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Online Course Delivery Checklist

The following checklist walks you through the stages of teaching an online course:

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  • Inquire about our training workshops in Brightspace (D2L), Skype for Business (LYNC), and online course delivery. If you are interested in obtaining training, please consult with your Campus Administrator.

Course Management

  • Verify that the textbook information listed on the Course Information page of your course is up to date and matches what is listed on the Textbook Listing webpage. If you notice discrepancies, notify the DL Bookstore by emailing
  • Update your Course Schedule (located in the Content area). Include all activities and assessment items. Students rely on the schedule to plan their time and to help keep them 'on track' throughout the semester.
    • Remember that CNA's academic regulations regarding examinations states that instructors shall not be permitted to give quizzes worth more than 10% of the total final mark in the two week period prior to the start of examinations (for Fall and Winter semesters; The timeframe for Intersession courses is one week prior to the start of examinations). As well, no previously unassigned work may be assigned in the last two weeks of the semester. However, this regulation does NOT apply to assignments given prior to this period which are due in the two weeks prior to examinations, or to courses which have no final exam.
  • Update your Course Calendar with Important Dates. Include highlights of the academic semester, for example: add/drop dates, midterm and final exam timeframes, etc. as well as quiz dates, assignment due dates, etc.

    NOTE: Remember that the new Pulse app for students will not be very beneficial to students unless due dates and reminders are properly set and entered in your course calendar.
  • Ensure that the most recent copy of the official course outline from PIRS is linked in the Course Information section of the course content.
  • Ensure that the Course Evaluation page in the course is consistent with the Suggested Evaluation section in the official course outline. Refer to the Course Outline Handbook for further details.
  • Some Business and Office Administration courses use one or more Common Assessment Tools (CATs). This should be indicated in the official course outline. Check the School of Business and Information Technology's Outcomes Assessment SharePoint or contact the School's Provincial Assessment Coordinator for more information.
  • Verify that the Gradebook has been properly set up and accurately represents the course assessments. Refer to Brightspace (D2L) Grade Book and PeopleSoft Manual.

    NOTE: As per College policy, Final Exam grades within your online course must not be released to students.

Content Review

  • Review course content, particularly if there has been a new or updated version of the textbook issued.
  • Check all hyperlinks in your course(s) to ensure they are working properly. Check all media for proper display and video playback. Pay particular attention to those that are critical to the course (i.e. required readings, articles or videos on which assessment items are based, etc.)
  • Verify that all externally sourced materials are properly cited and do not infringe copyright or intellectual property.
  • To focus student learning, consider hiding all content that will not be covered in the first week of class. You can set up time release conditions to automatically release each unit as they are needed.
  • Ensure all learning objectives in the official course outline are covered in your teaching and all are evaluated. This is required by the College and may also be a requirement by the accreditation body for your school. Refer to the Course Outline Handbook for further details.
  • Contact DL staff with suggestions for improvements or enhancements, or if you require assistance.

Welcome Students

  • Post a welcome message and/or an ice breaker activity in the course discussion forum at the start of the course. Require students to respond and to introduce themselves. Advise students of topics that could be started immediately such as orientation activities.
  • Update your biography and include a picture if you have not already done so. You can view a sample bio to get some ideas. Include your phone number, email address and "virtual" office hours. You may send your updated biography to DL as an email attachment and we will upload it to your course(s) for you.

Start of Course

Course Expectations

  • Review the Attendance and Participation Guidelines posted in the Course Information module of your course. Remind students to do the same.
  • Inform students of turnaround time for message responses, grades, assignments, quizzes, tests, etc.


  • Inform students when you will be available for synchronous sessions via telephone or web conferencing.
  • If you have dedicated office hours, consider posting them in your bio file as well as including them in your welcome message.
  • Advise students to pay attention to the News widget on the My Home page. From time to time, Distributed Learning will post important messages in this area.
  • Remind students to check both their Brightspace (D2L) email (for course information) and their CNA webmail account (for other College information) on a regular basis.
  • Advise students to review the Exam section of our website and to complete the online exam registration form. All students must register for exams using the online form no later than two weeks after the start of classes in Fall and Winter, and no later than one week after the start of classes in Intersession.

