Online course contents periodically require updating to remain current and relevant, to align with evolving curricular needs, updated texts or other resources, and to best capitalize on new methods and technologies. To accomplish this, a course update or a course revision is completed.
An update is most often performed when a new edition of a textbook is released, especially if copies of the older edition become difficult to obtain. In order to transition to use of the new edition, adjustments within the course shell to correct specific references to the book, such as page numbers, are necessary. As a preliminary step, differences between the previous edition and the next are identified to ensure content used in the course has not been omitted.
To begin, eLearning Delivery and Support (eLD&S) procures a copy of the new edition, identifies changes in the text, and makes corresponding adjustments within the Ready to Teach shell. If the course uses publisher resources such as PowerPoint slides, test banks, videos, etc. these updated items are brought into the course, replacing those from the older edition. If not already present, additional resources that might be of help to students such as APA formatting and writing resources, best practice guides, or information about relevant tutoring services may be added as supplements to the course. eLD&S works with faculty designated by the department to obtain guidance and to provide a review of the updated course.
In contrast to a course update, a course revision includes fundamental changes to the course curriculum, prompted by departmental and/or programmatic needs. When these necessary changes alter the course structure 30% or more from its prior state, then the project is considered a revision. The department identifies faculty to complete the revision. The faculty completes a revision scoping form, detailing the types of changes and documenting why they are needed. Revisions fall into one of the following categories: 1/3 revision, 2/3 revision or full revision. The extent of the revision determines a corresponding level of pay to the faculty in accordance with the Faculty Association Agreement. Faculty work in a cohort of other individuals also working on course revisions, matched with an instructional designer, media, library, and other resource personnel.