The elements of an effective instructional

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I plan to investigate the elements of an effective instructional design in e-learning study environment that could help students have better understanding of the teachings of Bhagavad Gita.

E-learning is gaining prominence in our ever-changing, knowledge-based society as a flexible way of studying that allows learners to pursue studies while simultaneously engage in fulltime job and raising family. Multimedia has always been used in teaching and is adopted for online learning applying the same basic principles used in face-to face-teaching. It is adding variety and interaction to e-Learning. It provides lots of flexibility and has the potential to enhance online learning but educationalists are cautious and believe that its adoption should be guided by research to understand how multimedia tools can be used to foster student learning. Online courses should include communication guidelines; provide timely, clear and constructive feedback. It is crucial to vary approaches and introduce change of pace because no matter how interesting a design is, people will get used to it and lose interest over time.

E-Learning or online learning has developed rapidly from simple ways of delivery to complex learning environments. It is becoming popular in distance learning with the capacity to reach large audience and make learning widely accessible. Simons et al. (2000) note that with this popularity came new instructional methods with concepts such as independent learning, active learning, self-directed learning, problem-based education, simulations, and work-based learning etc. They further comment that these methods assume learners are self-regulated, motivated, independent, and active participants. Technology offers many innovative features that can be used to make instruction more interesting to learners.


The Bhagavad Gītā known as Gita (meaning Song of God), is the most sacred scripture for Hindus. It is the concise and self contained practical guide to not only Hindu theology but explains who God is and who living entities are. It describes with examples and analogies the duties of human beings and their relationship with God. It also describes how to attain salvation from the miseries of this material world.

The purpose of this study would be to investigate the elements of an effective instructional design in e-learning study environment that could help students have better understanding of the teachings of Bhagavad Gita. There are graphical descriptions in Gita for example; the transmigration of soul from child's body to boyhood, to young adult to adult to old body or reincarnation into 8.4 million different species of living entities or the universal form of the Lord showing all the universes within Him or the graphic description of punishments according to types of sinful acts committed.

Literature abounds about problems regarding stimulating and sustaining learner motivation in E-learning and distance learning (Zvacek, 1991; Rowntree, 1992; Visser L., 1998). Researchers have been endeavoring to find relations between instructional models, motivation and learning outcomes Garris et al. (2002, p. 442). Moore & Kearsley (2005) reported that dropout rates for online education are quite high, between 30% and 50%.

I reviewed literature in designing methods that can keep online learners motivated; making online courses more effective may also help in reducing the dropout rate.

Design techniques essential in distance learners?

Khan (2003) stated that an e-learning system is meaningful to learners when it is easily accessible, well designed, learners-centre, affordable, efficient, and flexible and has facilitated learning environment. When learners display a high level of participating and success in meeting a course's goals and objectives, this can make e-learning meaningful to instructors. It is general contention that providing detailed instructions alleviates frustrations. Online courses should also include communication guidelines so students not only know how and whom to contact, but how feedback will be provided. Feedback also impacts motivation. Timely and constructive feedback encourages learners. Feedback from instructors or peers should address both strengths and weaknesses with clear comments that are easy to understand. Problems in motivating learners are well documented in research literature of E-learning (Zvacek, 1991; Rowntree, 1992; Visser L., 1998), especially when learners are working independently at a distance.

Joung and Keller (2004) state that there are challenges regarding effective delivery of instruction that motivate learners. Learners prefer straightforward, clear-cut information (assignments, due dates, resources, etc.). Dr Saul Carliner, an expert on e-learning, information design, and technical communication, emphasizes a three-part course designing that must include physical, cognitive, and affective principles (Carliner, 2000). Furthermore, William Horton (1990) an author with expertise in online information design, advises that reading information online is slower; users expect more visuals, less text and information should fit the screen size. In stressing accessibility he make following recommendations:

include directories (indexes),

search capabilities,

consistent navigational tools

and clearly marked selectable options

He further says that making information easy to find not only reassures learners and builds self-confidence it also increases their comfort level in online environment. Therefore, online navigation instructions should show learners how to:

Access the course and navigate through the site,

contact the instructor and other students,

upload/download assignments and course information and

who to contact if they have technical problems.

