The rapid development of the internet has made it into one of the greatest tools of learning for many individuals in the academic environment. Even students still in primary and secondary education have become highly dependent on the services provided over the World Wide Web. What libraries and tutorial programs used to be for the older generation, the computer and on-line sites have become for the younger generation.
The qualities of an effective education web site for primary and secondary schools thus needs to be assessed. Cook & Dupras (2004) state that an educational websites effectiveness lie in its ability to answer specific needs and goals for the student. This means that the website needs not only to be user-friendly and easily navigable but it also needs to be content-oriented. There should be a specific task for the website and all possible media that can fulfill this task should be incorporated in the site’s design.
For example, if the site aims to teach the basic principles of arithmetic, different elements can be mixed together to reach this aim – a step-by-step tutorial, examples, sample problems, quizzes, and even games. An effective education website needs to encourage active learning especially if it is for primary and secondary schools. (Cook & Dupras, 2004) This can be done by allowing self-assessment, learner interaction, feedback and even self-directed learning.
The website itself should be made accessible, user-friendly, and should have templates that encourage the student to study. Colorful pages, interactive images, and regularly updated content all perform the said task. Educational websites may well be the classrooms of the future. As such, more research need to be conducted in order to better understand the dynamics that would allow optimum learning from the sites.
Cook, D. A. , and Dupras, D. M. (2004). A practical guide to developing effective web-based learning. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 19(6), 698-707.
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