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TECH4101: Instructional Design for the Web [Document #9]



Instructional design for the Web

Dr. Alaa Sadik, Sultan Qaboos University
alaasadik@squ.edu.om


        According to Gagne et al. (1988), the purpose of instructional design is to structure an
environment to provide learners with conditions that support learning. Gustafson and Branch

(1997) indicated that the main role of instructional design models is to provide conceptual and

communication tools to visualise and direct processes for generating guided learning. With
the growing development in Web-based education, the need to look for an appropriate design

strategy (or model) is highlighted.

        The review of the instructional design literature shows that design, development and

evaluation stages are the main elements included in instructional design models. Spector et al.
(1992), for example, suggested a useful model of instructional systems design for analysing

the relationship between learner characteristics, the learning environment and the resulting

quality of computer-based instruction. They described the model as a ‘cognitively oriented

method for developing a useful and predictive process for designing CBI’ (Spector et al.,
1992, p. 45).

        However, although this model is beneficial as a series of stages, Spector et al. did not

indicate how to follow or implement this model. In addition, the design depends mainly on

the results of behavioural and objectivist research, which has been challenged recently by the
constructivist approach. More recently, Kemp et al. (1994) argued that the elements of

instructional design process can be represented by answers to four questions:

1. For whom is the programme being developed?
2. What do you want the learners to learn?

3. How is the subject content or skill best learned?

4. How do you determine the extent to which the learning has been achieved? (Kemp et al.,

    1994, p. 8).




                                                  1
TECH4101: Instructional Design for the Web [Document #9]



Typical instructional design model
  Instructional design phase                                 Typical Goals
 Analysis                       •         Define training requirements.
                                •         Analyse target population.
                                •         Establish performance levels.
 Design                         •         Specify instructional objectives.
                                •         Group and sequence objectives.
                                •         Design instructional treatments.
                                •         Specify evaluation system.
 Production                     •         Develop learning activities.
                                •         Develop test items.
                                •         Perform formative evaluation.
 Implementation                 •         Implement learning activities.
                                •         Administer test items.
                                •         Assess student results.
 Maintenance                    •         Revise content materials.
                                •         Revise test items.
                                •         Assess course effectiveness.
        Understanding the requirements of distance education and the capabilities of the Web
is important for designing and developing relevant Web-based instruction. For example,

designing for the Web requires transforming the Web from a passive publishing tool to an

active learning environment to deliver instruction and support distance students. In addition,

interaction between instructors and learners and among learners themselves, which is a
serious limitation of many distance education environments, should be considered in

designing a Web-based instruction environment. Making the learning experience interactive

requires adapting and exploiting hypermedia features, involving the communicative approach
and providing immediate feedback.

        However, it is should be mentioned that producing a learning environment for delivery

via the Web is different from publishing an information system using traditional types of

media. Web-based learning environments have their own nature, components, structure and
evaluation strategies. Therefore, developing for the Web requires going through many

additional tasks and sub-tasks in the instructional design process.




                                                  2
TECH4101: Instructional Design for the Web [Document #9]



Instructional design of Web-based learning environments
         The definition focus                               Sub-tasks
 Learners analysis *                    - Learners’ needs
                                        - Learners’ background and educational
                                            level
 Front-end analysis **                 Using, adopting or designing and developing an
                                       effective Web-based learning environment for
                                       teaching students at distance.
 Defining the subject content and the   - Defining the learning subject
 learning objectives                    - The nature of the subject
                                        - Problems associated with teaching and
                                            learning the subject
                                        - Teaching/learning strategies of the
                                            subject
                                        - The subject and CAI
                                        - Task analysis
                                        - Aims and objectives
 The teaching/learning approach       Defining a teaching/learning approach for designing
                                      instruction
 Defining the requirements of the     Defining management component, tutorial
 learning environment on the Web      component, interaction component and support
                                      component.
 Defining technical requirements      Defining:
                                        - Software
                                        - Hardware
                                        - Web server machine
                                        - Internet connections
 Defining user requirements           Software, hardware and Internet connection
 The design and development focus Sub-tasks
 Media and format selection           Web-based hypermedia objects
 Selection of development             Web page editor, photo editor, programming
 environment                          languages, etc.
 Designing and developing the           - Tutorials and assessment
 components of the learning             - Support utilities
 environment                            - Interaction tools
                                        - Management and monitoring tools
                                        - Help and on-line support
                                        - Organising the learning environment
 Designing and organising the           - General design
 environment                            - Organising the components
 Using the environment                Student’s path through the learning environment
 Uploading the site to the Web server Uploading and trying the site in a Web server
 Developmental testing (formative       - Expert appraisal
 evaluation)                            - Student tryout




                                                  3
TECH4101: Instructional Design for the Web [Document #9]



* Learner analysis

The first step in the design and development phase is to understand students’ needs, have

information about their educational and cultural background and determine why they need to

study at a distance. In the ID models, this stage is an on-going process rather than an

introductory stage. Designers can collect information from learners about their feelings, what
they prefer and what can be done to make the programme more interesting and helpful. In the

present study, information about learners was needed to design the learning environment,

choose types of learning, plan for learning activities and anticipate the degree to which
students would need technical and educational support.



** Front-end analysis

Front-end analysis is the second step in designing any programme. It is the designer’s role to
investigate the needs of the programme to see whether they are met by an already established

learning environment or not and to evaluate the limitations of other alternatives and the

outcomes of developing a new programme.

