The Myth about Online Course Development

Diana G. Oblinger, Brian L. Hawkins, EDUCAUSE Review, Jan 13, 2006
Commentary by Stephen Downes

The myth is that "A Faculty Member Can Individually Develop and Deliver an Effective Online Course." The authors explain, "Developing and delivering an online course requires numerous and varied skills--skills that are unlikely to be found in a single individual. Teams will probably be more effective." It is interesting to contrast this article with one on the same subject I wrote in 1998. In it, I identified three motivations for the use of course design teams: "the need for standardized course packages... economics... [and] control over copyright and content." As I commented then, "from the point of view of a traditional instructor, none of these reasons may seem to be very palatable." This article doesn't grapple with anything other than the economics - and is therefore likely to be viewed with a similarly sceptical eye by today's designers.
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