Conquering the Content: A Step-by-Step Guide to Web-based Course Development / Edition 1

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As the sixth volume of the Jossey-Bass Guides to Online Teaching and Learning series, Conquering the Content provides a highly-practical blue-print for course development and content presentation for web-based courses. While providing guidance for incorporating learning theory into online courses, this book primarily furnishes online instructors with the practical templates, learning guides, and sample files to construct and manage their course content.

Unlike other books about online instruction that cover theories of teaching and learning, instructional design, or even graphic design this book gives the "how to" of preparing an online course by focusing on content. The much needed step-by-step guidance in this book will result in fully formed courses where high-quality content is the central feature.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Robin M. Smith is coordinator of Web-Based Learning at the Office of Educational Development, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock. Formerly, Dr. Smith developed and directed the Center For Web-Based Learning at Southern Arkansas University Tech and was the first Certified WebCT Trainer in the South Central United States.

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Table of Contents


The Author.

1 Design with Learning in Mind.

Learning in the Twenty-First Century.

Advantages to Having a Course Online.

How Web-based Learning Is the Same as Classroom Learning.

Learning Styles.

Think “Learning,”Not “Teaching”.

The Online Student’s Environment.

How Web-Based Learning Is Different from Classroom Learning.

Action Steps.

2 Design with the Future in MindIt’s Okayto Be Uncomfortable.

The Future Will Be Here Sooner Than You Think.

Creating the Outline.

The Learning Guide.

The Modules.

File Systems.

Managing Course Structure.

Action Steps.

3 Design with Assessment in Mind.


Authentic Assessments.


Teaching for the Long Term.

Questions for First-Time Web-Based Instructors.

Action Steps.

4 Design with Organization in Mind.

Learning Guide Development.

Elements of the Learning Guide.

Prioritizing in Creating Your Course.

Resource Gathering.

Web-Based Aspects of the Course.

Choosing the Most Important Topics.

Instructional Guidance.

Action Steps.

5 Design with Content in Mind.

Introduction to Chunking.

How the Brain Processes Information.

Chunking for a Text-Based Lecture or Content Presentation.


Active Learning Opportunities.

Prioritizing Course Development and Revisions.

Evaluating the Effectiveness of Chunking.

Action Steps.

6 Design with Process in Mind.

Best Practices.

Design Using Someone Else’s Mind.

Action Step.

7 Design with Navigation in Mind.

Student Access to Module Components.

Continuous Improvement.

Documenting for Revisions.

Link Rot.

Where to Go from Here.

Action Steps.

What You Have Conquered!

Appendix A: Forms.

Appendix B: Action Steps.

Appendix C: American Association for Higher Education’sNine.

Principles of Good Practice for Assessing Student Learning.

Appendix D: Design and Development Tasks.

Notes: Ideas for Application.



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