Characteristics of Effective Course Design Models

A lesson must gain and sustain the learner's attention. Research on curiosity, arousal, and boredom (Berlyne, 1965; Kopp, 1982) highlight the importance of incorporating a variety of strategies to aroused learners' curiosity and attention and stimulate a sense of inquiry using:




unresolved problems

events that introduce conflict.

It is crucial to vary approaches and introduce change of pace because no matter how interesting a design is, people will get used to it and lose interest over time. Deci and Ryan (1985) assert that although, attention and curiosity are necessary, but they are not sufficient conditions for motivation. It is also necessary to build relevance so that learners can perceive that the instructional requirements are consistent with their goals, compatible with their learning styles and connected to their experiences. They further argue that learners' goals to pass a course are necessary but stronger level of motivation to learn is achieved when learner is engaged in actions that are personally interesting and freely chosen. They say that this form of intrinsic motivation is an example of self-determination that leads to sustained goal-oriented behavior.

Other motivational concepts that help explain relevance are motives such as the needs for achievement, affiliation and power (McClelland, 1984), competence (White, 1959) and flow (Csikszentmihalyi, 1990).

Third condition required for motivation is confidence. Weiner (1974) believes that confidence is achieved when students establish positive expectations for success and attribute their successes to their own abilities and efforts rather than to luck. Some of the most popular areas of motivational research are currently in this area two of which are Bandura's (1977) self-efficacy and Weiner's (1974) attribution theory.

According to Bandura (1977), self-efficacy is a person's belief in his or her ability to succeed in a particular situation. He described these beliefs as determinants of how people think, behave, and feel. Bandura's (1994) basic principle is that people are likely to engage in activities to the extent that they perceive themselves to be competent at those activities. Learners are more likely to attempt, to persevere, and be successful at tasks at which they have a sense of efficacy. When learners fail, this may occur because they lack the skills to succeed or because they have the skills but lack the sense of efficacy to use these skills well. He suggests that students will learn better if they believe that they are good at managing their thinking strategies in a productive manner. Self-efficacy theory also has important implications for teachers as Gibson and Dembo (1984) found that teachers with a high sense of instructional efficacy dedicate more instructional time to academic learning, give students more and better help when they need it, and are more likely to praise students for their successful accomplishments. Likewise, Woolfolk and Hoy (1990) have found that teachers with higher self-efficacy are more likely to employ strategies that support their students' intrinsic motivation while teachers with a low sense of self-efficacy employ "custodial" strategies that focus on extrinsic inducements and negative sanctions. Self-efficacy has been proved to be a good predictor of learner's satisfaction (Lim, 2001) and performance (Wang & Newlin, 2002).

Attribution theory has been used to explain the difference in motivation between high and low achievers. Weiner's (1974) attribution theory asserts that high achievers approach rather than avoid tasks they believe success is due to high ability and effort which they are confident of. Failure is thought to be caused by bad luck or a poor exam and is not their fault. Thus, failure doesn't affect their self-esteem but success builds pride and confidence. On the other hand, low achievers avoid success-related chores because they tend to doubt their ability or assume success is related to luck or other factors beyond their control. Thus, even when successful, it isn't as rewarding to the low achiever because he doesn't feel responsible and it doesn't increase his pride and confidence.

The fourth is satisfaction which is necessary for learners to have positive feelings about their learning experiences.

Finally, fifth one is sense of equity or fairness (Adams, 1965). Students should feel that the work required was appropriate, consistency with objectives, content and tests and there was no favoritism in grading.