        The evaluation approach is mainly based on the review of the literature and conducted
in the light of the following issues:

   1. Limitations of previous distance education systems and the framework for describing

       the features of distance education technologies (type of interaction, type of learning,
       costs, ease of use, flexibility, etc.);

   2. Bates’ (1995) ACTIONS model for evaluating and comparing among distance

       education technologies;

   3. Types and requirements of developing and receiving on-line learning and delivery of
       media via the Web.

   4. Models of using the Web in education, theories and types of on-line learning and the

       framework of features and elements of on-line learning (tutorial, interaction,

       management and support).




                                                  4

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9. Instructional Desig in DE

  • 1. TECH4101: Instructional Design for the Web [Document #9] Instructional design for the Web Dr. Alaa Sadik, Sultan Qaboos University alaasadik@squ.edu.om According to Gagne et al. (1988), the purpose of instructional design is to structure an environment to provide learners with conditions that support learning. Gustafson and Branch (1997) indicated that the main role of instructional design models is to provide conceptual and communication tools to visualise and direct processes for generating guided learning. With the growing development in Web-based education, the need to look for an appropriate design strategy (or model) is highlighted. The review of the instructional design literature shows that design, development and evaluation stages are the main elements included in instructional design models. Spector et al. (1992), for example, suggested a useful model of instructional systems design for analysing the relationship between learner characteristics, the learning environment and the resulting quality of computer-based instruction. They described the model as a ‘cognitively oriented method for developing a useful and predictive process for designing CBI’ (Spector et al., 1992, p. 45). However, although this model is beneficial as a series of stages, Spector et al. did not indicate how to follow or implement this model. In addition, the design depends mainly on the results of behavioural and objectivist research, which has been challenged recently by the constructivist approach. More recently, Kemp et al. (1994) argued that the elements of instructional design process can be represented by answers to four questions: 1. For whom is the programme being developed? 2. What do you want the learners to learn? 3. How is the subject content or skill best learned? 4. How do you determine the extent to which the learning has been achieved? (Kemp et al., 1994, p. 8). 1
  • 2. TECH4101: Instructional Design for the Web [Document #9] Typical instructional design model Instructional design phase Typical Goals Analysis • Define training requirements. • Analyse target population. • Establish performance levels. Design • Specify instructional objectives. • Group and sequence objectives. • Design instructional treatments. • Specify evaluation system. Production • Develop learning activities. • Develop test items. • Perform formative evaluation. Implementation • Implement learning activities. • Administer test items. • Assess student results. Maintenance • Revise content materials. • Revise test items. • Assess course effectiveness. Understanding the requirements of distance education and the capabilities of the Web is important for designing and developing relevant Web-based instruction. For example, designing for the Web requires transforming the Web from a passive publishing tool to an active learning environment to deliver instruction and support distance students. In addition, interaction between instructors and learners and among learners themselves, which is a serious limitation of many distance education environments, should be considered in designing a Web-based instruction environment. Making the learning experience interactive requires adapting and exploiting hypermedia features, involving the communicative approach and providing immediate feedback. However, it is should be mentioned that producing a learning environment for delivery via the Web is different from publishing an information system using traditional types of media. Web-based learning environments have their own nature, components, structure and evaluation strategies. Therefore, developing for the Web requires going through many additional tasks and sub-tasks in the instructional design process. 2
  • 3. TECH4101: Instructional Design for the Web [Document #9] Instructional design of Web-based learning environments The definition focus Sub-tasks Learners analysis * - Learners’ needs - Learners’ background and educational level Front-end analysis ** Using, adopting or designing and developing an effective Web-based learning environment for teaching students at distance. Defining the subject content and the - Defining the learning subject learning objectives - The nature of the subject - Problems associated with teaching and learning the subject - Teaching/learning strategies of the subject - The subject and CAI - Task analysis - Aims and objectives The teaching/learning approach Defining a teaching/learning approach for designing instruction Defining the requirements of the Defining management component, tutorial learning environment on the Web component, interaction component and support component. Defining technical requirements Defining: - Software - Hardware - Web server machine - Internet connections Defining user requirements Software, hardware and Internet connection The design and development focus Sub-tasks Media and format selection Web-based hypermedia objects Selection of development Web page editor, photo editor, programming environment languages, etc. Designing and developing the - Tutorials and assessment components of the learning - Support utilities environment - Interaction tools - Management and monitoring tools - Help and on-line support - Organising the learning environment Designing and organising the - General design environment - Organising the components Using the environment Student’s path through the learning environment Uploading the site to the Web server Uploading and trying the site in a Web server Developmental testing (formative - Expert appraisal evaluation) - Student tryout 3
  • 4. TECH4101: Instructional Design for the Web [Document #9] * Learner analysis The first step in the design and development phase is to understand students’ needs, have information about their educational and cultural background and determine why they need to study at a distance. In the ID models, this stage is an on-going process rather than an introductory stage. Designers can collect information from learners about their feelings, what they prefer and what can be done to make the programme more interesting and helpful. In the present study, information about learners was needed to design the learning environment, choose types of learning, plan for learning activities and anticipate the degree to which students would need technical and educational support. ** Front-end analysis Front-end analysis is the second step in designing any programme. It is the designer’s role to investigate the needs of the programme to see whether they are met by an already established learning environment or not and to evaluate the limitations of other alternatives and the outcomes of developing a new programme. The evaluation approach is mainly based on the review of the literature and conducted in the light of the following issues: 1. Limitations of previous distance education systems and the framework for describing the features of distance education technologies (type of interaction, type of learning, costs, ease of use, flexibility, etc.); 2. Bates’ (1995) ACTIONS model for evaluating and comparing among distance education technologies; 3. Types and requirements of developing and receiving on-line learning and delivery of media via the Web. 4. Models of using the Web in education, theories and types of on-line learning and the framework of features and elements of on-line learning (tutorial, interaction, management and support). 4