The Online Educator: A Guide to Creating the Virtual Classroom

By Marguerita Mcvay Lynch | Go to book overview

1

Planning for online course/ curriculum delivery
No matter which instructional design model you favor, each one emphasizes planning. Whether on the system level or on the course element level, planning is a step in the design process that cannot be overlooked. When beginning to plan for an Internet course, in addition to all the usual problems of planning a class that must fit within a curriculum and an entire course of study, one must also plan for the added factor of the Web-based delivery environment. We are still in an age where teachers, parents, and students are asking if all the hype around Web-based learning has any basis in fact. Do Web-based courses really improve learning? And what kind of investment and effort does it really take to build and maintain an effective learning community within each course and within the institution as a whole? According to the National Education Association in the United States and numerous research articles published in the past two years, the answer is a resounding “Yes” for the effectiveness of Web-based learning. The investment of funds and effort can be returned tenfold over the course of a year. However, you are forewarned that it will take considerable funds and effort to start up and to plan a maintenance schedule. If you can survive the pain of that first year or two, then you are well on your way to providing a thriving Web-based learning environment. The positive aspects of this environment have been hyped in marketing brochures, in the popular press, and by a variety of software and hardware sales people. Certainly, many of these are accurate: instant access to information, the ability to involve students and instructors from a variety of locations, helping students to become familiar with the computer-based environment that permeates business, and enhanced communication across a wider learning community. Additional benefits that have been documented in research include:
All course content is in one accessible location for students and teachers. Resources, materials, handouts, homework assignments, and grade tracking can be available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. This cuts down on requests for information.
Different learning styles can be addressed. Graphics, audio, video, and other media reinforce instruction, while communication functions such as e-mail and threaded discussions enable timid students to express and develop their thoughts.

-5-

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The Online Educator: A Guide to Creating the Virtual Classroom
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • List of Tables x
  • List of Illustrations xi
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • Introduction 1
  • 1 - Planning for Online Course / Curriculum Delivery 5
  • 2 - Assessing Student Needs and Subsequent System Requirements 27
  • 3 - Building Support Systems 50
  • 4 - Developing Faculty: The Changed Role of Online Instructors 65
  • 5 - Designing Courses and Curriculum 78
  • 6 - Selecting Web-Based Tools 101
  • 7 - Evaluating Student Mastery and Program Effectiveness 117
  • 8 - Miscellaneous Important Details 137
  • References 159
  • Index 163
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