The first three conditions are necessary to establish motivation to learn and the fourth, satisfaction, is necessary for learners to have positive feelings about their learning experiences. This means that extrinsic reinforcements, such as positive rewards and recognition, should be used in accordance with Skinner's principles of behavior management and Condry (1977) cautions it must not have a detrimental effect on intrinsic motivation.

Maehr (1976) asserts that if all of these conditions are met then students will not only have a high level of motivation to learn but will be motivated to continuing to learn, which he defines as "voluntary engagement in continuing to learn more about a given topic". Keller, (1987) also agrees that it is helpful to use a systematic motivational design process that provides guidance in creating motivational tactics that match student characteristics and needs.

6.1 The ARCS model

Keller's (1987) ARCS model named after its main factors Attention, Relevance, Confidence and Satisfaction, is quite popular design principle to enhance motivation in e-learning. Following is a brief description of this model followed by some research findings backing this with model.

The ARCS model of design process is summarized as follows:

Attention - Presentation of online content must be engaging to the student. Keller list three ways to retain students' attention:

Perception Stimulation -Surprise student by showing the unexpected which may encourage students to be attentive and help him realize the importance of the instruction.

Inquiry- an instructor can ask a thought provoking question online and students too can generate their own questions to help guide their learning. This will enable the instructor to realize what the students need to reach their goal.

Variability- use different types of examples to demonstrate a concept which will keep the students interested as opposed to just showing one stagnant presentation.

Relevance- Following three ways help students find the content relevant to their goals and intentions.

Familiarity - Instructors should determine student's knowledge and skills before presenting content to be able to build on student's previous experience and knowledge.

Goal Orientation- course objectives should relate to the student goals by getting the students share their goals with the instructor on line.

Match content to student intentions - adjust content to match student's preferences and knowledge. Teach what students want to learn.

Confidence - Students gain confidence when they achieve course goals through:

Success Criteria - student should be made aware of performance criteria for success. Performance - criteria should include online participation in class as well as assignments.

Goal Setting- allows students to set the assessment criteria to evaluate their performance. They can also choose areas of interest that are related to their learning goals and personal interests.

Feedback -immediate feedback helps student not to feel isolated. Informative feedback directs students to other resources while analytical feedback guides a student to the correct answer.

Satisfaction - Student satisfaction is more likely if he can transfer the learning to his

own experiences which could be provided via:

Real World Setting- student should be able to apply their knowledge to a real situation.

Positive Reinforcement - immediate and positive reinforcement helps motivate students to be more engaged in their learning.

Fairness - be consistent with the standards of the class and consequences if performance is not met. Rules should be clearly posted within the class syllabus and online. This should also be discussed at the beginning of the course

6.2 Seven Steps to Better E-learning

Clark N. Quinn who leads performance system design through Quinnovation believes too much of e-learning is unintentionally designed to minimize effectiveness. He has come up with Seven Steps intended to make e-learning more effective.

The first two steps deals with broad overall goals:

Meaningful Skills

the first learning objective should be to change the skill set of the learner, making sure she learns to do something new, not just know something new.

Keep Things Lean and Light

John Carroll, with his minimalist theory has shown that you can leverage your learners' pre-existing knowledge. Web guru Jakob Nielsen emphasizes the need for short and punchy phrases. Should employ tools like white space, bullet points, highlighting, underlining, bolding, italic as well as colour. Learners must be helped to focus on key words and not "wade through reams of prose to find the nuggets. Time is money!

The next five steps address components of the learning experience: the introduction, concept, examples, practice, and summary.

Emotional Engagement

Engage learners from the very beginning. Quinn labels pre-test as one of the worst sins. Learners must be able to see how new skills will help them do things better than before. Set expectations about what's to come, let learners know how much time will be spending. If they know beforehand that it's going to be tough or demanding, they're much more likely to persevere.

Connected Concepts

Acquiring a specific skill requires reactivating the context in which that skill is used. Concepts are explained using meaningful rationale with many examples. This enables the learners to understanding as well as retaining the knowledge and applying them appropriately when need.

