ICT in Education Toolkit Version 2.0a
September 2006
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Tool 4.5: Design, Develop & Test ICT-Enhanced Content
  OVERVIEW
1 Contentware Framework
2 Who Develops Contentware
3 Development Teams
4 Necessary Facilities
5 Delineation of Scope of Work
6 Design of Modules
7 Construction of Modules
8 Testing/Revision of Modules
OUTPUT OF THIS TOOL
Reference Information
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Toolbox 4:
Planning for ICT-Enhanced Content
4.1 ICT-Enhanced Content Requirements
4.2 Existing ICT-Enhanced Content
4.3 Educational Content on the Web
4.4 Evaluation of Authorware
4.5 Design, Develop & Test ICT-Enhanced Content
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  1. Contentware Framework
 

Basic Premise
This tool is based on the premise that contentware is an integral part of a process of curriculum and instructional development. In fact, it is the third step in this process:

  • Step 1. Identification of curriculum objectives (what students are intended to learn in terms of knowledge, skills, attitudes, etc), content, and instructional methodologies.
  • Step 2. Instructional plan: the best ways to teach the identified curricular elements, and most suitable measures to help students learn them.
  • Step 3. Contentware plan: The translation of an instructional plan into contentware plan should take many forms. Teaching/learning activities require a variety of channels, patterns, structures, emphases and technologies. Thus contentware offers combinations of learning channels and appropriate technologies to be utilized in light of their comparative advantage, availability, efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

Building Blocks
Elements of the process outlined in this Tool may be applied, as appropriate, to the development of ICT-enhanced contentware in the form of content objects or modules. An object or a module is an educational entity that translates curricular content and pedagogy into an instructional instrument.

The literature refers to the concepts of modules, Learning or Education Objects (EOs) and Sharable Content Objects (SCOs). These terms mean different things to different people. See:

SCORM: http://www.lsal.cmu.edu/lsal/expertise/projects/developersguide/

Education Objects Economy: http://www.eoe.org/eoe.htm

This Tool uses the more general and indicative term, MODULE, which encompasses the basic concepts of EOs and SCOs. The ICT components contained in a module will be referred to as ICT ASSETS.

A module combines conceptions of effective learning with appropriate ICTs: text, image, audio, video, and computers-related and web-related multimedia technologies. These media components of a module will be referred to as ICT "assets". These assets are usually selected on the basis of their value-added over non-ICT approaches and on their comparative cost-effectiveness.

The main characteristics of a Module are:

  • Modules can be small, representing one concept or activity or large representing a lesson or a curricular unit.
  • Modules can focus on one teaching/learning objective such as demonstration, exploration, application, etc, or on a combination of instructional objectives.
  • A module may contain one ICT asset - such as an audio program, a video or a simulation or it may contain a combination of multimedia assets.
  • Modules may be stand-alone pieces to enrich the teaching/learning of a topic in a textbook or a lesson plan, or they may form the building blocks of curricular unit or a digital course.
  • Modules are usually structured in such a way as to allow for flexibility in configuring them and integrating them into the teaching/learning process.

Packaging and Delivery
As modules are designed and developed, it is important to make early decisions as how they are to be packaged and delivered to learning institutions.

  • The packaging and delivery of self-standing modules normally does not require the support of a course or learning management system. Audio modules can be distributed as tapes over the radio. Similarly video modules can be distributed as video tapes or DVDs or disseminated via television. Digital multimedia modules may be distributed on CDs or over the Internet.
  • Modules that are interconnected and constitute a course or a program of study (such as a virtual high school or university or an e-training program) have to be packaged into a database or content repository for indexing, sequencing, management, feedback, etc. Such a package may be disseminated over the Internet using a Learning Management System or a Learning and Content management System. (See Tool 5.3.3..) However, at the present, there are serious limitations on Internet access in many places. It is, therefore, essential that the learning modules and the technical infrastructure underlying the modules be organized to accommodate limited or no connectivity. Thus alternatively
    • The system may be built around a browser-based architecture and stored on CDs.
    • The package of modules is stored locally on an Internet "proxy" server.
    • Because video is storage and connectivity "intensive," video aspects of learning modules may be delivered in the form of videotapes or DVDs. This does not exclude supplementary broadcasts where the infrastructure already exists.


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