Web-Based Course Design Models

Web-Based Course Design Models

Murat Çınar (Hacettepe University, Turkey) and Hakan Tüzün (Hacettepe University, Turkey)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0039-1.ch018
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This study presents the results obtained from a literature review on Web-based instructional design models in order to form a basis for Web-based course design practices. The pioneering studies in literature mainly focused on the components of Web-based instruction and how to direct learning processes in an interactive environment. The studies that proposed design models for Web-based courses were generally based on literature, so they did not sufficiently reflect how the components of a model would be implemented in design practices. In the relevant literature, studies based on authentic design cases are limited. These studies, in which design efforts and processes are described in narrative form, did not go beyond specific contexts and could not be regarded as models. Consequently, there is a need for more studies that provide guidance on how design instructions should be implemented so as to address and resolve the problems that may be encountered in this process.
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Today, many institutions, particularly higher-education institutions, organizations and companies organize Web-based courses and seminars, because such environments provide learning practices that eliminate time and place limitations, reduce education costs, support multimedia and are highly interactive.

Web-based instruction (WBI) presents many opportunities for the benefit of learners and teachers. Many learners who suspended their education or dropped out due to the limitations of the traditional delivery methods find the opportunity to continue their education via WBI, doing so in a way that is more suitable to their lifestyle, and thus join the community called the “new majority” (Ehrmann, 1990). However, the report by Ritchie and Hoffman (1997) stated that detailed analysis should be conducted in order to design teaching for the Web and perform teaching on the Web, and it should be examined how the potential of the Web can be used in accordance with the principles of instructional design. In fact, the Internet has long been used as a means to distribute and share information. Efforts and studies in regard to e-learning continue to attract attention worldwide. However, there is a noticeable insufficiency of research on how teaching can be carried out through the Internet or how it can be transferred to the Internet environment (Burke, 2005; Tuzun, 2001). Today, many instructors, particularly those working at higher-education institutions, are directed to move their existing courses to the Web environment. They are, however, forced to go through this transformation through trial-and-error due to a lack of sufficient research in the literature (Koontz, Li, & Compara, 2006; Lightfoot, 2000). Therefore, electronic contents that present the curriculum contents in hierarchical sequence, but aren't blended with the appropriate pedagogy, are produced.

According to Snyder (2009), new theories and models of instructional design are necessary in order to design teaching through use of the new technology and tools provided by the Internet. The study by Foshay and Bergeron (2000) revealed that there is a big difference between the distribution of information and the teaching of information through the Internet. Instructional designers need guidance on how to use these new tools and technologies effectively to develop learning and teaching in different environments (Koontz et al., 2006; Reigeluth, 1999). Additionally, the widespread use of Web-based environments considerably affects our stance in regard to learning strategies (Krämer, 2000).

Significance of the Study

Design models intended as means of guidance in the process of preparing WBI applications give educators and designer a clear pathway. Within the suitable WBI design model, blending the elements of technological and instructional design elements would allow a more effective implementation of the WBI application in a shorter time. In this study, results obtained from a literature review on the design of WBI applications were examined, and approaches, strategies and models proposed in related studies for providing a basis for WBI applications were presented.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Distance Education: Distance education or distance learning is the process of performing the teaching and learning activities in environments where the teacher and the learner are in different physical places and times.

Instructional Design Model: The visual representations of the instructional design processes.

Web-Based Instruction: Web-based Instruction dictates that education is provided without temporal or spatial constraints, and that computers are used as tools for instruction for the purposes of research and communication.

Instructional Design Theory: Instructional design theories provide guidelines for the ways to support learning and development better.

Model: Models are designs that are not real themselves, but facilitate a better understanding of phenomena in the physical world. Models facilitate the conceptualization of a process or system by simplifying the complexity of real situations and classifying them in groups of general steps that can be applied to many different contexts.

Massive Open Online Courses: An open access Web-based distance learning program that is designed for the participation of large numbers of geographically dispersed participants.

Instructional Design: This is the process that includes the systematic development of instructional elements using teaching and learning theories to maintain the quality of education.

Design: A plan to arrange elements to reach a specific goal effectively. This is the planning of route maps that aim to replace the current situation with a preferable one.

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