5. Elaborated Examples

Provide multiple contexts in which the skill can be applied highlighting possible mistakes and ways to repair. More removed the training is from the specific task, more examples are needed. Good examples specify the context and actual steps to apply skills to different contexts.

6. Pragmatic Practice

Practice should involve application knowledge, not just testing it. Making tasks challenging enough to engage the learner, but not too hard that causes frustration. Ideal practice is appropriate, meaningful and challenging,

7. Refined Reflection

Summarize individual performance through the learner's performance; what a learner did or did not do well. Also provide a method by which learners can practice new skills.

The primary conclusions to be drawn from review of literature on e-learning design are that course developers should implement strategies that will improve learner motivation and performance. In particular, the ARCS model has been proven in several studies to be effective. It is clear that systematic and holistic motivational analysis of the learners will help lead one to create and select motivational strategies that meet the motivational needs of the learners. Finally, Quinn's seven steps in designing e-learning courses will go a long way in avoiding unintentional design flaws and maximize learning.

Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning (Mayer, 1997) offers some insight into how technology and multimedia can be used to enhance online learning. Richard Mayer cognitive theory of multimedia learning builds upon assumptions of how individuals learn. Mayer builds on Paivio's (1983) theory of dual coding, where it is assumed that humans process visual and auditory information by separate channels. He further asserts that humans can only process a limited amount of information through each channel at any one time. He also stipulates that individuals learn by actively engaging in cognitive processes, such as selection, organization and integration of information (sensory memory, working memory, and long-term memory). Thus Mayer's cognitive theory of multimedia learning focuses both on the strengths and limitations of human perception. This is closely linked to John Sweller's (1988) cognitive load theory. Sweller describes the limitations of working memory and develops instructional techniques to assist in the acquisition of knowledge in long-term memory.

This theory assumes that learning is a process of filtering, selecting, organizing, and integrating information. It stipulates that meaningful learning occurs when learners are able to pay attention to words, written and audio, and graphics as they mentally organize them into logical structures and connect to earlier knowledge. In today's e-Learning environment, it is important to ensure that learners are engaged in the learning process and hopefully, multimedia assists in this process.

7.0 Multimedia Design Theory

There are a variety of theoretical views for examining organizational media selection. Which include social presence Paivio's (1986) Dual-coding; Alan Baddeley's (1986) Working Memory model; Wittrock's (1989) Generative Theory; Sweller et al's (1990) cognitive load theory and Richard Mayer (1997) Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning.

The organizational scientists Daft et al (1984) developed the Media richness theory. They emphasize that through media we effectively communicate and get better feedback using gestures, vocal, touch, stance. The basis of media richness theory is following criteria:

Capacity for immediate feedback

Capacity to transmit multiple cues

Language variety.

Capacity of the medium to have a personal focus (Daft, Lengel, & Trevino, 1987).

Mayer's cognitive theory of multimedia learning presents the idea that human brain interprets presentation of words, pictures, and auditory information in a mutually exclusive fashion. Meaningful learning occurs when learners are able to select relevant words and images, build connections among them, create logical verbal mental model and connect the verbal and pictorial representations with each other and with relevant prior knowledge. This multimedia theory based on five principles (Mayer, ibid), which are summarized below:

7.1 Multiple Representation Principle: It is better to present an explanation using two modes of representation rather than one so that students are able to build two different mental representations-a verbal model and a visual model--and build connections between them.

7.2 Contiguity Principle states that students understand better an explanation when corresponding words and pictures are presented at the same time rather than separately.

7.3 Split -Attention Principle: The third principle is that words should be presented auditory rather than visually as on-screen text. Providing the verbal information orally could eliminate this split attention effect altogether.

