The Online Educator: A Guide to Creating the Virtual Classroom

By Marguerita Mcvay Lynch | Go to book overview

6

Selecting Web-based tools
Too often, institutions begin their Web-based development process by selecting the tools first, then allowing the tools to determine the pedagogy. This method leads to courses and processes that are dictated by technology instead of using technology to enhance the learning process. The selection of tools should come well after determining your need, your understanding of how you want to develop courses, and your practice with online teaching. The tools you select should reflect your specific environment, technical capabilities, and strategic plans for your information systems future. Also, the tools you select need to provide some room for growth and change (scalability). Web-based system tools should be selected in much the same way you would choose any new software system. First, make a list of pertinent questions and answer them before asking for competitive bids or prior to beginning your shopping. Of course, the big question to answer first is “What do I plan to do with this system?” Is it to offer courses at a distance with no face-to-face time? Is it to enhance classroom-based courses? Is it to simply provide a Web presence for your school? Is it a combination of uses? Once the big question is answered, break it down into the subsystems you may need to address:
Information distribution. Will information be distributed only via the Web? If so, what browser support are you willing to offer? Will information be also distributed via e-mail? Who (students, faculty, staff) will be allowed to distribute information?
Communication. What types of communication do you want to encourage in your Web-based courses (e-mail, discussion boards, chats, whiteboards, audio/ video)? Who will have access to, or control over, the communications? Will the communications require special software for users to obtain or download? Who will support the software?
Student assessment. What different types of assessment do you want available to the Web-based environment (multiple choice, true/false, fill-in-the blank, essay, reflection)? Do you want the grading of assessments to be manual, automatic, overridable, available for viewing?
Course, teacher, and program assessment. Do you want your Web-based system to perform any analysis of evaluation forms, system use, individual

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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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