Web links

Curriculum Design

Educational Policy

Educational Technology

New Dimensions


Teachers In India

Assesment and Evalution

Classroom Management

Educational Technology

Online Portals and Platforms

Online Portals and Platforms

Internet-Based Learning

The use of the Internet as a tool for Internet-based learning (also called elearning) has educators rethinking the way instruction is administered to students. Internet-based communication creates a variety of ways to deliver instruction and provide electronic resources for student learning. Some methods, such as using Web pages to deliver text in much the same way as hard bound texts, are very familiar to faculty. However, a big advantage is that the Internet also supports the delivery and use of multimedia elements, such as sound, video, and interactive hypermedia.

Curriculum, administration, and assessment are all affected as members of the educational community experience changes in communication and commerce that are a result of the explosive expansion of the Internet. Thus, many educators are looking at the way Internet-based learning can provide flexibility and convenience. Internet-based learning can overcome some traditional barriers such as time and place. A student can study independently online or take an instructor-led online class, which combines the benefits of selfstudy with those of more traditional classroom-based learning. For working adults occupying an increasingly large percentage of our college population, and with greater numbers of students having computer and Internet experience prior to entering college, opportunities are being made to better meet their needs, interests, and work schedules through online classes. As university-level technology education programs begin to offer more online classes and degree programs, technology education professors may be in the position of developing online offerings.

Internet-based learning does not require extensive computer skills, although familiarity with computers and software (especially Web browsers) does help to reduce the intimidation factor. Internet-based learning generally fits into one of three major categories:

Self-paced independent study

Students determine the schedule and study at their own pace. They can review the material for as long as necessary. Feedback from online quizzes takes the form of preprogrammed responses. Unfortunately, there is no one to whom the student can direct questions. This form of study requires the most self-motivation.

Asynchronous interactive

The students participate with an instructor and other students, although not at the same time. They attend classes whenever they need or until the course material is completed. This approach offers support and feedback from the instructor and classmates. It is usually not as self-paced as independent study.

Synchronous learning

Students attend live lectures via computer and ask questions by e-mail or in real-time live chat. This format is the most interactive of the three and feels the most like a traditional classroom. Flexibility is restricted by the previously determined lecture schedule. There are limited course offerings in this format due to high delivery costs.

Positive and Negative Aspects of Internet-Based Learning

Proponents argue that Internet-based courses actually succeed more than traditional instruction at discouraging student passivity and encouraging lifelong learning. Since Internet-based instruction is such a new medium, evidence of effectiveness of online courses compared to traditional instruction is lacking. It is true that in an interactive, multimedia environment, students often find greater opportunities to learn by actively working through new concepts. This, of course, is dependent on the structure and kind of Internet-based learning tools made available to the student. For example, relatively low-tech presentations delivered online allow students to proceed slowly or click past material they already know. Ideally, Internet-based learning also promotes group learning and inquiry via serial e-mails known as "discussion threads". Instructor tools that can improve or enhance classroom management include e-mail, digital drop box, discussion board, and the chat room. These tools can enable students and the instructor to have broader access to one another as needed.

The advantages of Internet-based courses include:

· determination of time and place of learning "class time" by the student,

· access to global resources and experts,

· completion of coursework at home or at work,

· scheduling flexibility, and

· the ability to track progress

While Internet-based courses have advantages, it is equally important to note that there are disadvantages. These might include:

· little or no "in-person" contact with the faculty member,

· feelings of isolation,

· a difficult learning curve in how to navigate within the system,

· problems with the technology,

· the need for the student to be actively involved in learning, and

· increased lead-time required for feedback regarding assignments


WebCT (Web Course Tools) was developed in 1995 by Murray Goldberg, a faculty member at the University of British Columbia. Universal Learning Technologies purchased WebCT in 1999. According to WebCT, "[It] is the most popular web course platform in higher education today. More than 39,000 instructors at over 1,350 colleges and universities use WebCT to deliver over 147,000 courses to more than 6 million student accounts in 55 countries".

