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Engagement in Web-based Education: Designing for Models of Student Learning

, , Distance Education Centre, The University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia

Indian Journal of Open Learning Volume 9, Number 3, ISSN 0971-2690 Publisher: Indira Gandhi National Open University


Emerging information and communication technologies createopportunities for engagement with other learners and educational materials that have previouslybeen unavailable in distance eduction. Many educational institutions are responding to these emerging information and communication technologies by the introduction of web-based education and training. At the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) instructional design theory, practice, and research based on the principles of pedagogy supports the online initiative. This paper presents a conceptual framework consisting of three models of student learning - the independent learner, the interactive learner and the collaborative learnel; and reflects on how these models are facilitated through the design of learner engagement instructional strategies. The impact of the theory of constructivism on web-based pedagogicalapproaches is also investigated. The University of Southern Queensland (USQ) delivered its first web-based education course in 1997 and now offers many web-based award courses. The Internet enables learners to participate in interactive learning.episodes, with student engagement being an integral component of the learning experience. This paper presents a review of underpinning theory and provides examples of design elements that enable students to participate in interactive learning activities and choose their learning pathways within a constructivist framework, thus accommodating different models of learning. Examples will include the use of online discussion groups and interactive assessment items within the context of USQ course material. These activities move the learners from an independent learning focus and engage them in interactive learning experiences within the web-based educational context. The examples presented are drawn from Designing Instruction for Open and Distance Learning, a web-based course offered as part of the Master of Online Education program at USQ.


McDonald, J. & Reushle, S. (2000). Engagement in Web-based Education: Designing for Models of Student Learning. Indian Journal of Open Learning, 9(3), 287-298. Indira Gandhi National Open University. Retrieved June 1, 2020 from .


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