Designing Effective, Efficient, and Appealing Web-based Curriculum

Annette Lamb

Before We Start

Web-based Curriculum WILL NOT help

  • poor teaching
  • boring materials
  • lack of planning
  • poor instructional strategies

Before We Start

Web-Based Curriculum WILL help

  • bring students together
  • reach beyond the classroom
  • make the most of technology
  • draw in experts
  • promote interaction

Needs Assessment

Where are my students now?

Where do I want them to be?

Where's the gap?

  • Content
  • Learning Activity
  • Collaboration
  • Technology/Internet
  • Information Skills

Meeting Needs

Plan for Interaction

Plan for Individual Needs

  • Multiple Intelligences
  • Interests
  • Special Needs
  • Reading Skills

Web Problems

Poor keyboarding skills

Slow, poor readers

Concrete thinkers (size of the book)

Kids who need

  • movement
  • verbal interaction
  • physical contact


What do I want my students to be able to do or talk about?

How will you know if they can?

  • Content
  • Technology/Internet
  • Information Skills
  • Learning Activity
  • Collaboration

Learner Outcomes

  • Realistic
  • Meaningful
  • Focused
  • Concrete
  • Measurable


How will you and your students accomplish the goal?

What information, resources, technologies, & activities will be most effective in their learning?

  • Online "Lecture"
  • Virtual "Discussion"
  • Practice Projects


What resources and materials will support learning?

  • Books, print materials
  • Audio & video
  • Graphics
  • Lab equipment/realia
  • Experts & guests


What hardware and software will students be needed to support the learning environment?

  • computer, camera, microphone
  • email, desktop conferencing, word processing, fax
  • document readers, desktop presentations, audio/video clips


How will you and your students spend their time?

How much time will be allotted for each activity?

  • Real time activities
  • Delayed response activities


  • Same as traditional format
  • Modified for new format
  • Entirely new activity

Web-based course:

Electronic journal writing rather than small group discussion


  • Unit/Lesson Plans
  • Informational Aspects
  • Instructional Aspects
  • Interactive Aspects
  • Web Site Structure
  • Learning Environment Management

Lesson Planning

  • Springboards
  • Information Presentation
  • Student Involvement
  • Closure


Start with a bang!

Create a mood/theme:

game, museum, hike

Set the tone:

positive, enthusiastic

Establish expectations

Connect w/ experiences

Involve immediately

Web Springboards

How do you motivate kids?

  • Show a picture
  • Listen to a speech
  • Watch a short video clip
  • Read a news article

Use an eye-catching, colorful approach

...clone yourself

Model of Motivation

Create a class of happy campers!

  • Attention
  • Relevance
  • Confidence
  • Satisfaction


What information will be provided to lay the foundation for learning?

  • Text
  • Visuals
  • Sounds
  • Movement

Information Aspects

  • Chunk information in small pieces
  • Include visuals, sounds, motion
  • Match visuals to text
  • Highlight with color
  • Keep reading under 50% of time
  • Build in breaks every 30 minutes
  • Preview, present, review
  • Identify key points: sidebars

Information Ideas

  • Present outlines & lists
  • Illustrate key points
  • Provide step-by-step instructions
  • Illustrate relationships
  • Provide examples & nonexamples
  • Show relationships
  • Summarize

Information Formats

Paragraphs, outlines, lists

Desktop presentation slides

Charts, diagrams, graphs, photos

Articles and readings


  • within paragraphs
  • annotated lists

Web Information

Kids think 25% more reading

chunk it, keep it interesting

Explain multiple ways

visuals, examples, samples

Provide supplements resources

links, handouts, extra activities

Combine variety and consistency

same format, different colors

Frog Site

Josie's Online Book

Writing for the Web

  • Write for student level/objectives
  • Use short sentences
  • Connect ideas
  • Use examples and nonexamples
  • Use illustrations
  • Use ideas from text and websites
  • Link for specific examples
  • Link for supplemental materials

Career Mosaic

Finance Center

American Cancer Research

Stock Market Info

Smithsonian Magazine

Using Links

  • Starting Points
  • Primary Sites
  • Supplemental Sites
  • Activity Sites
  • Ezines, journals, magazines, readings

Why Links?

Don't reinvent the wheel

use an existing map, video, sound

Give credibility to yourcontent

use established, credible sources

History Links

Science/Literature Project


Web Involvement

  • Devote half the time to activities
  • Develop authentic experiences
  • Provide clear directions
  • Let students choose from options
  • Provide a variety of experiences
  • Include varied assessment
  • Ask other students to respond

Involvement Ideas

Read & do something!


  • study guides
  • web quests
  • discussion questions


  • self evaluation, peer evaluation
  • selective grading


Encourage involvement without making it a "requirement"

  • Class listserv
  • Threaded discussions
  • Scheduled chats
  • Email

Create a class roster with names and pictures


What type of learning environment will be provided?

