How to Go From Class-Room to Web-Room as Painlessly as Possible

1.0 ABSTRACT Getting your course onto the World Wide Web (WWW) is best done
using a systematic approach. There are a number of steps that need to be taken
prior to starting any of the actual web work. Meetings should be held with
various groups within your institution. Once the actual coursework is begun,
there are some essential components and some optional components. There are
specific skills and talents that you either need to acquire or you need to
access. Each web-based course is unique, but they often have many components in
common. Some are essential, others may be optional. Resources can be found on
your campus, from the many web companies and from the web itself.

2.0 KEY WORDS World Wide Web, WWW, Distance Education, HTML, Web-Based

Instruction

3.0 INTRODUCTION The number of degree credit courses available on the World

Wide Web (WWW) has increased at the same astonishing rate as other activities on
the WWW. There are some specific steps that can be taken that will help to
transport the professor from the idea stage to the delivery of a course over the

WWW. Also, just like any other educational technology, web-based instruction
works better for some situations than others. Web-based instruction is useful
when you want to create a virtual environment which is not easily or, perhaps,
safely accessible. An example is sending learners to a virtual nuclear lab or on
a “virtual tour” of the Louver in Paris.

4.0 WEB BASED INSTRUCTION Web-based instruction it allows learners to gain
knowledge and skill more effectively than traditional methods. Simply
transferring material such as lecture notes to the web is not using the
technology to its best advantage. Lengthy text such as lecture notes are, in
fact, best printed because most learners experience eye strain and sensory
disinterest reading long passages of text on a screen. Some specific situations
tend to lend themselves to web-based instruction. 4.1 Encouraging Communication

You want to encourage communication through conferencing. Through internet
conferencing learners may participate in discussions or group work with one
another with or without the participation of the instructor. Role plays,
simulations of historical events and debates are also examples of how learning
can be facilitated through the conferencing option. 4.2 Accessing Source

Documents You want learners to use “source documents” to complete
assignments such as conducting an analysis or designing a project. These source
documents may not be readily available to learners or perhaps, based on the
assignment, will not be equally significant to all the learners. For example,
you may ask learners to research and analyze issues pertaining to Canadian
elections. To complete the assignment, various learners may access archived
information such as newspaper and journal articles which specifically relate to
their particular interest or point of view. One example is a site operated by
the University of Victoria (http://web.uvic.ca/history robinson/index.html)
which contains letters, maps, biographies and newspaper articles about the
murder of William Robinson committed on Saltspring Island in 1868. The
information at the site allows learners and the public to pursue their research
as they please and to access original documents which are not generally
available. Individuals are free to interpret the meaning of the documents and
reach their own conclusions. 4.3 Flexibility of Learning You want to provide
maximum flexibility to allow learners to undertake learning and research in the
order which best suits them. Because the web allows learners to “move
around” at will, they do not need to follow a structured hierarchy.

Generally learners need and want some direction but the web allows a more
flexible approach. 4.4 Further Study You want learners to pool data and/or
analysis to find patterns and trends or to undertake further study.

5.0 ASSUMPTIONS For a starting point and to keep us on track in this paper, I
will discuss degree credit courses delivered by the University of New Brunswick.

I will assume that for your case there is ready WWW web access for the professor
as well as web access for students. Again, for consistency, I expect my students
to have at least Netscape 3 (or its equivalent), their own internet service
provider (ISP), and the skills necessary to access the WWW. These are my
starting points – but most concepts discussed will transfer across institutional
lines.

6.0 BEFORE YOU START YOUR COMPUTER 6.1 Steps to Take There a number of things
that you should do before you begin to do any coding, contracting or late night
computer hacking. There are meetings to setup, there is paper work to be done
and decisions to be made. Then, and only then, do you get to “play”
with the computer. 6.2 Meetings I would advise that you consider the following
meetings as part of your endeavors. They will help you set the ground rules,
help you avoid some of the mine-fields, and start you off on a working
relationship with groups that can be either wonderful allies or formidable
combatants, and hopefully help keep you on track as you work towards a finished
product. 6.2.1 Your initial meeting with your own department I feel it is
imperative for any relationship you and your delivering agency (Department of

