Web 2.0 technologies change our life largely. People’s role shift from a user to a participator. You can do more than merely visiting websites. Everyone contributes to the content online via blogging, wiki, uploading videos etc.. Two way information flow on the Internet today is realized through instant message tools. We can find the change in role in online courses. Students are no longer the passive knowledge receiver. Interpersonal interactions in online education is one key factor to concern when developing web-based instruction. Online learning differs from traditional classroom instruction in several ways. According to transactional distance theory, psychological misunderstanding and communication gap result from physical separation. Also, oftentimes the extent of diversity of learners’ backgrounds in online courses is greater than of classroom teaching. Thus analysis of learner characteristics becomes harder because people so different. I like the idea we discussed yesterday that in this situation, giving learners options to choose the type or format they prefer is better than trying to find a balance to meet everyone’s demand in instruction.
I have to say yesterday’s class reminds me of IDE 611, which is about technology used in educational settings. One thing we kept on talking was “integrating technology into education effectively”. But it is easier to say than done. Problems will arise without comprehensive consideration.
As for model of developing web-based products, one thing pops up in my mind is prototyping model of software development. One example in that model survey book is Boehm’s spiral model. Given that Web supported instruction is developed for learning that occurs within online environment, a model of web-based courses development, I personally believe, can borrow something from those prototyping models.