Online Computer Lab Planning

Online Computer Lab Planning

Lee Chao (University of Houston-Victoria, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-507-8.ch003
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In Chapter 1 and Chapter 2, we have done overviews about the issues related to online computer labs such as Web-based teaching and various Web-based teaching systems. We have also briefly discussed technology-based courses and the technologies that can be used in the development of WBT and online computer labs. Starting from this chapter, we will discuss issues in designing and developing online computer labs for technology-based courses. The first task in designing online computer labs is to determine what type of online computer lab should be developed. It all depends on the teaching requirements. The developed computer lab should meet the needs of hands-on practice and balance the support, cost, and the complexity of technologies. This chapter provides you with a systematic way of identifying the needs of an online computer lab. In this chapter, we will discuss various approaches to decide what the teaching requirements are. We will start off with the topics related to online computer lab development process which will show you the big picture about developing online computer labs. Then, we will walk through the topics such as identifying hands-on requirements, identifying resources, and assessing costs. Investigating these topics will help you decide how big your project is, what the growth rate is, what the costs are, if there is funding for the project, and what kind of support you need to get from the computer service team. The next topic is about project planning which deals with issues such as budgeting, scheduling a time line, forming a project development team, and implementing the project. This topic helps designers to deliver an efficient plan in developing a successful online computer lab.

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