Site Map

January 9, 2002

Site Map Usability I hardly ever use site maps because they never help me. And I have to confess that my own site map is a bit of a travesty. So I guess Jakob Nielsen has a point. Most site maps fail to convey multiple levels of the site's information architecture. By Jakob Nielsen, Alertbox, January 6, 2001.[Refer]

Making Teachers Feel Contented with Online Courses Refreshingly straightforward article surveying student satisfaction with an online course. The quotes from the students at the beginning of the article are fun. The recommendations on the last two pages are pointed and accurate. I especially like the advice that says, in essence, if you want students to read your message, send it by email. The navigation is a bit rough and be warned - the pop-up advertisements on every page are a major annoyance. By LA e-Learning Center, Teachers Develop Teachers Research Conference, September, 2001.[Refer]

New Virus First to Infect Macromedia Flash You will probably see stories in the media about the first virus to infest Flash .swf files. It's a significant development but should not cause alarm at this point. The virus released - SWF/LFM-926 - simply infects the files; it does no harm (and so is known as a 'proof of concept' virus). According to a separate report from Kaspersky Labs (I get their security updates), it cannot spread through Flash browser plug-ins and can only infect files in the same directory. Your odds of seeing the virus? Zero. By Robert Lemos, CNet, January 8, 2002.[Refer]

Predictions for 2002 eLearn Magazine surveys the "e-learning visionaries" and comes up with a set of predictions for 2002. Not surprisingly, most of the predictions seem relatively close to the mark - wireless e-learning, for example, won't make a breakthrough (though wireless LANs will), and consumers may finally express frustration with high priced learning management systems. A couple of pundits predict slow growth while most predict greater acceptance. By Lisa Neal, eLearn magazine, January, 2002.[Refer]

UNext, Hoping to Bolster Sales, Signs 2 Big Marketing Deals Everybody's covering this one, though the story is not nearly as big as it may seem. In a nutshell, UNext has turned to Thomson Learning and Knowledge Universe to "market" its online courses (I put the word "market" in scare quotes because I have no doubt that Thomson especially has rather more in mind). The move means more layoffs for UNext - which already suffered a round in September - and is, more importantly, a harbinger of the slowdown and consolidation coming to the e-learning industry (especially on the learning content side). By Katherine S, Mangan, Chronicle of Higher Education, January 8, 2002.[Refer]

Beyond Classroom Solutions: New Design Perspectives for Online Learning Excellence This is a pre-discussion paper for the next IFETS discussion. As such, it is intended mainly to raise questions, and it raises some good questions. Traditonally, the author asserts, "cognitive-rich (how people think) explanations about learning differences have tended to underplay or overlook the dominant impact of affective (how people feel) and conative (how people realize intentions) factors on thinking, learning, and performance." This was fine so long as there was an instructor in the classroom to attend to these overlooked factors, but in the realm of online learning we need to pay closer attention to students' feelings and motivations. The web, though, allows for precision teaching, individualized education that will let us target these areas. But what models of web learning targeting these areas will be successful? By Maggie Martinez, IFETS, January 9, 2002.[Refer]


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