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March 20, 2002

Standards for Quality Online Courses Their summary says it best: "More than a year ago, MVU began developing rigorous standards to guide the design and evaluation of online course quality. Based on decades of research and the work of the best minds in the field of Instructional Design, we have recently completed a comprehensive set of standards that can now be used to design and evaluate online courses." Now the question is: do we need ASTD certification any more? By Anonymous, Michigen Virtual University, March, 2002.[Refer]

Self-Organization and Identification of Web Communities What is surprising is not that the web self-organizes - human creations have been doing that for millennia - but rather that it self-organizes in such a way that we can retrieve the resulting structure. "Solely by analyzing the link structure of the web (the pattern of hypertext links between pages), communities of highly related information can be identified." Cool. By Gary Flake, Steve Lawrence, C. Lee Giles, and Frans Coetzee , 2002.[Refer]

Selecting a Vendor: Market Demand You will have to register as a member of the elearningleaders Yahoo group in order to read this item (a major annoyance) but it's worth the effort to have a look. From the article summary: "This research report identifies the learning initiatives corporation may require, plus the learning model, content, technologies, professional services, and players associated with each. It is intended to help corporations match their learning needs to the vendors best positioned to meet those needs." It's the second in what appears to be a series of posts coming from the author, so you may want to hang around the group and take a peek at his other posts. By David A. Baucus, Elearningleaders, March 18, 2002.[Refer]

Pricing Changes by Blackboard and WebCT Cost Some Colleges More -- Much More We all knew that the less expensive learning management systems - notably WebCT and Blackboard - would be raising prices. Right? But what price increases! According to this article, WebCT's new system, Vista, will cost in the six figures for most colleges. So now buyers are beginning to look at alternatives such as building their own software or adopting a free course-management system. By Jeffrey R. Young, Chronicle of Higher Education, March 19, 2002.[Refer]

The Myth of Interactivity on the Internet Of course not everybody would agree with the author's one-sentence assessment of online learning ("If learning is learning with people, then elearning is learning with content.") and when he says "the internet" he mostly means the web. Still. The core of community is interaction, and site owners (or course professors) who do not interact, who do not participate in discussions or answer their email, cannot be said to be fostering interaction no matter how many forums or chatrooms are on their site. By Gerry McGovern, New Thinking, March 18, 2002.[Refer]


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