This provides broad coverage of topics ranging from the history of edcuation, benefits of online classes, standards for online teaching and assessment, relating to students in an online environment, retention, and why students make low grades.
Type of Material:
text-based document with links
To assist faculty in developing and more engaging and effective web-based courses.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
The goal of this article is to educated the reader about factors that contribute to a high quality online class.
Target Student Population:
College faculty, or anyone who teaches online.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
The author draws several conclusions and lessons from his own experience teaching online to help other instructors. The site features a broad overview and discussion of the concerns related to teaching in an online environment. It provides a practical guide, including examples of teaching materials and assessment tools likely to be useful for the first-time online instructor. The complete references and bibliography are additional strengths.
Some of the practical issues related to online teaching are not addressed in detail. The sample evaluation form for students is an effective instrument, but it is not clear how or if it can be administered confidentially. The discussion of online exams is rich with test-preparation advice for students, but a broader discussion of techniques to avoid cheating would be useful. In addition, some of the links have not been maintained.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
The purpose of the site is expressed clearly, and the topics are navigated easily, thanks to a menu of links. The content level is appropriate for college instructors. There are a number of external links that give the user access to the author's own supporting material as well as internet resources that the user will find equally useful. The author's e-mail, homepage and online courses can be accessed easily.
This article could be updated with links to include information about course design including podcasts. Also, it would be good to know more about the studies cited. Conclusions seem to be reached without much discussion or support.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The content is presented clearly and orderly. Topics are divided in a sensible way and the sections are easy to locate.
The best way to use the material might be to print the entire document, although the value of the many links woudl be lost. The black-and-white text has little visual appeal, except for occasional splashes of red text added for emphasis. This is not too distracting, however.
Other Issues and Comments:
I think that there is a lot of good information in this article, but that most of it is near the end. It needs to be edited and updated. The format could change to make it more user friendly. For example, I followed one of the links and could not return to the article.
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