Distance Learning

Web-Based Course Development Instructional Design

Structure

WBCs are organized somewhat like print-based distance learning courses. Courses are divided into modules. Modules are divided into lessons. (Certain courses may have lessons grouped within sections within modules.)

Example:

  • Course
    • Modules (page describing the module)
      • Lessons
        • prior knowledge (relevance of material, simulate interest)
        • lesson outcomes
        • method of evaluation
        • tutorial (lesson contents, teaching, guided practice, check for understanding via interactive examples)
        • software examples *
        • homework assignment (includes keys and spreadsheet templates)
        • project assignment *
        • what was learned? (wrap-up and reflection)
        • congratulations (signals end of lesson)

        • * may not be in every lesson

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Components

  • Self tests, invitations to post discussion group messages, assignment submissions, links to other resources, glossary links, and tests are integrated into lessons.
  • Course materials are interactive in two ways: on-screen student engagement and computer-mediated communications (CMC).
  • Each lesson contains opportunities for students to solve problems and enter solutions on the screen, with immediate feedback. Self-tests are also provided at appropriate points. Guided practice opportunities and checking for understanding are the pedagogical principles employed.
  • WBCs are instructor mediated. Students are given frequent opportunities to share experiences with other students, collaborate, and contact the instructor. CMC points are built into courses and are augmented by online instructors. The goal is to develop an online community.
  • An important component of delivery for inschool students taking the course is the site-facilitator. Site facilitators are the first line of technical support to students.

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