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Description and evaluation of a didactical concept for online seminars

Klaus D. Stiller, Ludwig Kreuzpointner, Helmut Lukesch.

Abstract
We first describe the didactics of eight online courses. Each seminar mostly consists of 14 modules, which are essentially worked through in linear sequence, each module normally within a week. Didactics combine imparting of knowledge by direct instruction according to the nine instructional steps by Gagné, Briggs and Wager (1988) and an avoidance of ‘sluggish’ knowledge via stimulation of learner activities mainly by transfer tasks. We then discuss and summarize some evaluative results. Generally, evaluations showed a high acceptance of the structure and the implementation of the courses and a high level of achievement of educational objectives, but they also point to improvements such as allowing learners to become more self-determined, especially in the second half of a course. We then report some measures to help foster the sustainability of courses. Thereby, keeping contents up-to-date is crucial. Finally, the course designs are discussed in the frame and scope of e-learning. Technically, only a narrow range and very basic elements of the e learning possibilities are used for the courses. Didactically, the courses are based on a working design using direct instruction and constructivist problem-based tasks.

Key words: Online pedagogy, e-learning, didactical concept, best practice examples



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