University of Waterloo

Program Development Specialist

Requisition ID
Job Category
Career Services
CEE - WIL Programs
Job Status
Temporary Appointment (Contract)
Hiring Range
$66,605 -$83,256


Term: 1 Year


The Program Development Specialist project manages course and program development and in certain cases University or external projects. In the case of course or program development, the Program Development Specialist is the project lead and is responsible for the timely completion of projects. They work with the subject matter expert (SME) to establish project milestones based on the expected delivery date of the course, and then ensure the SME provides the requisite raw course materials on time, and ensure course materials are added to the course. At times, they also work collaboratively with the course author to develop raw course materials. While the Program Development Specialist has authority internally, they work in partnership with the subject matter expert, and exercise no management authority in that relationship.


Leads course development and refinement projects

  • Works with faculty and CEE leadership to help design, refine, and develop online courses
  • Develops course content in collaboration with faculty/course instructors
  • Applies expertise in pedagogy and e-learning to advise faculty/course instructors on the creation of effective learning outcomes, online teaching strategies, learning activities and tasks, and
    assessment strategies
  • Determines instructor, student and program needs; design constraints; resources limitations, etc., and factor these into the course design
  • Determines the development model that corresponds best to varying degrees of author involvement
    in the course development and instructor involvement in course offer
  • Assesses course design against the Online Learning Quality Guidelines
  • Consults on modifications required in subsequent offers for the course or workshops



Ensures completion of program and course projects

  • Acts as primary liaison between the project team and WatPD, and with the faculty member/course instructor and other stakeholders during development
  • Defines, documents, and manages the project scope and deliverables
    Coordinates all necessary project team meetings
  • Develops a project timeline with specific milestones for the completion of the online course that includes deliverables for all team members
  • Advises the development team from the Centre for Extended Learning when they interpret and
    produce the online course content
  • Updates the Associate Director (and other internal and external stakeholders) on project progress, and proactively informs them of issues or potential delays


Maintains and disseminates knowledge of WatPD and online best practices

  • Continually monitors research in teaching and learning, and online learning in particular, to inform/refine evidence-based practices related to course design and delivery
  • Conducts research on course design; helps design instruments to evaluate course and course
    elements; reviews results with faculty/course instructors
  • Partners with faculty on research projects when appropriate and helps design studies
  • Analyzes data received from all evaluations and make recommendations to the Associate Director and/or instructor, as appropriate, about possible improvements
  • Conducts accessibility and usability testing of courses
  • Develops learning opportunities for faculty/course instructors, TAs, and staff related to online learning
  • Consults with other departments on campus on issues that directly or indirectly relate to online learning
  • Advises faculty/instructors on effective practices in online teaching and learning
  • Participates in discussions with peers within the university to share knowledge and gain further understanding of the university learning culture and issues
  • Contributes to local and international conferences on teaching and learning


  • Degree in instructional design, instructional technology, adult education, or a related field, or an equivalent combination of education and experience
  • Experience applying sound pedagogical design in online learning at the post-secondary level
  • Experience providing instructional design guidance to faculty in a mentoring or development role
  • Experience managing course development/refinement projects
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills including the ability to use tact and diplomacy while interacting with a wide range of campus partners.
  • Proven strength in collaboration and relationship management.
  • Demonstrated time management skills and experience maintaining schedules for project deliverables
  • In-class and/or online teaching experience an asset
    Understanding of the principles of experiential learning and/or experience with co-operative education an asset
  • Experience with the effective application of a learning management system (LMS) and other elearning technologies
  • Occasional weekend and evening work may be required


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