This is a step-by-step guide and tutorial for developing curriculum for computer-based delivery. The tutorial teaches the rudimentary aspects of creating an online course.
Type of Material:
A step-by-step tutorial.
To guide faculty in the development of new online courses and the conversion of existing courses to an online environment.
1. FTP software to transfer files after development to the hosting server. 2. Server space on a remote hosting server.
Presumes that the user has access to a course-management system if interactivity
is to occur.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
To learn to convert a simple paper course/seminar into an online course/seminar.
Target Student Population:
Instructors who wish to modify an existing course for the web or by creating an online course from scratch.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
1. Basic HTML programming or use of an HTML editor such as Macromedia Dreamweaver 2. 2. Image editing and optimizing skills (if using graphics), e.g., use of Fireworks 2.
The tutorial is accessible and easy to follow. The seven-point outline covers the essential stages of web-based course development in a manner that also explains the relevance of these activites (i.e., chunking). This should be especially useful to experienced teachers who are preparing to teach in the online environment for the first time.
The guide is sketchy; the lessons are very basic, and done in little more than outline form. The lessons contain several points that could use further elaboration, e.g., cgi scripting is merely defined, but its use and development are not explained.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
Although this tutorial does not contain sufficient in-depth explanation in each of the lessons, it does provide a good checklist of what one needs to know to teach in the online classroom. The tutorial could be somewhat effective in teaching instructors about the stages of online course development. As such, it could be useful as a resource for large faculty groups that wish to develop online courses or rethink existing courses.
Since the tutorial is is designed to help instructors develop online courses, its uses as a teaching tool are limited. There are few applications (if any) that would be useful within a course. Moreover, the lessons make brief mentions of concepts (i.e., SME, cgi scripting) that potentially are unfamiliar to teachers inexperienced in web-based teaching. The lessons don't discuss some of the issues or challenges related to online teaching. For example, there is no discussion of how to use the computer for creating student-to-student and instructor-to-student interactivity, or of examples of learning activities that promote online collaboration. Another example,
in Lesson Two on the discussion of test questions, it would be useful to explain some of the logistical and ethical issues related to online testing, including strategies that might be used to assure test integrity and student honesty. This could be a problem because they are the primary audience for this tutorial.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The lessons of the tutorial are easy to understand and simple to navigate. And the links to other resources provided by the author are, for the most part, internal, i.e., created by the author and on the author's host server. Hence they appear to be actively maintained and up-to-date.
Other Issues and Comments:
The limitations of the content noted here may be attributed to the fact that this is a commercial site. Most likely, its purpose is to entice potential clients to purchase services, rather than serve as a free resource for academic instruction.
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