Extension, Continuing Education or “University of the World”) to start
with a good relationship with your own department. In this meeting you may need
to get the approval of the supervisors of your department to be able to deliver
in something other than the traditional face to face, on campus mode. Those in
authority may have to guarantee the academic support for some period after the
first start of delivery of the course (at UNB, the period is three years). At
the University of New Brunswick, instructors delivering courses through the

Department of Extension are recommended by the faculties. This is something you
might also wish to discuss with your own department at this time. It is often
assumed that the person(s) developing a course will be the one(s) that wish to
teach the course and the one(s) that the faculty will appoint to teach the
course. This is not always the case. You should also discuss possible sources of
help for the development of your course. There are times when stipend relief may
be available from various sources. There may also be funds available from other
agencies. 6.2.2 Your first meeting with your delivering agency Having gained the
approval of your faculty, you should next meet with your delivering agency. In
this meeting, you should discuss the ways that they can help you in the
development of your course. They may also share with you what they know about
possible funding sources. As Web-based learning is different from regular
face-to-face lecture learning, they will want you to make use of good
instructional design methodologies. This is often an area where they can help.

Here are some items you may wish to discuss at that meeting: a. possible methods
of web-based delivery for your course, b. method of payment to the instructor,
c. ancillary support materials and their delivery to the students, d. how the
materials, assignments, marks and communications flow between parties e.
liaisons with the libraries f. liaisons with Computer Services g. on-going
checkpoint meetings with your delivering agency. At regularly scheduled
intervals, you should meet with your delivering agency as they will wish to
monitor the development of the course. Your delivering agency should be checking
with you to: * keep abreast of your time lines. They need this to be able to
best market your course and to see that it receives the coverage it deserves, *
ensure the consistency of an Academia “look and feel” * ensure the
consistency of any standards for web-based courseware development (for an
example, please see http://www.unb.ca/home/webinfo/guide.html) * keep abreast of
your needs and successes. These meetings are intended to insure the standards
and formats consistent with the delivery of your institute’s courses, and should
in no way be an attempt to interfere with your teaching.

7.0 NOW YOU MAY START YOUR COMPUTER There is an ongoing debate as to whether
one should do all or some of the web work oneself, or if the work should be
jobbed out. I enjoy working with the web, I have instructional design training
and have been involved in courseware development for quite a few years and so,
as long as I have more time than financial resources, I will do the work myself.

There are many very good professional agencies that can be contracted to produce
courseware for you. These agencies can be contracted to do a wide range of the
jobs necessary to complete any type of web-based application. There are probably
agencies within your institution who specialize in instructional design and
courseware development. These units should be consulted. For certain areas of
the development that you do yourself, you will need some specific skills. 7.1

Skills and Talents 7.1.1 Essential Skills (Talents) You will need to be very
familiar with these or will need access to people who are and can do these
aspects of the job for you. 7.1.1.1 HyperText Markup Language – HTML Stands for

HyperText Markup Language, and on a scale of one to ten, learning the basics of

HTML is about a three. The web is a great resource (see the Resource list
below), and there are a plethora of good books on the subject. I keep the most
current version of Teach Yourself Web Publishing with HTML in a Week by Laura

Lemay near my computer. As with all aspects of the WWW, the print support is
changing constantly, but the most recent edition is usually the best. 7.1.1.2

Instructional Design Again, there a large number of excellent resources and my
favorite is Jerry Kemp’s The Instructional Design Process (New York: Harper
& Row, 1985). It is however, out of print, and this is one case where I do
think the next edition was not as good as the first. Another good choice is,

Robert Branch’s Common Instructional Design Practices Employed by Secondary

School Teachers, Educational Technology, 34, (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Educational

Technology Publications, 1995). 7.1.2 Optional Skills (Talents) 7.1.1.2.1 M ore

HTML The more familiar you become with HTML, the more you will be able to
enhance your course’s web site. This can be a good thing, and it can also be not
so good. Adding components and extra “bells and whistles” to your web
site should be done as a conscious choice to support your educational objectives
and not just because the “bells and whistles” are there. 7.1.1.2.2 CGI

Stands for Common Gateway Interface and is the coding that allows the
information collected from forms on webs sites to be manipulated. This can be as
simple as allowing students to send specific assignments to you, or can be as
elaborate as on-line registration. 7.2 Components of the Web Course Every

