The articles in this issue of IJET are tied together by the issue of design and online learning. While each of the articles focus on a different aspect of design, two prominent threads emerge from the authorís contribution to this issue. Those two threads are systemic design considerations and learner-level characteristics and preferences. As a result, the articles provide polar yet complimentary perspectives of the design process ranging from the overall programmatic level down to the individual learner.
Beginning with theme of individual learner characteristics, the Editorsí Feature Article by Wang, Laffey, and Poole takes a look at the interaction among learners in the creation of socially-constructed knowledge and how mentors impact this knowledge construction process. Martinez in her article on mass customization take a slightly different look at the individual by examining the influence of learner emotions and intentions on the design of online instructional environments. Soles and Moller explore learner characteristics using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator preference, learning styles, and environment management needs to understand your learners in order to design and manage asynchronous environments. Progressing toward the systemic design level, S. Levin et al. identify five dimensions derived from survey and case study data that affect online learning. These five dimensions, in turn, were implemented as a part of their online masters degree program; results are shared using streaming video. In a special practitioner-oriented article, Downey provides an overview of the strategic planning and design process beginning with the development of strategic plans for online instructional programs and continuing through issues such as equipment, training, support, and administration.
Dr. Roger Hacker, University of Western Australia
Copyright © 2001. All rights reserved.