1 Running Head: WEB DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT Web Design 1 Web Design and Development Week 1OLE Project Christopher Harrigan The University of Akron Strategies for Online Teaching and Learning Summer 2013
2 Web Design 2 Description of the Project Web Design and Development (WDD) is a fully-online course, and as an adjunct instructor have been teaching it at a local community college for the past two years. Typically students who take this course are new to the college and/or the WDD program, comprise of traditional and/or non-traditional students, with many new to online learning who complete a pre-requisite online learning orientation course. In this WDD course, students are introduced to the overall methodologies of developing web sites, including the history of the Internet, fundamentals of web design, and the HTML and CSS markup languages. Once students complete the course, they should have an understanding of the web design and development process and be capable of hand coding a static website. General learning objectives for this course include effective communication (written, oral, reading, and listening), quantitative literacy (includes computational skills), information literacy, and critical thinking. Course learning objectives consist of the following: design and implement web pages by hand coding basic and intermediate HTML, control the style of web pages by hand coding Cascading Style Sheets, gain a knowledge of using File Transfer Protocol in a Windows/Mac environment, and finally demonstrate an understanding of interactive mark-up creation terminology and concepts. Upon analysis and evaluation of this WDD course, noticed there are some gaps with potential opportunities for improvement in online teaching and learning, primarily in the areas of social presence and peer interaction. For the online learning project decided to revisit, re-create, and enhance an already developed Week 1 portion of the WDD course utilizing a TPACK framework, online learning theories, social presence, blended learning, assessment, evaluation, and/or other concepts discussed and learned in Strategies for Online Teaching and Learning course.
3 Web Design 3 TPACK s Impact TPACK plays a vital role in selecting the right online pedagogy and technology to support the WDD content for online teaching and learning. To ensure pedagogical effectiveness, a learner centric environment, successful student learning outcomes, appropriate instructional design, and effective online instruction for this WDD course, four major instructional strategies (Lewis and Abdul-Hamid, 2006) will prevail within a TPACK framework utilizing a structured pedagogical approach while incorporating online learning theories, collaborative projects, online blended learning activities, and various other online educational methodologies. First of all, in the WDD course it will be important as an instructor to foster interaction among students and between students and instructor through the use of social interaction such as discussion boards, online chat, course messages, announcements, and , as well as collaborative work to promote student learning and engagement (Lewis and Abdul-Hamid, 2006). The CourseSites by Blackboard Learning Management System (LMS) provides these and various other collaborative tools, allowing for effective instructor design and development of appropriate learning activities for the WDD course. Another key aspect the WDD course is providing prompt, in-depth, and individualized feedback with regard to student performance. This includes making clearly identifying grading expectations prior to having students submit their work, as well as ing students who are not keeping up with the course workload (Lewis and Abdul-Hamid, 2006). These and other WDD course policies will be clearly stated on the first day of class as part of the course content, written in the course syllabus, and as needed via course announcements, , or course messages throughout the semester via CourseSites by Blackboard LMS.
4 Web Design 4 Facilitating learning is another characteristic of effective online pedagogy in the WDD course, in which instructor communicates the learning goals of the course to students and attempts to bridge the gap between students, the course content, and the learning process (Lewis and Abdul-Hamid, 2006). In addition, a variety of facilitation skills are essential for online teaching and learning efficacy, including how to do the following: engage the learner, question students, provide listening and feedback as well as direction and support, manage discussions, promote relationship building, motivate students, monitor the course, and time manage the course (Kemshal-Bell, 2001). Instructor best practices in facilitation are instrumental in the WDD course, including appropriate and effective use of tools in CourseSites by Blackboard LMS, along with professional development. Finally, maintaining enthusiasm and having a visible persona, or teacher presence, in the online WDD class is also viewed as an essential role of the instructor. According to Lewis and Abdul-Hamid, Despite differences in online course platforms, one of the expectations for effective online instruction is for structured pedagogical approaches, which evolve around interactivity and the deliberate actions of faculty willing to provide careful attention to student needs. Instructor passion and excitement for subject matter, while using CourseSites by Blackboard LMS and its collaborative tools, has the potential for an engaging, lively, learning environment while meeting student needs. In summary, the TPACK framework allows for effective implementation of the four major instructional strategies for the WDD course through the seamless integration of pedagogy with technology, CourseSites by Blackboard LMS, to support and deliver course content for promoting student engagement, achievement and success.
