Assessing Effective Online Instruction Sites

Article excerpt


Using student evaluators and a random sample of on-line instructional sites, we assess the usefulness of on-line instructional sites for learning. Theorists' theories of learning and criteria used in constructing useful sites play a vital role in the development of effective sites.


Societal changes have strongly impacted instruction and technology throughout the United States, hence, the transformation of our nation's schools into a Web model via Web instruction (Meyer, 2003). Twenty-first century education offers many alternatives ways of teaching thru home schooling, classroom online instruction, Web based instruction, distance learning, or knowledge based instruction for all levels. Incorporating basic technological skills to enhance curriculum in the early stages of one's educational path, no matter what the socioeconomic background, could in fact increase the effectiveness of instructions and related research in the area of online instruction. The impact of online learning in the home, or in the classroom via distance learning opportunities affects the learning environment. Web based and knowledge based instructions are geared toward specific interests in improved skills and advancement of the learner (Anderson, 2002).

Education in the United States in the 20th century has been transformed. The demand for education reform has prompted parents and adult learners to search for alternative instruction methods such as technology. Technology became ubiquitous in the job market, in government, in the education environment, and in the home. Educators are now providing an alternative means to the earning of degrees via distance learning or home instructions without a student physically attending class (that is from Kindergarten to adult education). The use of technology as a driving tool has reached millions across this nation without a traditional classroom setting. Distance learning is not only convenient, but it is also provides an increased in academic skills and awareness. Many resources for on-line instruction sites are available free of charge on the Internet, but these sites need to be assessed by instructors to make sure that a site being recommended is useful (Mourant, 1999). Using student evaluators and a random sample of online instructional sites, this study assesses the usefulness of on-line instructional sites for learning. In doing so, we first examine relevant theories of learning and criteria used in constructing useful sites, before assessing the web sites. Moreover, several researchers have contributed to the findings of online instructions. According to Holstrom (2003), e-learning has an effect on many persons other than technology users. This type of learning empowers and provides self-worth to individuals in disciplines such as education, social sciences, and economics by using various online supported resources websites such the adventures of Cyberbee and Classroom Connect. While other related online websites will allow one to search for journal entries, and questiaonline library of books and journals.

Theories of Learning

Societal changes have had an impact on instruction via technology throughout the United States. "The societal implications of participation and collaboration could be immensely powerful. One should draw on research in collaborative learning, which has significant cognitive and noncognitive effects of collaboration. For example, delivery of education through a collaborative, computer-mediated environment alters the relationship of the instructor, the students, and the course content. The many-to-many, asynchronous nature of the medium democratizes access and encourages student input" (Harasim, 1993, p. 119-130). Educators now look at preparedness as early as pre-kindergarten by incorporating technology skills into the curriculum, no matter what the socioeconomic background, requiring more attention and related research in the area of technology instruction. …


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