View the Mizzou Online operations guide that defines distance students at Mizzou and explains revenue share for campus departments.

Academic Program Planning

Determining where to start in initiating an online degree program or certificate program can seem overwhelming. Mizzou Online is here to demystify and simplify the process for you. A program coordinator is assigned to each project to partner with the unit in coordinating and fostering the process from concept planning to implementation.

Program coordinators help department chairs and faculty conceptualize, plan, and implement their ideas for online learning, by discussing and helping to identify:

  • program concepts
  • potential types of curriculum design and course delivery format
  • development of an infrastructure to support students who will be enrolled in the program

We also coordinate with other campus entities such as the Mizzou Store, Ellis Library, and Graduate School, as well as the registrar's and cashier's offices, to ensure that potential difficulties are discussed and ameliorated. Program coordinators facilitate instructional design assistance for online instructors with designers at Course Design & Technology to help instructors with individual course design.

Our marketing team provides marketing expertise—particularly related to recruitment. Additionally, our student services team is prepared to help with student inquiries and online students who are enrolled.

Mizzou Online is designed to help you develop and position your online academic program for optimum success.

Processes and Timelines for New Distance/Online Programs

Information regarding intellectual property for instructional materials developed by faculty

Best Practices for Online Programs

Developing and supporting excellent online programs requires different tactics than traditional campus-based programs. The University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA) and the Online Learning Consortium (OLC) are the two leading professional organizations for online education. Each provides best practices guidelines for institutions offering online education. The following publications can be accessed by MU faculty and staff in the Canvas course "Articles about Online Teaching and Resources." Click here to enroll. Once inside the course, look for the module "Online Leadership and Administration."

  • UPCEA Hallmarks of Excellence in Online Leadership
  • OLC Quality Scorecard 2014 Handbook: Criteria for Excellence in the Administration of Online Programs

Individual Course Planning

Many academic units and faculty are interested in moving a course or two to an online format. After obtaining departmental approval for the course to be offered and instructor confirmation, program coordinators work with instructors to determine:

  • course concepts
  • market and demand for the course
  • potential curriculum ideas and course delivery format
  • administrative tasks and deadlines

And, as with program planning, we coordinate with other campus entities such as the Mizzou Store and Ellis Library. Additionally, we facilitate a partnership with Course Design & Technology to obtain instructional design assistance and follow the course development and administrative processes through to online course delivery.

Mizzou Online staff are equipped to provide guidance and assist with any problems you may have in order to provide instructors a smooth process for online course conceptualization, development and delivery.

Course Delivery Formats

Semester–based (SB)

  • Start and end with the regular MU 8– or 16–week semester.
  • Provides daily or weekly interaction with the instructor and other class members via email and an asynchronous online discussion board.
  • Has weekly set due dates for assignments, classwork and quizzes/exams.
  • Students have flexibility within the week to complete work as long as due dates are met.
  • In some cases may have live online chat sessions.
  • Generally uses Mizzou Canvas software for course delivery.
  • Generally has online quizzes and exams; In some cases may have in–person proctored exams.

Self–Paced (SP)

  • Flexible start and end dates.
  • Year-round enrollment.
  • Students finish course work in minimum of 6 weeks, maximum of 6 months.
  • Students work independently and receive personalized instructor feedback.
  • Uses Mizzou Online customized learning management system.
  • Assignments generally instructor evaluated.
  • Assignments submitted online.
  • In-person proctored exams.
  • Courses are accessible via mobile devices.

Term Based, Self–Paced (TSP)

  • Scheduled during the regular MU semester.
  • Start and end with regular MU 16–week or second 8–week academic session.
  • Students work independently and receive personalized feedback.
  • Uses Mizzou Online customized learning management system.
  • Has two checkpoint dates within the semester/session for completion of classwork and exams.
  • Assignments generally instructor evaluated.
  • Assignments submitted online.
  • In–person proctored exams.
  • Courses are accessible via mobile devices.