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Capturing experiences of designing and running virtual courses


WP1 is designed to explore models of the design process in creating courses in virtual worlds. To this end we have put together a series of questions we would like to ask our partners in Euroversity about their experiences in designing and running virtual courses. We will try to gather information that will help us to shape some form of ‘good’ practice in designing virtual courses. This document starts off with two examples of life-cycle models taken from the literature on which we could base questions to be asked to partners about their experiences.


We would be grateful for some feedback from our partners on a) whether we are asking relevant and useful questions to capture your experiences of designing and running courses in virtual worlds, and b) whether there are other elements of designing and running courses in a virtual world that we are missing, and c) thoughts on how we might go about collecting this data from our partners in the most efficient way. We would also be interested in suggestions of other useful models, or literature on this subject.


Here’s an example of the way life-cycle has been depicted in the literature for e-learning courses:


Based on Varlamis and Apostolakis (2006, p.60) http://fire.dit.hua.gr/~varlamis/Varlamis-papers/J6.pdf 


The life-cycle of the e-learning process from the planning and preparation of a course to the consumption by the learners is depicted in Figure 1. The life cycle, as presented in Figure 1, comprises of four phases, namely: the design phase, where the targets and requirements are specified, the production phase, where content is produced, assembled and packaged for distribution, the deployment phase, which requires the collaboration of learners in order to distribute the appropriate content per case, and the assessment phase, where the outcome of the whole process is evaluated.




We can also look at the ADDIE model for a similar conceptualisation of ‘life-cycle’.



(Rod Sims see: http://www.jld.qut.edu.au/publications/vol1no2/)


ADDIE is the acronym for the five-phase instructional design model consisting of Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation.  Each step has an outcome that feeds into the next step in the sequence.  There are probably over 100+ different variations of the generic ADDIE model.


The five phases of ADDIE are as follows: 


During analysis, the designer identifies the learning problem, the goals and objectives, the audience’s needs, existing knowledge, and any other relevant characteristics.  Analysis also considers the learning environment, any constraints, the delivery options, and the timeline for the project.


A systematic process of specifying learning objectives.  Detailed storyboards and prototypes are often made, and the look and feel, graphic design, user-interface and content is determined here.


The actual creation (production) of the content and learning materials based on the Design phase.


During implementation, the plan is put into action and a procedure for training the learner and teacher is developed.  Materials are delivered or distributed to the student group. After delivery, the effectiveness of the training materials is evaluated.


This phase consists of (1) formative and (2) summative evaluation. Formative evaluation is present in each stage of the ADDIE process. Summative evaluation consists of tests designed for criterion-related referenced items and providing opportunities for feedback from the users.  Revisions are made as necessary.


Rapid prototyping (continual feedback) has sometimes been cited as a way to improve the generic ADDIE model.



Here is a useful blog about ID:



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