WebCT integrates communication tools, including a bulletin board, chat room, private e-mail, and calendar on the WebCT site. In addition, graphics, video, and audio files can be incorporated into a WebCT site. Such features can facilitate interaction between faculty and students. These tools are available only to the students and instructor of the course, thus protecting the intellectual property of the instructor, the privacy of the student, and the course content from external parties.

WebCT also provides instructional tools to support course content such as a glossary, references, self-test, and quiz module. Students, too, can place assignments and other materials in WebCT for courses in which they are enrolled. WebCT also gives faculty course management tools for grading, tracking student interaction, and monitoring class progress. Students access their WebCT course materials using a Web browser from any computer connected to the campus Intranet or Internet.

Moodle Course Management System

Moodle is a course management system (CMS) - a free, Open Source software package designed using sound pedagogical principles, to help educators create effective online learning communities. You can download and use it on any computer you have handy (including webhosts), yet it can scale from a single-teacher site to a 40,000-student University.

Moodle Community

Moodle has a large and diverse user community with over 50,000 users registered on this site alone, speaking 60 languages in 120 countries. The best place to start is Using Moodle, which is where the main international discussions are held in English, but we have a variety of groups discussing other topics and in other languages.

Moodle Downloads

Moodle is available in a variety of download packages with different levels of stability, as well as via CVS from Sourceforge.net. A number of additional modules and add-ons and language packs are also available

More and more schools, and teachers are interested in conducting online courses or adding online components to existing courses. A course management system allows teachers to manage their classes, courses, assignments, activities, quizzes and tests, resources, and more in an accessible online environment. Students can log on and work anytime, anywhere.

The Moodle course management system is an open source system that educators can use to create online courses. Begun in 1999, the Moodle community has now grown so that by early June 2005 there were about 3,500 Moodle sites in more than 100 countries (and that counts only registered users).

To use Moodle, you first need to install it on a Web server that your teachers and students can access (both at school and at home). After your network specialist installs Moodle on your school or district's Web server, they need to set up your teacher account; then you can create your online course. You begin by specifying course settings, such as the format of the course, its title, when it starts, and so forth. From there, you build your course!

What is Open Source?

Open source means software that is freely available for people to both use and modify. Software such as the Linux operating system, the Mozilla Web browsers, and the Apache Web server are open source. Thousands of people contribute to revising and upgrading the software.

Three Format Types

A Moodle course can be set up in one of three formats — weekly, topics, or social. The social format revolves around a discussion forum for its participants.

Many modules can be implemented in Moodle, including Lessons, Quizzes, and Resources, three very useful modules. The Lessons module is exactly that — lessons you develop and post online for your students to navigate. Questions at the end of each page in a lesson can be multiple choice, true/false, short answer, numerical, matching, and essay. As an example, to create a question page you would decide on the type of question, give the page a title, add page contents (for example, ask the question), provide the answer(s), include feedback to be displayed depending on the student's answer, and also supply a "jump," to where the student should go next depending on the answer given.

Quizzes test pupils on content. Resources give your class access to Web sites, articles, and readings for reference. In addition, Assignments can be given; these can be typed directly in to Moodle, uploaded (for example, a word processing file), or done offline, with results graded and listed online. Through Chat users can "talk" to each other in real time, just like an instant messaging system. Want to take a poll to get your class' opinion on a topic? Use the Choices feature in Moodle.

Conversant Media

Conversant Media is a server based application software enabling users to engage in collaborative discussion by attaching notes to video footage.

For some collaborative activities, discourse and simultaneous viewing of video clips are necessary to ensure that the discussants keep in view the video content. Here, the details of specific action in the video are important to the content of the discussion. The recent development of Conversant Media extends learning communities into cyberspace by integrating video viewing and online discussion at the same time. It allows for threaded asynchronous discussion. The current prototype version of the software is LAN based, with a web based version being developed in the future.

