Computers in the Schools
There has recently been increased interest in the quality of online courses. Faculty from the School of Education at Marquette University suggest using social constructivist theories in the design and development of online courses and in the training and pedagogy of online instructors to ensure quality in online courses. Quality can be designed into online courses by focusing on complex tasks, using multiple perspectives, establishing a learning community, encouraging the social negotiation of meaning and providing assistance for learners at various levels. While good design can go a long way to ensure quality in online courses, the quality of the instructor is equally critical. Training instructors to establish a supportive climate, provide constructive feedback, and ask critical and probing questions leads to high quality online instruction.