Minimize Delays

  • If possible, find and link a PDF excerpt of Week 1 texbook readings (often available on the publisher's website) for students who are waiting for textbooks to be delivered.
  • Advise students of the Brightspace (D2L) tracking feature. Check your Classlist regularly (especially at the start of course) to see who has logged in. If students do not log in for more than a week, email the DL Help Desk for assistance. Be sure to include the course number as well as the student name and number.

Throughout the Course


  • Respond to student messages promptly, within a maximum of two (2) working days.
  • Communicate with your students regularly through Discussions or the News widget. Consider using Skype for Business (LYNC) to video conference with your students in real time.
  • If you will be offline for a day or more, announce your absence to your students and let them know who they can contact in case an issue arises. All absences due to illness or other emergencies need to be communicated to both your campus administrator as per normal campus protocols, and Heather Penney, DL Service Coordinator, at the earliest opportunity.

Course Management

  • Regularly monitor student attendance and participation. Follow up with absent students, or contact the DL Help Desk for assistance.
  • Keep the gradebook current. Post grades for any assignments/quizzes to students within 10 working days. Provide guidance and feedback for your students.
  • Be sure to have all assignment/quiz grades posted prior to the mid-term and final exam period.

Examination Procedures


  • Early in the semester, you will receive an email from the DL Service Coordinator regarding supervised exams in your course(s). Please respond by the date specified in order to facilitate exam scheduling.
  • Familiarize yourself with DL's exam regulations and invigilation procedures so you can advise your students appropriately. Refer to the Exam section of our website for further details.
  • Advise students to complete the online exam registration form. All students must register for exams using the online form no later than two weeks after the start of classes in Fall and Winter and no later than one week after the start of classes in Intersession.
  • Inform students that supervised exams are scheduled in the evenings on the dates specified in the exam schedule. View Exam Dates for details.
    • Deferred midterms are normally written within two weeks of the last scheduled midterm exam. Deferred finals will be written within the first two weeks of the following semester. To arrange a deferral, students must meet strict qualifying criteria and will need to submit a deferral request form
    • Supplementary exams will be scheduled during the supplementary period following the regular exam period. To arrange a supplementary exam, students must meet strict qualifying criteria and will need to submit a supplementary exam request form.
  • Remind students that a link to the exam information will also be posted in the Distributed Learning News widget found on the My Home page in Brightspace (D2L).
  • DL instructors' regular workload includes the supervision of DL exams at their home campus. All instructors will be required to invigilate each term regardless if they have a student writing in their course at their home campus or at another location. Your Campus Administrator or designate will inform you of your invigilation schedule when each exam schedule has been finalized.

Submitting Exams for Invigilation

  • Prepare two mid-term and two final exams. Alternate exams are required in case a student is unable to write at the specified time and has to write a deferred exam.
  • Include a cover sheet with your exam. This cover sheet should contain the following information for invigilators:

    • College name and logo
    • Name and number of the exam (e.g. Distributed Learning Exam CP1234 Title)
    • Length of exam (2 hrs unless exception required)
    • Equipment/material allowed in the examination room
    • Instructor name, campus, phone number and mailing address. Include street address for courier shipping of exams
    • Number of pages to the exam (including cover sheet)
    • Any other special instructions
    • Sample cover sheets, in MS Word format, are available below and can be downloaded and edited.
  • Submit electronic copies of exams to at least two weeks before the exam date.
  • Please proofread your exams or have someone else proof it for you.

End of Course

End on a Cordial Note

  • Post a closing message to students. Encourage them to complete the Course Survey.
  • Consider asking students to share their class experiences and lessons learned in a closing discussion activity.

Course Management