skip navigation links
USGS - science for a changing world

Human Capital Services and Support

We Are USGS!

Getting Started with Developing an Online Course

First and foremost, let's make sure the learning need is for a DL course. Take a look at the "Training Types" flow chart. Could the course be taught effectively by some other delivery method, for example, as a Job Aid, as a Webinar, etc.?

Answer these important questions:

  • Has the course been taught in a classroom setting?
  • Is the course rich in content?
  • Will your audience for this course be many and regionally dispersed?
  • Is the content of the course organized in modules/lessons?
  • Can the exercises in the course be done asynchronously (self-paced)?
  • Does this course need to be taught frequently?
  • Does the course/presentation need to be available on mobile devices?

If you have answered yes to the questions above, DL would be an excellent delivery tool for the course and the DL Program Team (DLPT) would love to help you with the process from beginning to the delivery and final evaluation of the course.

There are two methods to getting your course ready for DL delivery:

  1. We are finding that some subject-matter experts (SMEs) do not have the time to devote to redeveloping their course for DL delivery. It sounds easy enough to just take the PowerPoint slides from your classroom course and publish them to Adobe Connect. This is not at all the case! The course will need to be redeveloped from a web and instructional design standpoint. This can take time to do effectively.

    If this is the case, the DLPT can take your materials and prototype a DL course for you. We will involve you as much as possible in the course design and development. We will take care of aligning your lesson objectives with content and assessments. We will make, or develop new, student practice exercises for web, asynchronous delivery. We will ensure the course has a high level of interactivity and that it will be accurate and Section 508 compliant. We will assist you in scheduling and holding any synchronous events (WebEx®) if you are using a blended-learning strategy for your course.

  2. For the SME's that want full control over the design and development of their DL course, they will be required to take an online course (~5 hours) on creating effective DL courses and using the course-development software, Adobe® Presenter™, in order to obtain a license for the PowerPoint® Plug-in. The plug-in will add functionality to PowerPoint so the course developer can add narration, add assessments, add Flash® animations, etc. to the course. The completed course will need to be reviewed by 2 technical reviewers and the DLPT. For this scenario, we also have a "DL Developer's Toolbox" that has links to important information/best practices for developing a course for web delivery.

    For either instance above, we do require the SME to complete an Instructional Design Document (IDD) for the course and submit it to the DL Program Lead, Tj Lane ( The IDD is a blueprint of your course.

    • Download the IDD as a Word file.

  Need to know about...

  For more information

Please Contact

Distance Learning:
Tj Lane
Angie Kohler

Virtual Classroom:
Patty Gonwa
Ralph Roland

NTC Reservations:
Nancy Gregory

DOI Learn:

Conflict Management | Employee & Career Development | Human Resources |
Organization Development | Pay & Benefits | Performance & Conduct | Staffing & Workforce

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
Page Contact Information:
Page Last Modified: Thursday, 25-Jun-2015 10:40:01 EDT