Implementing Technology and Designed-Based Solutions to Create an Online Learning Environment

Implementing Technology and Designed-Based Solutions to Create an Online Learning Environment

Terence C. Ahern (West Virginia University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-6255-9.ch009

Abstract

Technology has radically altered not only access but also how instruction is delivered. Modern learning management systems (LMS) improve access to instruction by removing the barriers of time and of location. Students can literally go to school anywhere at any time. The use of learning technologies online has become a ubiquitous practice as a result of the spread of the internet. Even though the quality and value of technology-based instruction has rapidly increased, the use of e-learning technologies does not automatically guarantee good instruction. Even though the quality and value of technology-based instruction has rapidly increased, the use of e-learning technologies does not automatically guarantee good instruction. This chapter is about the choices and the design decisions that impact the delivery and deployment of technology-based instruction. Each of these choices requires an understanding of the trade-offs that the decision makers need to consider.
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Introduction

Technology has altered the delivery of instruction. The online experience transcends the traditional brick and mortar classroom using innovative technologies such as social media, video or even 3D virtual reality. Modern technologies have also improved access to instruction by removing the barriers of time and of location. Students can almost go to school anywhere at any time.

This technology has evolved so dramatically that the notion of online learning and teaching has moved from the periphery of the university to the “center of university life… The use of learning technologies online has become a ubiquitous practice as a result of the spread of the Internet” (Larreamendy-Joerns & Leonhardt (2006) p. 570). Consequently, students, including students on campus, are commonly taking online courses. According to College Scholarships (2017), the number of students who take a combination of in-person and online classes has almost doubled from 23 percent to 45 percent over the last five years (no para.).

Though the quality and value of technology-based instruction has rapidly increased, the use of e-learning technologies does not automatically guarantee good instruction. Bates (2005) observes that the “technology is neither good nor bad in itself but it is in the way it is used that matters (p. 2). This chapter is about the integration of learning technologies with administrative and instructional design strategies so that content may be deployed in ways that are both appropriate and effective.

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