Content-type: text/html ~ Stephen's Web ~ Dept.'s of Education

Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

Sept 04, 1998

Posted to WWWDEV 04 September 98

Just a short note on the use of CD-ROMs.

We use an integrated mode of delivery. That is, some of the course material (what we call 'static pages') are placed on CD-ROM, while the rest of the material (what we call 'dynamic pages') are placed on the internet.

The pages link back and forth to each other. What we do is have the user define the static data directory, which may be either online (eg.,, CD-ROM (eg., D:\) or on hard drive (eg., C:\acc\static_data). Links from dynamic pages to static pages are defined dynamically (from a cookie, using Javascript) according to user defined static page directory.

Static pages are intended to be the stable, non-changing aspects of a course. They are also where we store our images, animations, et cetera. Static page sets are structured in terms of *topic* and not sorted by course, so many courses may use the same set of static pages.

Static pages also link diretcly to online resources. Static pages are written in HTML, so any URL will be live. Thus, we embed links to our discussion lists, personal communicator, notebook, and online forms directly from static pages.

Dynamic pages are expected to change frequently. We have an online editor which gives the instructor day-to-day control over dynamic pages (though in practise, they set them up at the start of the course and generally leave them). Dynamic pages also include links to communication tools as listed just above.

The reason why we have adopted this strategy is two-fold. First, we wanted to be able to use the same resource in more than one course. And second, we wanted to be able to plug resources obtained from third parties into our courses. We expect this to be an emergent model for online course construction.


Oh yeah... while I'm talking about emergent models: please allow me to share with this list my new essay, "The Future of Online Learning"

Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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