  • Case Study
  • Investigation
  • Practice & Testing
  • Simulation
  • WebQuest
  • Tutorial

Solar System Project

Hoover Dam


  • Review
  • Connect to the Real-World
  • Reflect
  • Assess Student Progress
  • Evaluate Unit

Web Closure

Monitor progress on/off line

Consider differences in learn time

Provide time for reflective discussions

Apply it to the real-world

ask experts, send email, share

Planning Web-Based Curriculum

  • Web Format
  • Web Structure
  • Web Courses


Web Format

Lesson Format

Textbook Format

Thematic Format

Metaphor Format

museum, game, trip, quest

Lesson Structure

Provide an overview

Be sure to write for students

Include separate areas for student and teacher resources

Civil War

JFK History Unit

Textbook Structure

Provide a table of contents

Keep it interesting

Use the power of the net

visuals, animations, movies, links

Chemistry Class

Thematic Format

Provide an overview to theme elements or themes

Use icons to identify areas

English Class

Metaphor Format

  • Museum
  • Game
  • Trip
  • Quest

Clone WebQuest

Design Web Structure

  • Organization
  • Titles
  • Headings
  • Chunk Info
  • Footers
  • Disclaimers
  • Credits
  • Contact Info


  • Rocks Rock!
  • First Aid
  • World History
  • Real-World Math

Web-Based Courses

  • Manage Activities
  • Disseminate Info
  • Communicate Ideas
  • Guide Learning...but in the real world

Manage Activities

  • distribute course syllabi
  • make assignments
  • distribute calendar and due dates
  • coordinate meetings
    • but people like paper...

Disseminate Info

  • original text, graphics, info
  • lecture outlines
  • articles and readings
    • but they ...
    • think more reading
    • miss lectures

Communicate Ideas

  • class discussions
  • submit project/assignments to instructor
  • collaborate on class projects
  • communicate with people
    • but it takes prodding...

Guide Learning

  • clarify assignments
  • communicate with individual students
  • provide students with feedback and grades
  • ask and respond to questions
    • but keep a spreadsheet...

Web-Based Course Contents

  • Syllabus
  • Assignments
  • Activities
  • Information
  • Instruction
  • Links


  • Goals and objectives
  • Activities
  • Schedule/Calendar
  • Evaluation
    • provide alternative
    • views: maps, paper


  • Guidelines
  • Directions
  • Criteria for Evaluation
  • Due Dates
  • Links to Samples
    • connect ideas visually


  • On and off computer activities
  • Worksheets, Questions, Guidelines
  • Step-by-Step Instructions
  • Links to resources
    • provide variety

Lamb's Virtual Sandcastles Course

What you thought...

  • One-time prep
  • Less work
  • Exciting
  • Stimulating

No class meeting?

  • Virtual class
  • Email
  • Chats
  • Video conferencing
  • Phone calls
  • Individual conferences

No paperwork?

  • Email
  • Web pages
  • Videos
  • Audiotapes
  • HyperStudio stacks

No lectures?

  • Web page development
  • Active involvement strategies
  • One-on-one mentoring
  • Tutoring

Ten Facts of Life

Fact #1

Each Student Is Unique

  • Provide lots of help
    • face-to-face meetings
    • online & print syllabus
    • calendar & requirements
    • strategies for material use
  • Support varied adjustment periods
  • Be prepared to make changes

Fact #2

Technology Fails

  • The net will be down
  • The paper will run out
  • The video will be bad

Fact #3

Students Procrastinate

  • Establish deadlines
  • Provide reminders
  • Emphasize course calendar
  • Encourage early submission
  • Use guilt

Fact #4

Track Them or Lose Them

  • Monitor each students' progress
  • Send listserv reminders and personal email messages
  • Electronic postcards

Electronic Post Cards

Blue Mountain Post Cards

Jan Brett Post Cards

Troll Cards

Fact #5

Students Appreciate Feedback


  • Students - turn in on time
  • Teacher - provide prompt feedback

Fact #6

Technology Takes Time

Plan twice as long as you think

Screen reading, web exploration, online projects take time!

Fact #7

Screen reading vs paper reading

  • Reading
  • Skimming
  • Linking

Fact #8

Active Learning Is Critical

  • Active involvement
  • Student interaction
  • Varied activities

Fact #9

Students Have Great Ideas

  • Listen to students
  • Do ongoing course reflections
  • Be prepared & go with the flow!

Fact #10

If you don't do it, who will?

  • Be a leader
  • Be a creator
  • Be realistic
  • Start small
  • Start now!

Keys to Success

  • Formative Evaluation
  • Journals/Logs of Worktime
  • Demonstrate Materials Use
  • Clickable Map/Calendar
  • Process Checks
  • Conferencing & Class Interaction
  • Just Do It

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