Confronting Design Problems in Developing On-Line Courses in Higher Education.Report as inadecuate

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This paper outlines design problems and other instructional delivery issues that need to be addressed by potential on-line program designers, and it suggests some possible solutions to these problems. The first issue was transforming a traditional, three-credit course in a developing student-centered curriculum into a course delivered through WebCT format. WebCT was the method of choice because the university had committed resources to this format. It was necessary to train instructors to use WebCT, to plan for a team effort, and then to develop a syllabus. Technology delivery strategies were chosen, including chat rooms, Internet bulletin boards, and communication through e-mail correspondence. Other options were not selected because of practical constraints in the course situation. In the actual delivery of the course, a number of issues had to be considered: (1) students' technological capacity to function as online learners; (2) technological support for students and instructors; (3) time zone and international server problems; (4) the compatibility of America Online with WebCT; (5) firewall protection that sometimes blocked the chat function; and (6) other technological problems. The paper concludes that overall addressing these issues will help in the development of an online course that satisfies both student and instructor needs. (SLD)

Descriptors: Computer Assisted Instruction, Curriculum Design, Delivery Systems, Educational Technology, Higher Education, Instructional Design, Online Systems, World Wide Web

Author: Roberson, Thelma; Klotz, Jack


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