Online Course Development Stipend Guidelines and Requirements

Course development is an exciting and creative process. Quality course design and development takes careful planning, consistent communication, and time management with instructors and instructional developers (IDs) working together. Online and Distance Education (ODE) provides full course development support to instructors, including:

  1. 1:1 course design consultation with an ID
  2. A targeted plan for the ID to develop an effective, engaging online course in Blackboard Ultra
  3. Aligning courses with national quality assurance standards for online learning
  4. Exploring strategies to enhance learner engagement

$1000 per unit Stipend

The Office of Online and Distance Education offers course development stipends for faculty and staff interested in obtaining funds to assist with the initial development of a credit course using the University’s Learning Management System (i.e., Blackboard Learn Ultra) and Quality Matters (QM) standards.

The stipend amount for UNI faculty/staff developing a new online course is $1000 per unit of credit. Payment of this stipend will be processed upon completion of a fully developed online course and a review by QM-certified instructional development staff in the Online and Distance Education office. Faculty and staff need to complete QM's foundation online professional development workshops (Applying the QM Rubric and Designing Your Online Course) to be eligible for the course development stipend.

Please note: all stipends are subject to the availability of funds.

  • Priority will be given to the development of courses that fill gaps in current offerings, increase access to educational opportunities for adult learners, enhance existing distance education programs or are part of the new UNIFI course offerings.

  • Evidence of demand for the proposed course will be considered.

  • Collaborative proposals that include the coordinated development of courses applicable to online endorsements, certificates or degree programs are encouraged.

  • ODE will pay for the development of a course only once to an approved faculty or staff member. If multiple faculty members are interested in developing the same course, the department head will determine which application should be considered by ODE.

  • Faculty and staff may apply for one additional new course development stipend as long as the course has not already been developed via the course development stipend process.

  • All course development applications must be approved by the faculty/staff member’s department head and dean.
  • Faculty and staff need to complete QM’s foundational online professional development workshops (Applying the QM Rubric and Designing Your Online Course) to be eligible for the course development stipend.
  • Instructors design the course using the standards in the QM Rubric and submit their content by the agreed-upon deadline.
  • Courses must be taught through the UNI Learning Management System (LMS), Blackboard Ultra.
  • IDs will fully develop the course in Blackboard Ultra.
  • Courses will meet the academic standards and requirements of the sponsoring department and the UNI Faculty Handbook.
  • All courses will align unit-level learning objectives to course learning outcomes (CLOs), extant program learning outcomes (PLOs), and UNI university-wide student learning outcomes (SLOs). Instructors submit a completed Course Objective Mapping Form.
  • Intended course level outcomes and actual student achievement in an online course must be equivalent to those for the same course taught face to face.
  • The aggregation of time on tasks, assignment, and interactions in an online course must reflect rigor and expectations equivalent to the federal definition of the credit hour—15 hours of direct faculty instruction and a minimum of 30 hours of out-of-class student work for each credit hour awarded. 
  • Each time your course runs, and for any subsequent online courses taught through ODE, you are expected to work directly in partnership with a member of the ODE Instructional Development team and to follow QM standards.
  • Faculty and staff who receive the stipend will be expected to continue to develop any future online courses using the QM process and standards.
  • Courses that receive the course development stipend must be offered during the first semester after development and at least one additional time during the next two years.

Timeline for Course Development

For faculty and staff wishing to offer the course during the Fall 2024 term, the application deadline is May 6, 2024.  All materials must be submitted to ODE by July 3, 2024.

For faculty and staff wishing to offer the course during the Spring 2025 term, the application deadline is September 16, 2024. All materials must be submitted to ODE by October 30, 2024.

For faculty and staff wishing to offer the course during the Summer 2025 term, the application deadline is February 3, 2025. All materials must be submitted to ODE as follows:

  • April 1, 2025 for May session
  • May 2, 2025 for June session
  • June 2, 2025 for July session

Intellectual Property Rights

All online courses are subject to the University of Northern Iowa Policy on Distributed Learning and Intellectual Property Rights. See to review these guidelines.

For questions regarding this application, please contact Caran Howard at or 319-273-7639