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
    http://lone-eagles.com/spu1wel.htm .

Lesson Goals

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?