Background The rapid advance of Internet technology is creating exciting opportunities and challenges for teachers at all levels (Bates, 1999; Levenberg & Major, 1998; Schifter, 2000; Van Dusen, 1997). Web enhanced instruction has become standard practice in most institutions of higher learning in Western countries (Allen & Seaman, 2003; Waits & Lewis, 2003).The academic community, especially in higher education, has adopted and used the World Wide Web as one of the feasible delivery methods for learning activities. Schrum and Hong (2002) suggest seven dimensions related to the students’ success in Web–based learning: (1) access to tools; (2) technology experience; (3) learning preferences; (4) study habits and skills; (5) student goals and purposes; (6) lifestyle factors; and, (7) personal traits and characteristics .
Statement of Problem Findings from research on Web–based learning are often inconsistent. Some studies suggest that Web–based courses can be as effective as traditional FTF courses (Carter, 1996; Moore and Thompson, 1997). However, other studies on web–based learning have revealed that students prefer face–to–face (FTF) traditional method of learning environment than web-based learning environment (Easterling, 2001; Kember, 1989).
1- BETWEEN LEARNER AND CONTENT 2- BETWEEN LEARNER AND INSTRUCTOR 3- BETWEEN LEARNER AND LEARNER 4- BETWEEN LEARNER AND INTERFACE
PRINCIPLES IN ISTRUCTION: 1- Variation and Curiosity 2- Relevance 3- Challenge Level 4- Positive Outcome 5- Positive Impression 6- Readable Style 7- Early Interest
Many researchers have been arguing the need for Web-based learning environments that extend the opportunities they afford the students (e.g. Collis, 1997; Duschatel, 1997). These researchers have been guided in their thinking by learning theories, which stressed the need for, and value of, learning environments that provide active and engaging activities for students. Students should have the opportunities to construct knowledge rather than just being exposed to the transmission of knowledge.
Conclusion For successful learner outcomes in Web–based courses, both instructors and students must recognize that instructional, learning styles and learning strategies must adapt to the characteristics of the online learning environment. It requires increased engagement among all participants, with students regulating their learning and instructors becoming active facilitators (Howland and Moore, 2002). For Web–based courses, students and instructors must modify their view of the learning environment by steadily moving away from passive, one–way interaction for learning to self–regulated and social learning activities. With this movement, educators are challenged to integrate innovative instructional activities that encourage student engagement and ownership of the learning process. This change may not be an easy conversion for most students because they may have to change learning strategies that were appropriate before distance education. In turn, educators will need to continue their endeavor in improving instructional strategies while students learn to take a more active role in their learning.
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