1st Edition

Designing Computer-Based Learning Materials

By Alan Clarke Copyright 2001
    214 Pages
    by Routledge

    214 Pages
    by Routledge

    First published in 2001, this volume demonstrates how computer-based learning has the potential to provide a highly motivating learning experience, that it also has the potential to achieve exactly the opposite, and that the difference between these two extremes is the quality of the learning design.

    The challenge for the learning designer isn’t a simple one. You are being asked to prepare interactive learning for someone you can’t see and with whom the only interaction you are likely to have is via limited written communication. Fortunately help is at hand in Alan Clarke’s Designing Computer-Based Learning Materials.

    Dr. Clarke offers a definitive guide to each of the many elements involved in good design. This book explores the principles of adult learning, and relates to the potential, features and impact of computer-based learning.

    This is not a ‘how to…’ book, but rather one seeking to help you understand the different elements which go into computer-based learning. If you are commissioning material, it will help you to understand the contractors’ constraints. If you are designing materials yourself, it will allow you to avoid many of the errors it is all too easy to make when developing them.

    Computer-based learning materials are not all the same: their range reflects the variety of learners that use them and purposes they are used for; the different learning environments that are available to people; the different subjects that they wish to learn and the level to which they wish to take them.

    In the face of such a complex task, involving so many factors and variables, it is essential that the learning designer understands what is involved and uses a rigorous process for envisioning, planning, designing, implementing and testing their solution. This is a book about learning design and not about software production and, as such, it provides any aspiring designers with the fundamentals of producing the highly motivating learning experience, which should be their objective.

    1. Interaction and Learning. 2. Communication Styles. 3. Types of Computer-Based Learning Material. 4. Assessment Methods. 5. Use of Text. 6. Use of Colour. 7. Use of Graphics. 8. Multimedia. 9. Online Learning Design. 10. Screen Layout. 11. Content. 12. Evaluation.


    Alan Clarke has twenty years’ experience in the development and application of computer-based learning. He has written extensively on the subject and is currently working for NIACE on the application of ICT to learning. He has previously been employed by the National Council for Educational Technology and the Department for Education and Employment.

    'I also think that some of the chapters (especially those on Use of text, Use of colour, Use of graphics, and Screen layout) should be compulsory reading for website designers. Altogether, this book is an important contribution to the creation of good, effective learning material.' Educa, 'Lays out in an unpretentious and easily accessible way, some clear guidelines on developing e-learning materials ... I would urge anyone contemplating developing e-learning resources not to do anything before they read this book. The cost will be repaid many times in the time that will be saved and in the quality of any products which result.' Progress: The NEBS Management Magazine, ’Alan Clarke is offering general principles - and his advice is sound. His advice on the presentation of text-based learning materials is very good. Anyone following his advice will produce attractive pages. This book covers the whole of the design process - from conception to testing and evaluation. There are plenty of suggestions for scripts, templates, and storyboards, as well as tips for estimating the cost-effectiveness of what you produce. As a manual, it provides comprehensive guidance for any serious designer - or any department which is under orders to produce online learning materials.’ www.mantex.co.uk ’It’s a well written and easy to read account of all the different areas involved in the conception, design and production of interactive multimedia learning materials and experiences.’ Training Zone 'It contains a wealth of good advice grounded in Dr Clarke's extensive experience and practical research.' British Journal of Educational Technology