Lesson Seven: Online Instruction Basics and
Introduction to the key issues surrounding online instruction
Asking the hard questions on the quality of traditional and online education
A tour of cyberschools and online courses
Free courses on creating online courses
Convenient online professional development courses for busy teachers
Key considerations in planning an online class
Lesson Seven Required Assignments:
1. Send via email to your instructor a two-page accounting of
your explorations of a minimum of three K12 online courses
from the course directories given in the lesson. Include a
review of the two specified courses for teachers on how to
create and teach an online class, 1. Mentoring Online and
2. Designing K12 Internet Instruction.
Include a sampling of the most significant URLS you visited,
in your judgement, other than those specified in the lesson
and share your views on the appropriate, and/or
inappropriate, use of online classes.
For the remaining 10 points for this lesson engage in resource
sharing with the other participants via the class listserv as
described in the class welcome bulletin at
To identify the main issues related to online classes VS traditional classroom classes.
To identify the ease and availability of the new free online class authoring tools.
To review sample online courses to establish a sense of what "passes" for a good online class.
To identify the planning issues behind preparing to create your own online class.
A. The most important issue surrounding online learning is "What's best for our students?"
In the "Millennium" article you read for lesson one, a number of considerations are given for designing an online course. It is important to realize that online education is very new, and refers to a plethora of different methods and technologies. We're limited only by our imaginations as to how we can use the increasingly powerful array of tools at our fingertips. As teachers, we need to learn to trust our own judgement....when our opinions are based on first-hand, hands-on knowledge of these tools. For this lesson you are asked to critically review two courses on designing online courses, and to review at least three actual K12 online courses.
Read the article "Alaskan Professional Development; Lone Eagles Learn to Teach from Any Beach" http://lone-eagles.com/articles/eagle.htm (30 minutes)
B. Go to the Reach for the Sky courses http://lone-eagles.com/courses/rfts/ and select the course "Online Mentoring" Spend at least half an hour reviewing the suggestions of this course. (30 minutes)
The recommended next course to follow "Making the Best Use of Internet for K-12 Instruction" is "Designing K-12 Internet Instruction" and all lessons are reviewable at http://lone-eagles.com/currmain1.htm . Spend at least half an hour reviewing the lessons for this course. (30 minutes)
C. (One hour)
Review the listings of K12 online course directories (from page 141 in your handbook) and online at http://lone-eagles.com/courses.htm and review at least three courses. Email your reviews to your instructor.
Here's the listing for many more online courses from the end of the Mentors Resources at http://lone-eagles.com/mentor.htm which is also in your handbook (page 61).
Lone Eagle Consulting's Best Online Learning Resource Listings
Adult Literacy Web Tour
Free Learning and Other Freebies Web Tour
Online Courses and Learning Pathways
K-12 Online Courses
Internet Training Resources
Teachers' Tools Web Tour
Building Learning Communities
Ecommerce Start-up Training Resources
World Class K-12 Web-based Resources
A particularly unique handout with major reports on E-learning,
unique professional development resources and *many K12 resources.
Including a teacher's Guide to International Collaboration.
For the insatiable appetite see http://lone-eagles.com/tonofK12stuff.htm
Eugene Coolschool http://coolschool.k12.or.us/courses/ has many quality K12 online courses available for a fee and are online for your review. If you require an instructor to teach the course to your students, there will be a charge. If another teacher teaches a course you created, you'll receive a fee. Coolschool is an interesting model on many levels. Explore the possibilities.
Note you'll be asked to register for a visitor's account,
which is necessary to view their content. You should
have no worries about giving them your email address.
Tom Layden, director for this exciting project, says it takes a minimum of 500 hours to develop a quality online course. While this number might be open for dispute, it is generally agreed that it takes significantly more time to create an online class than to prepare for a face-to-face class.
Note that the Coolschool is recruiting Cyberteachers and that they offer a course on how you can create your own cybercourses.
D. (One hour)
Review the listings of online professional development opportunities in your handbook on page 87 and online at http://lone-eagles.com/self.htm You'll find additional sources for learning how to create online courses, as well as a rich listing of distance learning clearinghouses and virtual universities.
Here are three of the best course-authoring services to explore within the time allowed for this lesson; Blackboard, Ecollege, and WebCT. Note the similarities in the tools provided.
1. Go to Blackboard http://www.blackboard.com
Select "Courses" and look under "Course Sites" and select "Get Started Now" (in rather tiny blue text) then check the box stating you've read their Terms of Agreement and click on "Create an Account." Fill in just the information required by the red * and click "Submit." Then you should see the "Welcome to Blackboard" box and from within this box select "Create a Course." Identify, and play with, the various tools available. You'll have 60 days to play with posting announcements, lessons, online discussions and chat, and definitely explore the listing of other tools. Select the links to "Resources" and explore. Select the FAQ for links to resources and the Blackboard Building Blocks Functional Overiew. See what other features you can identify at the Blackboard site such as courses to review.
2. OPTIONAL - Ecollege http://www.ecollege.com
Explore their general options noting they offer you a free trial where
you can use all their tools to create an online course - for a limited time.
Review their full range of tools via their demonstration "Ecollege" class at
An Alaskan K-12 School District posted over 16 online courses with Ecollege
in just a few months; http://seeuonline.org
3. OPTIONAL - WebCT http://www.webct.com
Select "Software and Services," then "Product Demos" then take the tour. Click on the "Next" button to move through the tour pages.
Return to WebCT http://www.webct.com
Select the "For Faculty" tab and explore.
E. Check out the free web collaborative and curriculum tools
at: http://lone-eagles.com/teacherstools.htm http://lone-eagles.com/collab.htm and
http://lone-eagles.com/webdev.htm (30 minutes)
F. Review the three key reports on online learning at the top of:
World Class K-12 Web-based Resources
And here are a couple new additions:
Great Expectations: Leveraging America's Investment
in Educational Technology
Download the Report:
Download the Toolkit:
The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001
(One hour)Lesson Feedback: Optional, but much appreciated
You're invited to privately email your instructor:
1. What areas, if any, did you have trouble with during this lesson?
2. What questions remain now that you've finished this lesson?
3. Approximately how much time did you devote to this lesson?
4. What improvements would you like to suggest?