5 Web Design 5 Design and Development Using CourseSites by Blackboard LMS, designed and developed a fully-online WDD course, for Week 1 only due to project time constraints, using a standard LMS template. Student Home page includes a standard navigation bar with links to Course Content, Calendar, Grades, Discussions, , Course Messages, Tools, and Help. In addition, the main body of the Home page consists of links to My Announcements, My Tasks, What s New (Assignments, Content, and Tests), and a To Do panel. Now as for the WDD CourseSites by Blackboard LMS Content folder, it is structured with subfolders or activities consisting of Start Here, Virtual Office, and Week 1. Normally this course includes Weeks 2-16, but for the sake of this project only Week 1 course content will be available. The Start Here folder greets students with a welcome and proceeds with information on the course syllabus, textbook requirements, calendar, expectations, course navigation/weekly structure, grade determination, netiquette, and assignments. Assignments in the Start Here folder include an online Syllabus Quiz and an Introduce Yourself Discussion Board (DB). In the Introduce Yourself DB, enhanced it further with student-student interaction by requiring students to respond to two other student Introduce Yourself postings. Virtual Office is also available, and it is actually a discussion board for students who need assistance and wish to post questions about the course materials and/or assignments. Not only is there teacher-student interaction in the Virtual Office, but student-student interaction is highly encouraged since it promotes deeper learning and student engagement. Moving on to the Week 1 folder in the WDD CourseSites, it is designed to contain Materials and Assignments. A Materials folder typically consists of lessons, also known as learning modules, and it normally includes lecture notes, PowerPoints, and videos, but may
6 Web Design 6 also include links to external materials, including the companion website for the textbook. For Week 1 Materials, currently there is an Intro to the Internet PowerPoint, a Using Firefox video, and topic related links to various external websites. An Assignments folder may normally include homework, projects, discussion forum, quiz, and/or an assessment. For Week 1, assignments consist of an Introduction to the Internet Quiz, research/written homework assignment, student introduction on discussion forum, and an interactive self-fest activity on the textbook companion website. For assessment development in the CourseSites by Blackboard LMS, used the tool for designing tests, and chose the option for multiple-choice tests. For the Start Here folder, created a 10 question Syllabus Quiz, and for Week 1 designed a 5 question Quiz 1 for the topic Intro to the Internet. An additional assessment for the class includes homework research on Intro to the Internet, with a short essay assignment required for online submission in the Week 1 assignment LMS dropbox. Project Use The current WDD Week 1 Project will be the foundation, essentially a catalyst, for additional enhancements to the actual WDD course instruction for this Fall 2013 semester, with a focus on social presence and student-student interaction due to a noticeable gap upon evaluation of the course. To improve social presence for Week 1, the plan is move beyond the standard text-based welcome and to add either an instructor welcome audio or video in the course announcements and/or on the Home page. Additionally, Week 1 will gradually start with some peer interaction by having students not only Introduce Yourself in the discussion forum, but also reply to two other student postings. The goal here is for students to get acquainted with the collaborative tools and with each other for future collaborative online learning activities.
7 Web Design 7 As the course progresses throughout the semester, additional plans include adding a new collaborative component for an assignment related to a course topic on web development team projects. Not only will students read about this topic, but they will work as teams of 3 on a small web development project. Upon completion of the project, each student will write a reflection about their web team project experience. Students will learn immensely from this assignment since it truly mirrors a real-world collaborative experience as a web application development team. The WDD course includes a comprehensive Final Project website consisting of 5 webpages incorporating most HTML and CSS web development techniques covered in the course. Another idea for consideration, as modeled in this Strategies for Online Teaching and Learning course, is to establish a WDD Final Project discussion board. Students will post their Final Project Website to the discussion board and comment on two other students Final Projects. The goal is to share websites, get ideas, and promote deeper learning. As the Fall 2013 semester progresses for the actual WDD course, certainly more ideas will surface and be taken into consideration for enhancing the WDD course based on a combination of the TPACK framework, online learning theories, social presence, blended learning, assessment, evaluation, and/or other concepts discussed and learned in Strategies for Online Teaching and Learning course.
8 Web Design 8 References Kemshal-Bell, G. (2001). The online teacher. New South Wales, Australia: Department of Education and Training. Lewis, C. C., & Abdul-Hamid, H. (2006). Implementing effective online teaching practices: Voices of exemplary faculty. Innovative Higher Education, 31(2), pp