Examining the Range of Student Needs in the Design and Development of a Web-Based Course

Examining the Range of Student Needs in the Design and Development of a Web-Based Course

Susan M. Powers (Indiana State University, USA) and Sharon Guan (Indiana State University, USA)
Copyright: © 2000 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-878289-59-9.ch013
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Abstract

Distance learning is by no means a new phenomenon. However, new technologies provide a twist to distance learning that is making it grow and expand at an overwhelming rate. The National Center for Educational Statistics reported that in 1995, a third of U.S. post-secondary schools offered distance education courses with another quarter of these schools planning to do so in the next three years. During the summer of 1999, the UCLA Extension Service will offer more than 100 Web–based courses in continuing higher education to anyone and anywhere (Business Wire, 1999). When the rapid proliferation of Web-based courses as a distance learning option is considered, and then couple that proliferation with the fact that the World Wide Web (WWW) has only been “popular” for the past five years, this expansion is indeed overwhelming. While the numbers alone are enough to amaze and dazzle, what is more interesting, and should be of greater concern, are the instructional design and pedagogical issues that should form the foundation of Web-based courses (Ritchie & Hoffman, 1997). The technical proficiencies necessary to build a course Web site and all of its technological accompaniments are merely psychomotor skills that range from the simple to the highly complex. However, one of the reasons for the rapid proliferation of Web-based courses is the development of courseware packages (Web Course-In-A-Box, WebCT, ILN CourseInfo, etc.) that remedy the needs for instructors to worry about acquiring these technical skills (Hansen & Frick, 1997). Unfortunately, while these courseware packages, and the many Web editors available, may facilitate the development of Web-based courses, these tools don’t address the myriad of instructional design and pedagogical issues that must be considered before and during development. Hill (1997) lists some of these key issues, which include pedagogical, technological, organizational, institutional, and ethical questions. Many of these issues must be resolved prior to the development of the first Web page. In this chapter, we explore some of the research that has been done on Web-based courses, but our intent is to largely delve into the practical realities of designing pedagogically effective and accessible Web-based instruction (WBI). Specifically, we explore the importance of a needs assessment of learner characteristics in the design process to determine and therefore design for the technological abilities and capacities of target students. Additionally, potential solutions and recommendations on how to design a virtual classroom environment that fosters and facilitates active student learning are discussed. Finally, the authors examine the very real issue of course accessibility for all students and how various design elements can enhance the accessibility.

Complete Chapter List

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Table of Contents
Preface
Beverly Abbey
Chapter 1
Theo J. Bastiaens, Rob L. Martens
This chapter presents two converging developments. Traditionally, learning at schools or universities and working in a professional context were... Sample PDF
Conditions for Web-Based Learning with Real Events
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Chapter 2
Zane L. Berge, Mauri Collins, Karen Dougherty
Successful course creation for the Web environment means much more than the use of documents uploaded and electronically linked together. Course... Sample PDF
Design Guidelines for Web-Based Courses
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Chapter 3
Louis H. Berry
The advent of Web-based instruction, which relies upon hypertext models of interaction and design, reemphasizes the need for a clear understanding... Sample PDF
Cognitive Effects of Web Page Design
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Chapter 4
Curtis J. Bonk, Jack A. Cummings, Norika Hara, Robert B. Fischler, Sun Myung Lee
Owston (1997, p. 27) pointed out that, “Nothing before has captured the imagination and interests of educators simultaneously around the globe more... Sample PDF
A Ten-Level Web Integration Continuum for Higher Education
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Chapter 5
Mercedes M. Fisher
Today’s technology is delivering greater access of current information and knowledge for instructional use. The introduction of the Internet has... Sample PDF
Implementation Considerations for Instructional Design of Web-Based Learning Environments
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Chapter 6
Dorothy Leflore
More and more universities are turning to Web-based instruction in order to accommodate a larger student population. Much of the coursework... Sample PDF
Theory Supporting Design Guidelines for Web-Based Instruction
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Chapter 7
Jared Danielson, Barbara Lockee, John Burton
Several years ago a professor at a large research institution prepared to deliver her first on-line course. The activities had been planned... Sample PDF
ID and HCI: A Marriage of Necessity
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Chapter 8
Deborah L. Lowther, Marshall G. Jones, Robert T. Plants
The potential impact of the World Wide Web (WWW) on our educational system is limitless. However, if our teachers do not possess the appropriate... Sample PDF
Preparing Tomorrow's Teachers to Use Web-Based Education
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Chapter 9
Cleborne D. Maddux, Rhoda Cummings
There has been a recent explosion of interest in distance education. On college and university campuses, this interest owes much of its life and... Sample PDF
Developing Web Pages as Supplements to Traditional Courses
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Chapter 10
Susan M. Miller, Kenneth L. Miller
The intended audiences for this chapter are (a) individuals who design and develop Web-based instruction in any setting (i.e., university faculty... Sample PDF
Theoretical and Practical Considerations in the Design of Web-Based Instruction
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Chapter 11
Ron Oliver, Jan Herrington
Many writers argue for a place for the use the new educational technologies from the perspective of IT management (e.g., Holt & Thompson, 1998).... Sample PDF
Using Situated Learning as a Design Strategy for Web-Based Learning
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Chapter 12
Kay A. Persichitte
Like many instructors in higher education, I have found myself increasingly pressed to respond to demands for courses delivered with alternative... Sample PDF
A Case Study of Lessons Learned for the Web-Based Educator
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Chapter 13
Susan M. Powers, Sharon Guan
Distance learning is by no means a new phenomenon. However, new technologies provide a twist to distance learning that is making it grow and expand... Sample PDF
Examining the Range of Student Needs in the Design and Development of a Web-Based Course
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Chapter 14
Patricia L. Rogers
As an instructional medium, computer-based hypermedia environments (e.g., Web sites or CD-ROM materials) enable distinct and enriched activities... Sample PDF
Layers of Navigation for Hypermedia Environments: Designing Instructional Web Sites
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Chapter 15
Karen Smith-Gratto
In the brave new world of cyberlearning, we need to look back as well as forward to create the best learning environments for students. All fields... Sample PDF
Strengthening Learning on the Web: Programmed Instruction and Constructivism
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Chapter 16
J. Micael Spector
There are now many educational research and technology projects reporting a variety of outcomes and lessons learned with regard to how to... Sample PDF
Designing Technology Enhanced Learning Environments
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About the Authors