Course Media

We are excited to partner with you on building unique and engaging online educational experiences for students! This page is an overview of course media and the development process. We’ll start first with your key collaborator: the Media Program Lead!

What is a media program lead?

Your strategic partner for course media is your program’s Media Program Lead (MPL). MPLs have unique experience producing instructional media content for online courses. They’ll help conceptualize ideas and strategies, advise on best practices, provide training and resources, and design and create.

What is course media?


“Course media” and “media” are terms that have many meanings depending on the situation or context. We understand that everyone will come into course development with their unique viewpoint or understanding based on their prior experiences. With that said, it’s important that we come to a shared meaning so we can collaborate effectively.

For our purposes, we define course media as:

  • A digital visual/audio learning resource
  • Created by the developing faculty
  • Collaboratively produced with an MPL specifically for a UW Extended Campus supported course
  • A foundational course resource that won’t need to be updated before a scheduled revision of the course (courses are typically revised every 2-3 years)


  • A presentation deck with audio narration and visuals that explores a particular topic
  • A video introducing students to the course
  • A screen recording demonstrating how to use software

Other “media” that you might leverage in your course are OERs (open educational resources) and “Just in Time” content.


An OER is a learning resource that is made available to the public at no cost. Typically, OERs are electronic, not copyrighted, and made available on the Web. OERs can include everything from textbooks to educational videos.

“Just in Time” content includes videos or screen recordings that have been created and posted in a short time to address a time-sensitive or situational need. An example would be a video response posted on a course discussion board.

The Media Services team does not provide active support on OERs or “Just in Time” content. Faculty should consult with their instructional designer (ID) about OERs. For “Just in Time,” faculty can reference our self-help technical guide on Kaltura Capture or reach out to their campus IT desktop support.

What is the course media creation process?

Over the past 10+ years, we’ve collaboratively developed hundreds of online courses. Through those experiences, we’ve learned a lot. We’ve taken our accumulated knowledge and formulated a process that yields high-quality and effective media for student learning.


When you and your ID discussed the course development calendar and Attachment A at the beginning of your course development or revision, you outlined a schedule for media development as part of the process.

There are three major phases of course media development.

Phase I: Planning

Your initial instinct might be to start creating content right away. However, before authoring any course media, we first want to establish a clear vision and purpose for anything that we produce.

Early in development, you’ll work with your ID on selecting primary learning resources (e.g., textbooks and journal articles) and filling out an alignment map. Early ideas for course media may arise during this time. Make note of these ideas, and they’ll be discussed in your media consultation.


Media Consultation

The media consultation is a meeting between faculty, the ID, and the MPL where course media ideas are generated. The MPL and ID will help faculty cultivate these ideas by asking questions, making suggestions, advising on best practices, sharing examples, and even proposing new ideas or alternative approaches. This ideation process may wrap up in just one meeting or continue on past the consultation, ultimately leading to a completed media plan.

Media Plan

The media plan is a complete detail of all the course media being produced. It briefly outlines each media piece’s purpose, format, and location in the course. This information is typically recorded in the course alignment map.

Phase II: Design and Development

For most course media pieces, there are three primary design and development stages. In order, they are faculty development, ID review, and media production.

Faculty Development

First, faculty will author their course media. This could be, but might not be limited to, organizing and audio narrating a PowerPoint slide deck, writing a script for a video, or recording a screencast. Your MPL will ensure you can successfully tackle any of these tasks by providing 1:1 training, self-guided resources, and sometimes software or hardware.

ID Review

Second, your ID will review your course media files. They may come back with questions or suggestions that may necessitate you to make updates. In some instances, they may proactively make pedagogical additions or adjustments to your course media. This might include splitting a presentation slide into multiple slides, reorganizing text content into a more graphical layout, or adding relevant imagery. These design choices are done in service of the student experience and focus on the layout and structure of your content and not the content itself.

Media Production

Third and finally, your MPL will put your course media through our production process. This includes editing audio and video, graphic creation, animation design, and hosting media files.

Phase III: Completion and QA


After your course media has been through the media production process, it is reviewed by your ID and embedded in the course. At this point, it is expected that faculty will review the produced course media and provide any crucial feedback before course launch.

During this phase, the produced course media is actively transcribed. All produced course media has a downloadable transcript, closed captions, or both. At this point, course media development is complete!

Case Studies


The instructor for this course identified a concept that needed to be communicated with custom media. Through discussion, we learned that their only experience communicating this topic to students was in a face-to-face setting. Standing at a whiteboard, they would draw out a diagram and lecture.

Design and Development

We had the faculty hand draw the completed diagram and include a picture of it in a PowerPoint slide. Then we had them record audio narration to that slide. Both of these elements would become references for us to create a timed animation to the narration. For the narration, we coached the faculty to walk students through the concept imagining the diagram moving and building, knowing that we would create those elements later.

Original hand drawn diagram submitted by faculty.

Media produced animation.

Completion and QA

The result was a dynamic and engaging animation that accomplished the same goals as its face-to-face counterpart.

LB103 – Hate Gives Identity


The instructor for this course pinpointed Kepler’s laws of planetary motion as an ideal topic for course media. The topic was covered in other learning resources, but something with stronger audio/visual components was thought to be more beneficial for students.

Design and Development

We had the faculty put together a very simple PowerPoint slide deck with text content, a few images, and audio narration. This PowerPoint acted as our guide and foundation for the produced media piece. We created formatted slides and animations to go along with the text narration and formatted it into our Storybook+ Player.

Original PowerPoint submitted by faculty.

Media produced PowerPoint.

Completion and QA

The result is a powerful learning resource that utilizes audio narration, graphics, animation, and interactive quizzes.

AS100 – Kepler’s Laws

Published on October 20, 2022 at 9:55:02 am CDT. Last modified on February 07, 2023 at 11:56:05 am CST.