Web-delivered course will have a number of components. These will vary depending
upon your needs, your style and the degree of interactivity in the course. There
are some components that should be part of your site, in order to make the
course appealing to your customer. I feel that some components of a web-based
course are essential and others are optional. 7.2.1 Essential Components These
can be divided into static and dynamic. 7.2.1.1 Static Components These
components change very little. They can be put on your web site and only updated
as needed. 7.2.1.1.1 The Course Description This will often come directly from
your University calendar. 7.2.1.1.2 The Professor This can be as informal or as
formal as you like. What kind of first impression do you wish to make? How much
do you wish to add? Do you wish to link to your own personal Web site (if you
have one)? 7.2.1.1.3 Prerequisites Again, this can often come from your
university calendar. It is always a good point to specify any particular
computing hardware, software or skills that will be required for students to be
able to take your course. 7.2.1.1.4 The Text Here is a nice place to put a
scanned cover of the text – along with the ISBN, the publisher and all of the
information needed for your potential students to acquire this text. Here is a
good place to put a link to your institute’s bookstore – assuming it has a web
site. 7.2.1.1.5 Communications This is where you put as much information as you
can about how students can reach you. Will you have office hours? Virtual office
hours? Can they reach you via Email? How do they reach each other? Is there a
listserv, a secure server? 7.2.1.1.6 Grading Students all seem to want to know
what they have to do to get a mark. This is a good place to tell them about
assignments, quizzes, mid-terms and finals, and any other expectations you have
of them. 7.2.1.2 Dynamic Components These components may change often. They
might be updated, or supplemented once a week or every few days. 7.2.1.2.1

Bulletin Board This gets used much more in the first part of the class. As the
class gets “into it” this seems to be used less frequently. 7.2.1.2.2

Assignments These can be placed on the web site before the class begins for all
assignments, or can become readable at given times or as new assignments are
given. 7.2.1.2.3 Communications Options These are the actual components of the
web site that allow interactivity in the course. The real power of the WWW is
global communication. And this is what makes web-based courses so exciting. Your
course’s communications may include any number of the following: 7.2.1.2.4

Closed Listservs These use standard Email to allow all members of the class to
send and receive messages from any other member of the class, including the
instructor. Messages are automatically sent to all of the individual’s personal

Email addresses. 7.2.1.2.5 Web Forums These are places where people can
interact. Student-to-student, student-to-teacher and teacher-to-student or
teacher to the entire class. These are sections on the web that students go to
and are able to read messages and participate in on-line, asynchronous’conversations.’ 7.2.1.2.6 Interactive ‘real time’ two-way audio or video There
are numerous pieces of software available now that allow desktop two-way video
and audio. These tend to require very high bandwidth, and because they are’real-time’ they require the participating parties to all be on the web at the
same time. 7.2.1.2.7 Marks This is a place where your marking scheme can be
listed. It is also a place where you can post marks or assignments in (if you
have a secure server that only your class can access). 7.2.1.2.8 Class Notes As
each week progresses, or just prior to each week’s work, students may need to
have the equivalent of lecture notes to supplement what is covered in the text
book, or what has been assigned on the web. Some web software will allow you to
put the all the notes on the web site – and as certain dates arrive, students
then have access to the notes. 7.2.2 Optional Components These may be essential,
depending upon your requirements. 7.2.2.1 Audio clips These may be as sound
files (.WAV or .AU), audio streaming (Real Audio, Soundstream, Shockwave) or

MIDI files. 7.2.2.2 Animations These may be as animated .GIFs, QuickTime,

Shockwave or Java applications. 7.2.2.3 Quizzes, especially
“self-correcting” quizzes These may be as part of a web educational
software (WebCT) or can be developed by yourself or your institution. 7.2.2.4

Case studies These may be as included as text pages or may be referenced to
other sites. This is one area where copyright can really come into play. The
cost of clearing copyright on a set of Harvard business case studies can be out
of the question. 7.2.2.5 Video clips These may be as QuickTime© video or may be
done with the new Real Video that allows real-time video streaming. 7.2.2.6 Web

Database Sites These will allow you to maintain and provide access to databases
over the web. 7.2.2.7 Web Tutoring Sessions These may be as simple as
step-by-step instructions for any topic with branching provided to additional
sites. They can also be we intelligent tutorials with on-line interactive
testing. 7.3 Points to Ponder 7.3.1 Open Server An “open server” will
allow anyone, anywhere on the web to access your information. 7.3.2 Secure

Server A “secure server” will only allow persons with some type of
authorization code to access your information.