The Conversant Media system consists of a media player and some administrative tools. Upon launching the software, the user obtains a default screen. On selecting a movie, the display consists of a media player on the left-hand side of the screen and a commentary frame on the right-hand side of the screen. Each line in the commentary frame represents the title of a comment, which can be clicked open and viewed in the bottom, card display frame. Each video frame has a unique time code, which is inherited by the attached comment. Clicking on a comments title automatically displays the card and brings the video to the attached frame.

While viewing a particular segment of a video, if the user is ready to post a comment, the video can be stopped. By using the "Comment" button, a commentary can be created in a dialog box and submitted to the system. The commentary is recorded and the author (commentator's name) is displayed alongside the title of the commentary. In this manner, other users are able to add their own comments or react and reply to other users' comments.

As each annotation is added, a mark is drawn at the corresponding time code position on the timeline for playing the video. Over time, it becomes possible to locate "hot spots" on the video where higher densities of comments are located. The combination of the spatial display of comments attachment locations and the results of peer ratings of the comment allows discussants to keep track of the online discussion. Such an annotation track also allows users to retrieve the records of the commentaries from the database easily. The user can open up to 10 annotation cards that are arranged in cascades in the card display area.

Because the system is designed to encourage thoughtful comments, there is an option for drafting comments before submitting them to the public forum. Here the users create their comments in a "Private Space", which cannot be viewed by other members of the group. When users are ready to share their views, each can then make his or her comments public by publishing them from the private to the public space.

Another feature that attempts to encourage better commentaries is a peer rating system. Every card that is opened by a discussant has to be rated before the user is allowed to proceed. Rating is done on a 1 to 5 scale of overall value and informativeness of the comment. Once the user rates the commentary, he or she can close the window to proceed to the other tasks.

In order to encourage users to find their own commentary voices, there is a feature that constrains discussants to make their initial comments without access to the public debate. Users must add a set number of comments before they can read comments by other users. Once a user has submitted the required number of comments, he or she can log off, and upon logging back in, view his or her own comments and all other comments in the public space.

SMIRK – Simple media-integrating resource creator

SMIRK a tool for capturing, producing and then sending audio-visual presentations over the internet. At the moment, SMIRK is mainly used in University-level education to prepare presentations that are loaded onto a managed learning environment as part of e-learning.

SMIRK enables anybody to produce accessible presentations that can be streamed over the web. The presentations are produced at the desk without any technician support. Audio, graphics and captioning are the basic building blocks but other elements such as Flash movies, video and links (internal and external) are easy to include.

Features that do not exist in other packages or would be for advanced users only are available to all in SMIRK, e.g. capturing live presentations, linking and capturing web pages and editing audio files.

SMIRK enables a one-click zipping of presentation files (with IMS Manifest) for dropping into an MLE such as Blackboard, WebCT or Learnwise.

In the latest version, streaming presentations can be viewed in Mozilla-based browsers, such as Firefox, as well as Internet Explorer and SMIL-viewers (e.g. RealPlayer). (At the moment, Mozilla version does not support internal links nor some media types.)


Just when you think you've seen everything, the Web comes up with another powerful learning tool! Blogs provide a place for students and teachers to "think" online -- separately or together. The Blogger Web site provides space for journaling, organizational thinking, locating research sources, having classroom discussions, or even publishing student work.



This site offers a fun way for students to create research organizers for reports and projects. It is a great tool for guiding student thinking.


This site not only organizes favorite Web page bookmarks, but it creates special topical folders for students to use as they research specific topics.

The Connection Cube

Helping students make connections between what they already know and new learning is one of the most important things teachers do. This online tool helps students connect learning to new contexts.

Go Back
Home   |     |   Our Programs   |   Resources   |   Partners   |  Privacy Policy   | Contact Us   |   Search Jobs