Online Course Development – General Education

Faculty are invited to submit URIO funding proposals to develop 7-week online general education courses, particularly at the 300-level. These courses provide a rich experience and choices for our students in online programs. All online general education courses will be developed as “master courses” which can be taught by multiple instructors in addition to the course designer. An RFP was sent to all faculty and chairs in Spring 2021.

Online general education courses must meet the following requirements:

  • Courses must go (or have already been) through the approved URI Faculty Senate curriculum process to be approved for online delivery. 
  • Courses must be developed using the appropriate Brightspace course template and in consultation with designated URI Online instructional designers, and faculty developers must complete the associated training for Brightspace and online instruction.
  • Courses must achieve a score of 85% or higher on the URI Online adapted Quality Matters review

URIO Funding Application Information:

Funds are available to support the development and implementation of fully online 7-week general education courses that will launch in Brightspace in FY22. Funds are dispersed upon completion of specific milestones in the process, depending on whether is it a new course/not currently approved for online delivery or an existing online course moving to the 7-week, accelerated format. Faculty will receive training and support from ATL instructional designers. Note: Per our accreditation requirements, faculty hired to teach online courses in our online programs must be trained and/or qualified to teach online.

URIO Funding Application Process:

  1. Complete URI Online General Education Funding Application
  2. Submit to application to Jill Firtell, Assistant Director of Online Program Development – for review and feedback.
  3. Submit the application to the relevant Department Chair for review and approval.
  4. Submit to the associated College Dean for review and approval.
  5. Submit to Vice Provost for funding approval.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. If you have any questions, please contact Jill Firtell, Assistant Director, URI Online Program Development, ( 4-4379).

URIO Funding Disbursal Schedule

All funding is dispersed either as summer recontracting or professional development monies dependent upon timing and contracts.

1. For New Course development or existing courses not currently approved for online delivery

  • Disbursal 1:  $1,500 – full approval of course by URI Faculty Senate.   
  • Disbursal 2:  $1,400 – online master course is fully developed and achieves an 85% or higher score on Quality Matters (QM) review. 


2.  For existing online course transitioning to 7-week accelerated format

  • Disbursal:  $500 – achieving an 85% or higher score on Quality Matters (QM) review.
    • Course developers must work with Instructional Designer from ATL. 
    • Course must be submitted for internal QM review and revised until an 85% score is achieved.

Department Responsibility

Course Development

  • Review and approve the development of the course
  • Move the course through the curriculum approval process.

Course Delivery

  • Identify and hire the instructor for the course.  Reminder: Instructors must be trained/qualified to teach online per our accreditation requirements.
    • Ensure faculty are hired and evaluated per their contract.
    • Instructional cost is covered by URI Online (details below).
  • Collaborate with the URI Online general education carousel coordinator regarding the offering pattern.
  • Ensure the course is taught when scheduled.

Course Maintenance & Major Course Updates

  • Course Maintenance
    • Any faculty member hired to teach the course in the online, accelerated format is responsible for making any minor changes to ensure it is up-to-date, all links are working, and reflects student and instructor feedback.
  • Major Course Update
    • Ensure the course is reviewed and updated as often as required to stay current in the field, at least every 2 years.
    • All major course design changes are done in consultation with a URI Online Instructional Designer.
    • The chair must submit a request for a major course update and identify an appropriately trained faculty member to make the updates. URI Online provides a stipend as described below. 

URIO Funding Model

  • URI Online will provide funding for course instructors at the contracted PTFU/AAUP rates.
  • URI Online will provide funding to support a course coach/tutor for enrollments above 30 students (currently $35/student) when requested by the faculty.  
  • URI Online will provide a stipend (currently $500) for a Major Course Update at a minimum of every two years (or earlier if required to stay current in the field)
  • URI Online will provide support to the sponsoring department/college for each course offered in the URI Online General Education Carousel as follows:
Course Enrollments Payments
Fewer than 10 students*$1,000
10-19 students$1,500
20-34 students$2,500
35 or more students$3,000
Revenue Share Model

*NOTE: The decision to run courses with fewer than 10 students, needed to ensure students can graduate on time, will be made by the appropriate Dean’s office in consultation with the Assistant Director of Online Program Development. No courses will run with fewer than 8 enrollments  In exceptional circumstances, we will make accommodations to ensure students can graduate on time