Online Course Writing Guidelines
Following are the general guidelines recommended for PDHonline
- In general, your online course topics should fit the needs of professional
engineers, architects, land surveyors, inspectors and contractors who need
PDHs to renew their professional licenses.
- You can either provide originally authored lecture notes or utilize the technical
resources already available in the public domain on the Internet. You may also use a readily available
publication or book as your course content.
- Your lecture notes should be original work. Copyrighted materials can only be
presented with the copyright holder's permission. You as the course provider
are responsible for obtaining this permission.
- When your course content is based on a publication by others or public-domain materials on the web,
you need to search our course library to see if the same material has been used in an existing course.
Courses based on the duplicated content will not be accepted unless they are presented in different medium
or format from the existing one. Acceptable course medium or format includes, but is not limited to,
text, slideshow, audio, video, live-online or webcasting. PDHonline.org/PDHcenter.com reserves the right
to reject any course that is deemed duplicated or outside the expertise of the provider.
- All course materials shall be submitted in electronic file format. You
should follow the course submittal formats and requirements described below.
- If online technical resources are referenced in the course materials, the
author should indicate the detailed information (URL) regarding the websites
containing the materials referenced.
- If the course materials contain graphics, photographs or other images, they
should be included and embedded in the document submitted.
- If it is necessary to submit graphics, photographs or other images
separately, they should be in the form of image files (.gif or .pcd or .jpeg,
- The size of the image files should be limited to 20KB if feasible. Large
image files take a long time to load into the student's computer, and should be
avoided where possible.
- The author should estimate the approximate study time required for an attendee (student)
to review and comprehend the course materials and to pass the quiz
- The study time for each course should be limited to a maximum 15 hours (15
PDH units). If possible, one long course should be split into two to reduce
Course Submittal Formats and Requirements
shall be in a word processing document (preferably MS Word) and shall include
- Careful attention should be given to the selection of a course title. Titles with more than
six or seven primary words are too lengthy and can generate disinterest. Conversely, one or two word titles such as “Bridges” or “Pressure Vessels” are too
broad in nature and should be avoided.
- Course Description (The Course Description will be in the first screen that a user will look at before moving to the course itself. It is important to have a succinct, but revealing composition about your course that will generate student interest.)
- Course Outline (a condensation of the course material in one or two brief paragraphs including recommended PDH credits for the course)
- Learning Objective
(3 learning objectives for each PDH credit. For
example, a 4-PDH course would require 12 learning objectives.)
- Intended Audience
- Benefit to the
- Course Introduction
- Course Summary
- Related Links
The course Content
shall be a stand-alone document in any of the following electronic formats:
Point (with speaker's notes included)
Course Quiz and
Course Quiz and
Answer Keys shall be in a word processing document (preferably MS Word). The
requirements for the quiz are:
quiz questions for the first PDH credit and 5 quiz questions for each additional
PDH credit. For example, a 4-PDH course would require a minimum of 25 quiz
- Quiz questions
may be of the multiple-choice type or a combination of multiple-choice and True/False.
- When True/False
questions are used, they should not be more than 50% of
the quiz content.
- Up to 6 choices
may be used for a multiple-choice question.
is no limit on the maximum number of quiz questions.
answer at the end of the quiz or mark the correct answers using a red font color.
With the first course submission only, provide a detailed resume with a brief biography.
Your resume shall include the following information:
- Full name, address
and contact numbers
- Professional licensure status
- Special certifications
- Current employment title
- Degree earned,
with name and location of institution, major, and date received
- Working and/or
- Previous professional
to teach the course
The brief biography, which will be displayed online in the Providers Section at our website, shall be one to two paragraphs. The format of your resume shall resemble the one in the sample resume (an MS Word file). For details, please download the sample resume.
PDHonline users practice in many specialties, so it is important to
keep in mind that not many will be experts on your topic. In order to make your
course effective, interesting, and easy for users to study, please make the
following considerations when developing your course:
- Start with a clear format or organizational structure for your online courses.
- Outline the important aspects of your lecture.
- Stress nouns and active verbs. Avoid passive voice when possible.
- Proofread carefully to avoid spelling and grammatical mistakes.
- Make sure that the images, tables and charts are legible.
- Ensure that quiz questions relate directly to the materials presented.
- Have a knowledgeable colleague peer-review your work before submission.
The current standard tuition rate is $25 to
$30/PDH credit. Discounted tuition rates may be applied to courses offering more
than 4 PDH credits. Special rates may also be arranged between the provider and
PDHonline.org/PDHcenter.com. Tuition may be discounted during promotional
periods. Free online courses may be offered if a corporate sponsor is available.
Publishing Your Online Course
Once accepted by PDHonline.org/PDHcenter.com, your online course materials
will be assigned to our staff for implementation. During the implementation
process, we may ask you to test the pre-release version of the online course as a part
of the PDHonline quality assurance program. We will jointly produce the
final version that will appear on the PDHonline websites.
Remember, online publishing is a partnering effort between you, the course
provider, and PDHonline.org/PDHcenter.com. We are always available to assist you should you have any questions
about content, format or procedures.
You may contact us at
5272 Meadow Estates Dr
Fairfax, VA 22030