A Model for Online Unit Development: Necessity, the Catalyst for Invention

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Conference Proceeding

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Publication Details

This conference paper was originally published as:

Northcote, M. & Fetherston, T. (2001). A model for online unit development: Necessity, the catalyst for invention. In C. Montgomerie & J. Viteli (Eds.), Proceedings of EdMedia: World Conference on Educational Media and Technology 2001 (pp. 1414-1418). Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).

ISBN: 978-1-880094-42-6


Theoretical frameworks and practical processes driving online course development in tertiary institutions are currently under pressure, scrutiny and review and online courses are increasingly seen as an answer to these problems. Useable procedures, guidelines and tools are required to achieve the development of suitable courses. The new model for online unit development presented in this paper was developed by considering processes implemented in the fields of multimedia production, project management and distance education. Based on four main phases, the model recognises the centrality of issues such as course planning, media development and evaluation. As well as being suitable for a range of educational contexts, the model appears to be well suited to different cultural settings, particularly those involving Indigenous staff. Based on a semi-cyclic process, the model recognises the significance of tight timeframes, useable tools and supportive resources, and identifies the responsibilities of the major players in the development process.


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At the time of writing Maria Northcote was affiliated with Edith Cowan University.

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