8.0 RESOURCES (This list does not constitute an endorsement on anyone’s part.

These resources are a jumping off points to help you get your course on the
web.) Please do not overlook the many resources on your own campus. 8.1 My
resources page This site has links to courses, resources, helper sites that aid
you in choosing which type and format of media to use, sites that check your

HTML for errors or idiosyncrasies, and much more. http://www.unb.ca/web/wwwdev/resources.html

8.2 Conferences, on-line or face-to-face NAWeb ’98 – The Virtual Campus (October

3-6, 1998). This international conference is in its fourth year. It is intended
solely for those developing courseware for delivery on the WWW or for those
delivering courseware over the WWW. http://www.unb.ca/web/wwwdev/naweb98/ 8.3

Books, listservs and associations Badrul Khan’s Web-Based Instruction (Englewood

Cliffs, NJ: Educational Technology Publications, 1997) is quite good. I host the

WWWDEV listserv. This listserv hosts the NAWeb conferences, and has 1400 members
from around the world – developing for delivery over the WWW or actually
delivering courseware over the WWW. http://www.unb.ca/web/wwwdev/ The DEOSNEWS
listserv is involved in all aspects of distance education. You can join that one
by sending this message SUBSCRIBE DEOSNEWS your name to LISTSERV@PSUVM.PSU.EDU

This is who and what they are: DEOS-L is a service provided to the Distance

Education community by The American Center for the Study of Distance Education,

The Pennsylvania State University. Opinions expressed are those of DEOS-L
subscribers, and do not constitute endorsement of any opinion, product, or
service by ACSDE or Penn State. The Canadian Association for Distance Education
(CADE) can often help http://www.cade-aced.ca/ The Association for Media and

Technology in Education – Canada (AMTEC) is another favorite of mine. http://www.camosun.bc.ca/~amtec/

Use every and any resource you can. Join groups for support, and support others
in similar projects. This is a rapidly emerging field, and it is evolving and
growing just as fast as it is emerging. 8.4 Other Here is where you add ideas
you pick up at the conference.

Bibliography

This site has links to courses, resources, helper sites that aid you in
choosing which type and format of media to use, sites that check your HTML for
errors or idiosyncrasies, and much more. http://www.unb.ca/web/wwwdev/resources.html

8.2 Conferences, on-line or face-to-face NAWeb ’98 – The Virtual Campus (October

3-6, 1998). This international conference is in its fourth year. It is intended
solely for those developing courseware for delivery on the WWW or for those
delivering courseware over the WWW. http://www.unb.ca/web/wwwdev/naweb98/ 8.3

Books, listservs and associations Badrul Khan’s Web-Based Instruction (Englewood

Cliffs, NJ: Educational Technology Publications, 1997) is quite good. I host the

WWWDEV listserv. This listserv hosts the NAWeb conferences, and has 1400 members
from around the world – developing for delivery over the WWW or actually
delivering courseware over the WWW. http://www.unb.ca/web/wwwdev/ The DEOSNEWS
listserv is involved in all aspects of distance education. You can join that one
by sending this message SUBSCRIBE DEOSNEWS your name to LISTSERV@PSUVM.PSU.EDU

This is who and what they are: DEOS-L is a service provided to the Distance

Education community by The American Center for the Study of Distance Education,

The Pennsylvania State University. Opinions expressed are those of DEOS-L
subscribers, and do not constitute endorsement of any opinion, product, or
service by ACSDE or Penn State. The Canadian Association for Distance Education
(CADE) can often help http://www.cade-aced.ca/ The Association for Media and

Technology in Education – Canada (AMTEC) is another favorite of mine. http://www.camosun.bc.ca/~amtec/

Use every and any resource you can. Join groups for support, and support others
in similar projects. This is a rapidly emerging field, and it is evolving and
growing just as fast as it is emerging. 8.4 Other Here is where you add ideas
you pick up at the conference.