Reflections on E-Course Design: A Research Focused on In-Service Primary and Secondary Teachers

Reflections on E-Course Design: A Research Focused on In-Service Primary and Secondary Teachers

José Javier Romero-Díaz de la Guardia (University of Granada, Spain), Tomás Sola-Martínez (University of Granada, Spain) and Juan Manuel Trujillo-Torres (University of Granada, Spain)
Copyright: © 2021 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/IJOPCD.2021010103
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This paper presents a two-year research work with the main goal of analyzing the resources production for online scenarios, as well as enhancing in-service primary and secondary school teachers' competence in this area. After detecting training shortfalls from 1,192 in-service Andalusian teachers using an ad-hoc Likert scale, an online training activity on e-course production was developed, and, upon completion, the participating teachers were surveyed regarding design alternatives (N=86). Results gathered were complemented by conducting a focus group with the course tutors. Initial data allowed to prioritize certain training pathways in the online education extent, such as OER authoring, e-learning standards, repositories, and e-course development. As per the instructional design study, it was emphasized the need for institutional support in course creation initiatives and appropriate designs by combining internal VLE tools and externally produced OER. Finally, feedback, peer evaluation, rubrics, and digital badges were denoted as key elements in e-course designs.
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Quality across Europe’s education and training systems can be better accomplished through the innovation and digital technologies. Consecution of this challenge depends in large part on teachers’ competencies (Uerz, Volman, & Kral, 2018), and on setting high standards for their initial education and the continuing training policies (European Commission, 2016). Communication and information are the essence of teaching and learning actions, which is why the use of ICT in education has a specific weight of its own (Voogt, Knezek, Cox, Knezek, & ten Brummelhuis, 2013). The inclusion of ICT in educational practice has myriad implications and benefits. The current trend towards ubiquitous access to educational information anytime, anywhere, and interaction with peers and experts in specific matters and learning from a variety of sources, positions e-learning and computer based educational systems as a prominent area of study in the field of educational technology (Baez Perez & Clunie Beaufond, 2019).

Recent research emphasizes the use of learner-centric designs for training actions in e-learning scenarios. This approach may help students to develop an attitude of self-improvement, favoring active and self-reliant learning, and indeed enables them to maintain a high level of motivation (Hannafin, Hill, Land, & Lee, 2014). For this to be a reality, teaching professionals should have the necessary guidance and training to design teaching scenarios using ICT in an effective way (Instefjord & Munthe, 2017; INTEF, 2017). Planning, managing and developing educational activities with the support of technology, as well as designing and developing educational materials in digital formats, are aspects that should be addressed in the educational technology area of study (Davies & West, 2014). Designing a training activity implies engaging in an in-depth reflection about the process and the methodology that best suits the specific context. Processes for designing learning materials need be approached bearing in mind two essential topics, namely technical usability and didactic potential, and in this regard, the didactic strengths of the different e-learning authoring tools should be carefully analyzed. Other research works in this area highlight the importance of identifying the profile as well as the role of the instructional designer (York & Ertmer, 2016).

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