Developing on-line courses — teacher support needs

Chuck Shave

New England Institute of TAFE,
Tamworth, NSW 2340, Australia

This project focuses upon the needs of teachers for training and support for the development of Web-based courses. Using six Web-based courses as the focus of the project, the development of the courses is documented from a teacher/developer's point of view. The outcomes of the project will assist in the planning and development of future Web-based courses by the Institute.

Education; Training; Teachers; Support

1. Introduction

As an educational provider and developer, TAFE has a large volume of educational materials produced for both classroom and distance education. With growing interest of offering courses on the Internet, questions of support and skilling of teachers are raised.

2. Questions the project will focus on

How much time, upskilling and support, is required to assist staff to prepare material for Internet delivery?

3. Background

Research in the area of on-line courses has focused on the student, there has been little or no work focusing on the training and support teachers require to prepare and deliver these courses [1]. The present project will focus on what the teachers require in terms of support, training and costs to prepare and deliver courses on-line.

To assist teachers/developers prepare material for Internet delivery, a template for the Net-Classroom has been developed. The template, while not prescriptive, contains many of the elements that the literature [2] suggests assist in making a Net-Classroom successful. The template makes use of a frame divided into two columns.

4. Development teams

The courses are developed using a team of people. Each team includes skills of a subject specialist, a distance education specialist, publishers, and graphic designers. In most cases this means that several people will be involved in each project. The skill level of each team will be documented at the beginning and then at the completion of the project to determine what training is required for future course development.

5. Courses that will be used in this project

The following courses form the source material for research: Fine Art, Communication, OH&S, Sheep and Wool, Network Support, and Tertiary Preparation Course.

6. Evaluation

7. Reports

8. What we are doing to support and skill teachers


[1] Merkley, D., Investigating Support for teachers using distance learning in education: a case study,
[2] Goldberg, M., Using a Web-based course authoring tool to develop sophisticated Web-based courses,


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