Planning and Teaching Online Courses

Planning and Teaching Online Courses

Riad S. Aisami (Troy University, USA)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 11
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-198-8.ch239
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Abstract

Generally, online courses intend to present a non-traditionallearning approach for non-traditional students. Working adults can achieve success in pursuing higher education degrees without compromising their work schedule. Online courses aim to be flexible and convenient while achieving effective instructional results. Online teaching can allow students unlimited access to the course materials and provide them with interactive and engaging instructional activities.
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Introduction And Background

Generally, online courses intend to present a non-traditional learning approach for non-traditional students. Working adults can achieve success in pursuing higher education degrees without compromising their work schedule. Online courses aim to be flexible and convenient while achieving effective instructional results. Online teaching can allow students unlimited access to the course materials and provide them with interactive and engaging instructional activities.

Web-based instruction allows students to perform, online, most course activities that they would normally perform in a traditional classroom. In an online course, students can communicate with their instructor and each other, participate in discussions, interact in an online virtual class, perform course assignments, drop assignments into the instructor’s digital drop box and receive his/her feedback, take online tests, and so forth. However, the face-to-face interaction of the traditional classroom continues to be a missing element from online courses, and the human interaction gap still influences online students’ attitude toward this instructional delivery medium. While online instructors are eager to develop tangible Web technology skills and use it effectively in developing and delivering their courses online, they should not underestimate the impact of the human interaction on the learning process. Sherry (1996) noted that, “the most important factor for successful distance learning is a caring concerned teacher who is confident, experienced, at ease with equipment, uses media creatively, and maintains a high level of teaching with students” (p. 5).

Educational Web sites face a challenge to incorporate virtual, social, human interactions into the learning mixes of these programs. For instance, technologies such as CU-SeeMee, QuickTime Virtual reality for educators, and QuickTime Video tutorial and software help to bridge the physical and interactive communication gap between students and instructors by allowing students and instructors to have face-to-face meetings over the Internet (Hamza 2003; Hamza & Alhalabi 1999). Odasz (1999) also emphasized the significance of such technologies in bridging the interactive communication gap of the Web-based instruction.

Aisami (2004) stated that “in order to have effective Web-enhanced instruction, instructors need to know not only what to teach and how to teach it, but also how to utilize the Web technology efficiently to deliver and manage the course instruction” (pp. 24 -25). Developing and managing online courses is a comprehensive process that integrates both the instructional system design (ISD) and the Web applications to achieve the intended learning outcomes of the online course. Designing and developing the course instruction before building its Web site facilitates not only the Web site building process, but also the process of delivering and managing the course instruction online.

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Main Focus: The 5Ds Model For Teaching Online Courses

This chapter introduces the 5Ds model for teaching colleges and universities online courses. As shown in Figure 1, the 5Ds model is comprised of five interrelated stages: Define, Design, Develop, Deliver, and Determine. It is worth mentioning here that the 5Ds model widely differs from Ted McCain’s 4Ds (Define, Design, (Do) Develop, and Debrief) model. While McCain’s 4Ds model is a classroom problem-solving model and “is based on the structured thought process found in systems analysis and design,” the 5Ds model is an online teaching model that is based on the instructional system design ADDIE (Analyze, Design, Develop, Implement, and Evaluate) model. The ADDIE approach of the instructional systems design (ISD) was advocated by most of the subsequent ISD models that emerged in the last quarter of the 20th century. Kruse (2004) indicates that “there are more than 100 different ISD models, but almost all are based on the generic ‘ADDIE’ model.”

Figure 1.

5Ds model for teaching online courses

Key Terms in this Chapter

E-LMS, E-learning Management System: A software program used to deliver and manage online instructional activities.

Web-Based Instruction: The process of teaching and learning on the Web.

Online Courses: Courses that are solely taught and managed online.

ADDIE- Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation: An instructional system design model that almost all other ISD models are based on.

READI: A Web-based tool that assesses a learner’s likelihood for succeeding in an online learning program.

CBT - Computer-Based Training: Training that is delivered via a computer. Computer-based training includes tutorials, drill and practice, simulations and testing.

Blackboard.com: An e-learning software platform that is utilized to deliver and manage instructional activities online.

Web-Enhanced Instruction: A combination of online and classroom instruction.

ONSAS - Online Needs and Skills Assessment Survey: A survey that online instructors need to develop and administer prior to the beginning of their online classes.

ISD - Instructional System Design: A process that applies a systematic approach to design, develop, implement, and evaluate the instruction. Such approach is based on the target learners’ needs and aims to achieve predefined learning outcomes.

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