The Use of Database-Driven Web Pages to Increase the Functionality of Current Online Learning Technology

The Use of Database-Driven Web Pages to Increase the Functionality of Current Online Learning Technology

Richard Caladine (University of Wollongong, Australia)
Copyright: © 2005 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-512-2.ch015
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Online learning and course management systems are central to learning universities and colleges, and a model that blends face-to-face learning with distance education can combine benefits of the rich human learning relationships with the benefits of flexibility of where and when students learn. A large number of universities and colleges are adopting a blended model of learning. In the past, online interactions between learners generally have taken the form of text-based discussion forums, and while these have been used with great success in many courses, there are other interactions that have been difficult or impossible to undertake online. Database-driven Web sites were developed to make these interactions possible. Database-driven Web pages or collaborative, user-produced, Internet documents (CUPIDs) represent an innovation in online learning that allows learners to add, remove and edit the content of a Web page and/or upload files. As the data are input via Web forms, no programming skills are required. The data from the forms are processed by the database and the Web page is then rebuilt by the database. In this way, the database constructs or “drives” the Web page. CUPIDs have been used to facilitate a range of online interactions between learners in subjects at the University of Wollongong. The subjects all employ a model that blends face-to-face and online components. As well, learners may be distributed geographically between the five campuses of the university. The examples are: a Collaborative Online Glossary (COG); a Collaborative Online Reporting (COR); an Online Student Collected and Annotated Resources (OSCAR); as well as, a Collaborative Online Movie Review (COMR). By fostering new types of online interactions, CUPIDs provide greater functionality to online collaboration and open the door to a host of activities that are new to collaboration, online or otherwise and hence have a place in online learning of the future.

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