relevant to the learning experience. Do not assume that all the videos or resources that you link to are still active. Some LMSs, like Canvas, have a link validator to examine broken links for you.
  • Check to ensure that all online readings and videos are still linked and accessible to students.
  • Correct spelling or grammatical errors in course content, announcements, your discussion posts, etc.
  • Ensure the dates for assignments, modules, etc. are current and correct.
  • Review the gradebook setting. As grades are so critical to students, an error on this page will increase the number of emails you will receive.

Faculty Presence

Faculty presence should be intentionally implemented in both the design and delivery of a course. A proactive, not reactive, approach considers presence strategies before students enter the online classroom. You should participate frequently in the course at both a course and individual level. Messaging should be timely, well-planned, and draw attention to what is important.  Consider adopting an “open door policy” when it comes to students who need additional support. You may have different cadences for announcements, check-ins, and student contact, creating a weekly Presence Plan can help outline what to do and when. 

Weekly Presence Plan Example

Presence Strategy M T W T F S S
General Announcements X   X   X
Office Hours   X   X
At-Risk Check-Ins     X X
Shout-Outs     X X
Mentoring   X