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Online Curriculum Overview

Developing effective online curriculum that is more than just text on screen is a challenge facing teachers and educators across all sectors of education today. Klotnet Software focuses on the building of collaborative partnerships between educators and technical experts from outside agencies to develop an outcomes focused, flexible learning environment that allows for the integration of ICT (information and communications technologies) across learning area programs and encourages the development of online curriculum as a method of program delivery.

The process for managing online content:

1.       Content developers create and submit high-quality learning sequences using appropriate media, depending on context and user requirements. Formats can include text, images, audio, video, animation, interactive material, etc.

2.      Klotnet Software tests the content, using quality assurance processes, for technical integrity and viability.

3.      Once accepted, content is broken down into stand-alone learning objects, which are assigned intellectual property and educational metadata (index-able information describing a variety of characteristics about the learning objects such as: Date Published, Publisher, Subject, Target Audience, Related Keywords, etc.

4.      Learning objects are stored in a data repository in a format that is accessible and compatible with the online learning platform.

5.      Content is distributed by your organization to the online training portal as required, and usage, grading, attendance; etc can be monitored from a remote location.

Interactive Online Education Tools:

Students benefit from assignments that require them to actively engage with the information presented in lectures, and materials they are assigned to read outside of class time. A number of online tools are available for creating these types of assignments:

1.       Online testing software can be used to create formative quizzes that help students master basic concepts, and develop fluency applying conceptual knowledge.

2.      Online discussion forums can be used to pose discussion topics, providing students both the opportunity to articulate their own understanding of, and reactions to, ideas presented in class or readings, and a non-threatening environment in which to engage in intellectual dialogue with other students and their instructor.

3.      Case-based tutorials provide students the opportunity to practice decision-making in complex circumstances, applying theoretical knowledge in a simulated environment.

4.      Group assignments can be facilitated online, with students posting their individual contributions for others to review and build upon.

5.      Writing skills can be honed through the use of file-exchange capabilities, affording the opportunity for successive review and annotation of students' work.

All of these techniques effectively improve learning as they increase the time students spend intellectually engaging with the content of the course.

Developing Online Curriculum:

The development of online curriculum content follows a model designed to revolve around the user of the system. Development aims to ensure that all online curriculum content is:

         Relevant to the needs and expectations of users

         Accessible to the range of technology available to users

         Useable and functional

         Pedagogically sound and cohesive

         Actively involving users

         Obtaining feedback from users at all stages of development, from simple paper mock-ups to online prototypes

         Using multidisciplinary development teams to ensure both pedagogical and technical quality

         Using the most appropriate media for the content, taking into account the context of use, audience skills and access to technologies

Frequently Asked Questions:

Isn't online curriculum just for distance courses?

Absolutely not! Technology can be used effectively to enhance both resident and distance courses. Increasingly, students expect all their courses to have an online component. The distinction between distance and resident courses has become blurred by the infusion of technology into instruction. Certainly the majority of students continue to benefit from there being a resident component to their courses, especially at the undergraduate level.

Distance courses, because they lack this geographic and temporal anchor, create additional challenges that require an increased level of maturity and motivation on the part of students, in order for them to be successful. However, many of the techniques for enhancing teaching and learning first developed for use with distance courses have now been demonstrated to increase learning for students in resident courses as well. A number of pedagogical techniques have been developed which increase students' engagement with curricular content outside of the classroom, so that student come to class better prepared to engage intellectually with their instructor and other students in knowledge application, conceptual reasoning and problem-solving. [Source: University of Nebraska]

Experience also suggests that students are less, not more, likely to skip class, when there classes have an online component. [Source: University of Nebraska]

What about Copyright?

Fair Use Guidelines for Educational Multimedia: The American Distance Education Consortium (http://www.adec.edu/admin/papers/fair10-17.html) is an international consortium of state and land grant institutions providing economic distance education programs and services via the latest and most appropriate information technologies.


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