an alternative approach to web based education technology intensive not labor intensive
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An Alternative Approach to Web-Based Education: Technology-Intensive, Not Labor-Intensive. Linda V. Knight Theresa A. Steinbach James D. White. In a nutshell….

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an alternative approach to web based education technology intensive not labor intensive

An Alternative Approach to Web-Based Education:Technology-Intensive, Not Labor-Intensive

Linda V. Knight

Theresa A. Steinbach

James D. White

in a nutshell
In a nutshell…
  • The most feasible approach to large-scale dissemination of factual information online is through Web posting of unedited, automatic audio and video recordings of traditional classroom sessions.
  • Common approach to Web-based education and associated problems
  • Alternative approach used by DePaul CTI
  • Advantages, limitations, keys to success
typical web based education
Typical Web-based education
  • Text-based posting of class notes 88%
  • Streaming video 28%

Source: Shea et al., 2001

advantages of text based online courses
Advantages of text-based online courses
  • “… the most simplistic means of teaching a course over the Internet”
  • “… help reduce technology and resource costs including infrastructure, hardware, and software and technical support.”

Sharma and Gupta, ISECON 2001

disadvantage 1 labor intensive development and delivery
Disadvantage #1:Labor-intensive development and delivery
  • Almost three times as long to develop(SchWeber, 1998)
  • “40% to 50% more work on the teacher’s part”(Brown, 1998)
  • “The largest component of online cost is faculty time”(Charp, 1999)
why are online courses so labor intensive
Why are online courses so labor-intensive?
  • “Because of the reliance on text-based communication and a lack of visual cues, every aspect of the course has to be laid out in meticulous detail to avoid misunderstandings.” (Smith et al., 2001)
disadvantage 2 lack of economies of scale
Disadvantage # 2:Lack of economies of scale
  • Marginal development cost for each course added does not decrease.
  • Marginal implementation cost for each student added does not decrease.
    • Building a virtual community
disadvantage 3 difficulty maintaining current content
Disadvantage #3: Difficulty maintaining current content
  • Currency is a particular challenge for IT-related courses
  • Common practice of paying faculty one-time development fees discourages currency
disadvantage 4 potential lack of robust interpersonal communication
Largely asynchronous

Loss of visual and auditory clues

Less spontaneous

Less sense of community

Loss of some communication content

Disadvantage #4:Potential lack of robust interpersonal communication
four disadvantages of text based approaches
Four disadvantages of text-based approaches
  • Labor intensive development and delivery
  • Lack of economies of scale
  • Difficulty maintaining current content
  • Difficulty generating robust interpersonal interaction
alternative approach
Alternative approach
  • Capture the classroom experience
    • Video and audio of lecture
    • White boards
    • Computer projector
    • Document camera
  • Post on Web without editing
cti s experience
CTI’s experience
  • 1998: Dean Epp’s vision
    • Automatically recording traditional classes
    • Managing large numbers of courses with a database driven system
  • 2002:
    • Forty-eight classrooms equipped for automatic recordings
    • Over 500 Web course enrollments per term
    • Three totally online degrees accredited by North Central Association
mechanics of classroom recording
Mechanics of classroom recording
  • Automatic recordings during scheduled class time
    • Fixed microphones and cameras
  • Electronic whiteboards
  • All materials shown on classroom computer
    • PowerPoint slides
    • Web sites visited
    • Programming code demonstrated
  • Everything shown on document camera
the finished product
The “finished” product
  • Unedited capturing of actual classroom experience
  • User interface was written by CTI’s support staff. Alternatives:
watching a lecture
Watching a lecture
  • Ability to fast-forward
  • Ability to pause
  • Ability to switch views between white boards and computer (PowerPoint)
leverage technology reduce faculty time
Leverage technology; Reduce faculty time
  • Automatic recording
    • Eliminates need for creating unique lecture notes for distance learning students
  • Central Web repository
    • Facilitates distribution of notes, assignments, etc.
addresses all four disadvantages of text based approaches
Addresses all four disadvantages of text-based approaches
  • Less labor intensive development and delivery
  • Lack of economies of scale
  • No difficulty maintaining current content
  • Less difficulty generating robust interpersonal interaction
benefits to traditional classes
Benefits to traditional classes
  • All CTI classrooms have up-to-date projecting computer systems and document cameras
  • Ability to view a missed class session
  • Ability to complete a course or degree, even if transferred out-of-town
  • Ability to review difficult material
success principles faculty
Success principles: faculty
  • Recognize faculty as key to success
  • Facilitate experimentation with the technology
  • Never use recordings for faculty evaluation
  • Provide adequate technical and clerical support staff
  • Address intellectual property concerns
  • Pay for distance enrollment
success principles students
Success principles: students
  • Provide technical and support services on schedule appropriate for distance students
  • Set expectations before enrollment
  • Not suitable for classes involving extensive discussion and small group work
  • Substantial fixed cost infrastructure investment can only be overcome by large implementations
keys to success
Keys to success
  • Top level administrative vision and support
  • Recognition of faculty as critical success factor