Learning should be an Active,
Cooperative, Collaborative, and Challenging Process
The following article was
adapted from Instruction and technology: Designs for everyday
© 2007 by wikieducator.org
These recommendations are designed for
developed as a university level course taken for credit; However, the
concepts apply to courses for which no grades are given, but in-service
credit is given to advance the skills and knowledge of individuals.
It is possible to encourage student and
faculty contact by enhancing and
enriching the learning environment. These recommendations cross the
boundaries of online teaching and traditional pedgogical of
- Include computer based instruction, such as tutorials,
simulations and drills.
- Does the course integrate the
presentation and interaction by activities such as
personal advising/counseling, delivery of course content, evaluation,
- Are online resources such as course content, assignments,
information germane to course posted online?
- What technology options are allowed to turn in assignments?
Individual one-on-one learning
- Availability of mentoring via email, web meetings, instant
- Does the learner experience include opportunities to
interact with other classmates?
Student to Student interaction
- Do learners engage in real dialog face to face or
- Will there be a public record of confering, such as
forum posting, threaded discussions, emails to lists of participants,
archived chat sessions?
- Are classmates encouraged to participate in personal
- What methods are provided to allow students to brainstorm
with teachers or peers and to maintain social relationships?
- Will learners be required to participate in peer reviews of
- Will the course involve peer learning, groups/peer tutorial
sessions, and peer counseling?
- Will the course involve collaborative production of
- Is technology used as a medium of collaboration,
conversation, discussions, exchange, and communication of ideas?
- What is the minimum computer equipment and software
required for the course?
- Do course activities encourage collaboration and
sharing of knowledge with different groups of people (different
professional groups, people from different domains, experts and
novices, for example)?
- Are there examples of externalizing group processes and
increasing awareness of them?
- Are learner activities included for building of new
knowledge on the basis of others' contributions, sharing cognitive
- Is computer mediation (for indexing, storing, searching,
disseminating information) included?
Encourage active/engaged learning
- Does the course encourage the integration of theoretical
knowledge with practical experience of participants?
- Is technology used as a medium for participating in
simulated experiences and cognitive partnerships?
- Does the course include a platform for the
expression and contribution of artistic and cognitive understandings
Provide Prompt Feedback Assessment / evaluation
- Is there a simple and familiar interface that allows all
learners to be able to participate on an even playing field?
- Are there activities emphasizing the links between
authentic work activities and e-learning material and virtual
- To what extent is there Geographic independence - learning
without restriction to the physical buildings of the learning
- What functionality is provided to increase learners'
over their own educational experience and the way that they are asked
to learn particular materials?
- Are structured support and guidance for learning in all
phases of the learning process included?
- What activities support conscious reasoning and
self-assessment, setting one's own (i.e. not set by the environment)
learning goals (What do I know?; What should I learn?)?
- Are assignments returned graded with notes and comments?
- How quickly are student questions answered?
- Are the answers personalized or a generic response?
- Are answers to students' questions accessible by all
in the class to ensure other students with the same questions do not
need to ask the question as well?
Emphasize Time On Task
- Are learners required to develop individual and group
- Is there integration of e-learning with face-to-face
learning situations whenever possible?
- Are shared workspaces provided for collaborative
- Are there tasks that force groups to collaborate and
- Do learner activities include retrieval of information
online information archives, such as OPACs, ERIC, and commercial
Communicate High Expectations
- Do on-line participants have full access to instructor
expectations, e.g. course syllabus, assignment information, grading
- Is an evaluation rubric published showing grading criteria
and associated scoring for each major assignment?
- Do students provide input to the grading criteria?
- Is the instructor communicating frequently as a
demonstration of appropriate communication?
- Are students talking more electronically (via e-mail or a
chat program) than they do in a face-to-face situation?
Respect Diverse Talents and Ways of Learning
- Is there appropriate inclusion of hyperlinked textual
material, incorporating pictures, graphics, and animation?
- Are learners offered different forms of representation and
different forms of learning activities (reading, writing, discussing,
using metaphors, audio, visual, etc.)?
- Are there videotaped elaboration of subject matter,
including interviews, and panel discussions?
- Are course materials provided in multiple formats for
visual, auditory, read-write and kinesthetic learning?
- Are there guest lectures included, which promote
interaction between learners and persons in the larger community?
- What tools are provided for the identification,
evaluation, and integration of a variety of information?
- Is there Platform independence from any particular
or software type (e.g. media players, browser specific display
The following internet
links have been
gleaned from personal communications
public institutions and athletic
have a web presence with information concerning team
materials are copy protected.
The limited use of the
materials for education purposes is allowed providing
credit is given
for the source of the materials.