Timothy Barnett-Queen, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
School of Social Work, New Mexico State
P. O. Box 30001
Las Cruces NM 88003-8001 USA
Online pedagogy, Course design, Instructional design
Pedagogy is arguably the most important general aspect of any instructional effort. Principles of pedagogy help the instructor select the most appropriate methods to achieve a specific instructional objective. This session will explore pedagogical issues associated with the design of human services (social work) courses intended for delivery on the Web.
The Internet is an expanding environment where educators, Web designers and developers have access to new development tools, software and programming languages that assist with the design of online courses. Although Internet technologies are constantly evolving, the pedagogical and instructional design issues have remained relatively constant.
Pedagogy is arguably the most important general aspect of any instructional effort. Principles of pedagogy help the instructor select the most appropriate methods to achieve a specific instructional objective. There are multiple theories and philosophies of how to teach and encourage active learning in an online environment. Just as face to face teaching is different from instructing online, so too can be the method by which instructors and students learn together.
Shoffner and Dalton (1998, pp.371-374) explained how "... in the design of the instruction, delivery strategies are those decisions affecting the way the information
will be carried to the learner." The challenge faced by the online course designer is to decide which is the best methodology for course material presentation given the goals and objectives of the degree program and its curriculum. Carlson, Downs, Repman and Clark (1998) argued that Web-based instruction is presented in a format that differs significantly from traditional instruction. Rather than designing instruction that is intended to deliver information to the learner, it is necessary to design instruction which engages the learner in interactive activities.
Instructional design issues raised by these and other authors have been categorized into the following: structure, content, motivation, feedback, interaction, involvement and assessment. The debate about the role of online technology provides us with an opportunity to clarify what we value in the learning environments that we construct, and clarify how we will be able to meet these future goals for our students.
Objectives: This presentation raises many key pedagogical issues that need to be addressed as we design online courses. The major online course pedagogical models will be discussed along with the course objectives, design and delivery issues each model purports to resolve. In addition, hybrids of the major models will be presented. Course development strategies will be presented based on each pedagogical model. At least two fully developed sample online courses will be demonstrated, each illustrating a different model.
Target audience: those who have developed online human services courses (university or continuing education) as well as those who have an interest in doing so.