Designing Effective Online Instruction

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1 Designing Effective Online Instruction A Handbook for Web-Based Courses Franklin R. Koontz Hongqin Li Daniel P. Compora Rowman & Littlefield Education Lanham, Maryland Toronto Oxford 2006

2 Contents Preface v Part 1 Theory and Research 1 Online Instructional Design: What Is It? 3 2 Learning Theory 19 3 Distance Learning Research Findings 31 Part 2 The ASSIST-Me Model for Web-Based Instruction 4 Step 1: Analyze Instruction, Settings, and Students 49 5 Step 2: Write Performance Objectives for E-learning 70 6 Step 3: State Instructional Materials, Organize Content, and Media 88 7 Step 4: Implement Instruction Step 5: Solicit Student Response to Instruction Step 6: Test, Evaluate, and Revise Instruction Step 7: Maintenance of an Online Course 158 Appendix 171 About the Authors 175 iii

3 Preface INTRODUCTION The designing of online courses requires a radical change in thinking in the way the instruction is designed and presented to the student. Going from the traditional classroom instructional environment to online instruction is like going from an instructional television lesson that transports students from the classroom to a distant country to be immersed in the history, culture, customs, and music to a silent movie where students may feel lonely, isolated, and ultimately responsible for their own learning. The designed instruction must create a learning environment that will accommodate students in this new online learning setting. The primary responsibility of the instructional designer is to make sure the online program accomplishes the learning goals, in other words, that the students learn what they are supposed to learn. Courses taught in instructional design (ID) in the area of instructional technology are found in the majority of colleges of education. In some institutions instructional design is a required area of study. These courses introduce a myriad of traditional instructional design models suitable for traditional classroom instruction but not for the design of online instruction. To date, however, few, if any, research-based models using a systems approach are available to design Web-based instruction. NEED FOR WEB-BASED ID MODELS Traditional classroom design models are presently being taught and used for this new form of online instruction. Some designers and online instructors still contend that Gagné s nine events of instruction (1985) and Keller s (1983) ARCS model are sufficient to use when designing online instruction. These models address instructional strategies and motivational strategies. However, according to a recent study conducted by Dr. Xiangqin Sun in 2001, half of the 133 instructional designers who were v

4 vi PREFACE surveyed indicated there was a need for a specific instructional design model to be created and used for Web-based courses. A second study conducted by Dr. Hongqin Li in 2003 using a Delphi technique also found the need for a specific instructional design model that addresses the unique nature of this type of instruction. The majority of the respondents to the survey indicated that the traditional models being used did not address the teaching/learning variables of Web-based instruction and that there was a need for a specific instructional design model dedicated to the design of online instruction. In addition, there was a call by teaching faculty and professional instructional designers for a specific model dedicated to designing Web-based courses. A variety of online courses, degree programs, and certificate programs lack proper instructional design structure and are no more than cut-and-paste lecture notes or textbooks on a Web site. Many teaching faculty are still designing their courses on a trial-and-error basis using the same teaching and design techniques used for conventional classroom instruction and have no evidence of the effectiveness of their Webbased courses. PURPOSE OF THE ASSIST-ME MODEL The purpose of the ASSIST-Me model is to introduce an instructional design approach for Web-based instruction that may be used by teaching faculty who design instruction for online courses, professional instructional designers, and faculty who teach instructional design courses. The AS- SIST-Me model, based on the Delphi research study Investigation of an Instructional Design Model for Web-Based Instruction (WBI) (Li, 2003), offers an instructional design procedure intended specifically for the unique nature of online courses. Design procedures were obtained from a panel of professional instructional designers and synthesized into a model that contains the essential steps to be included in the design process. The ASSIST-Me model describes a step-by-step procedure that demonstrates how online instruction may be designed. The ASSIST-Me model for WBI is presented as an open-systems approach, in other words, once the analysis phase has been completed, the designer may begin to design other parts of the instruction and will not be forced to follow a lockstep linear system. The model gives the designer maximum flexibility when creating effective instruction.

5 PREFACE vii The text will not explain, however, the user interface design, or how to put courses online. That instructional material is already available. The text will also not explain the production procedures of various media such as audio, video, multimedia development, and so forth. That instructional material is also available. ORGANIZATION OF THE TEXTBOOK This textbook is divided into two major parts. Part 1 deals with necessary background information about the concept of instructional design. Chapter 1 addresses the basics of instructional design procedures, the need for a new model and approach, some building blocks that will foster a better understanding of need for a design model for online courses, and basic characteristics of instructional design. Chapter 2 discusses what a welldesigned lesson should include in the way of elements of learning, and various learning theories. This chapter deals with how our students learn and how we can design instruction that will enhance their learning. Chapter 3 discusses what the research says about online learning and what we know enables students to learn. Part 2 of this text introduces the ASSIST-Me model and has its own introduction. Chapter Organization Each chapter begins with an outline of the chapter, knowledge objectives that should be considered, and a lexicon that introduces new vocabulary terms used in the chapter. At the end of each chapter, online case studies have been included to give you examples of how other online instructors have designed their courses. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The authors would like to thank the faculty who participated in the online case studies and shared their online course designs. If you would like to learn more about their courses, you may them for additional information. Dr. John Cryan, professor of early childhood, for sharing his undergraduate course Philosophy and Practice in Early Childhood Education

6 viii PREFACE in the Department of Early Childhood, College of Education, The University of Toledo. Dr. Earnest DuBrul, associate professor of biology, for his graduate course Scientific Thought and Communication in the Department of Biology, College of Arts and Science, The University of Toledo. Dr. Ella Fridman, associate professor, engineering technology, for her undergraduate course Applied Thermodynamics in the Department of Engineering Technology, College of Engineering, The University of Toledo. REFERENCES Gagné, R. (1985). The conditions of learning and theory of instruction. (4th ed.). New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston. Keller, J. M. (1983). Motivational design of instruction. In C. M. Reigeluth (Ed.) Instructional design theories and models (pp ). Hillsdale, N.J.: Erlbaum. Li, H. (2003). Investigation of a new instructional design model for Web-based instruction (WBI): A Delphi study. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, The University of Toledo, Toledo, OH.

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