7.4 Individual Differences Principle: The fourth principle stipulates that multimedia, contiguity, and split -attention effects depend on individual differences. Students with high spatial ability are able to hold the visual image in visual working memory and thus are more likely to benefit from contiguous presentation of words and pictures.

7.5 Coherence Principle: states the use of fewer instead of many unrelated words and pictures when giving explanations.

After over 20 years of research Mayer and his colleagues devised 10 evidence-based principles consistent with cognitive theory of multimedia learning for designing multimedia learning. They are five principles for reducing extraneous processing, three principles for managing essential processing, and two principles for fostering generative processing.

7.6 Five Principles for Reducing Extraneous Processing

Coherence - reduce extraneous material

Signaling - highlight essential material

Redundancy - do not add on-screen text to narrated animation

Spatial contiguity -place printed words next to corresponding graphics

Temporal contiguity - present corresponding narration and animation at the same time

7.7 Three Principles for Managing Essential Processing

Segmenting - present animation in learner-paced segments

Pretraining- provide pretraining in the name, location, and characteristics of key components

Modality- present words as spoken text rather than printed text

7.8 Two Principles for Generative Processing

Multimedia - present words and pictures rather than words only

Personalisation- present words in conversational style rather than formal style

The recognition of the cognitive theory of multimedia learning has made a significant impact on the principles of instructional design. With the increasing exploitation of multimedia-based instructions as knowledge delivery systems, development of instructional specifications that support defined educational outcomes should be premeditated with the cognitive learning approach

The ultimate success of cognitive learning principles as a dominant strategy for instructional design awaits further evaluation and affirmation. Nonetheless, advances in cognitive psychology have offered a starting point for the construction of multimedia-based applications.

While several studies support the Multimedia Design Theory empirical studies provide mixed evidence (for example: McKinnon & Bruns, 1998; Russ, Daft, & Lengel, 1990; Trevino et al., 1990; Webster, Trevino, & Stein, 1996). There are also contradictory evidence, like Dennis & Kinney, (1998); El-Shinnawy & Markus, (1998 ;) did not support the prediction that voice mail is preferred over email for complex messages. Some researchers have shown that too much multimedia elements could distract learners and decrease learning performance (Mayer et al., 2001). They Park and Hopkins, 1993 O. Park and R. Hopkins, Instructional conditions for using dynamic visual displays: A review, Instructional Science 21 (1993), pp. 427-449. Full Text via CrossRef | View Record in Scopus | Cited By in Scopus (36)also point out that media are not as important as the message itself, and believe that positive effects of media on learning performance shown in some research could have been caused by Hawthorne effects (Clark, 1985).

Many systems provide little interactivity to learners. Learners do not have much control over learning content and the process to meet their individual needs. Another major concern is the lack of evidence of its use in schools. Majority of the work have been done in higher education but not in schools and we have little idea how effective it will be in this areas.

There are challenges of how to integrate instructional material with different media and provide flexible control in an e-learning environment to enable personalized knowledge. Therefore, online instructional design needs to address the extent to which content is relevant and purposeful. Strategies and techniques for fostering a learning community should be incorporated into the instructional design as well as cost effectiveness of producing media rich course that are affordable to all.

The Study

Research Question: I plan to investigate the elements of an effective instructional design in e-learning study environment that could help students have better understanding of the teachings of Bhagavad Gita.

The purpose of this study would be to investigate the elements of an effective instructional design in e-learning study environment that could help students have better understanding of the teachings of Bhagavad Gita. There are graphical descriptions in Gita for example; the transmigration of soul from child's body to boyhood, to young adult to adult to old body or reincarnation into 8.4 million different species of living entities or the universal form of the Lord showing all the universes within Him or the graphic description of punishments according to types of sinful acts committed.

In this study attempts would be made to develop constructivist instructional activities. The role of the researcher would be that of course developer and facilitator who would ask questions to stimulate participants' thoughts. Participants would be encouraged to explain and verify their ideas and question others' ideas. During the activities, participants would be encouraged to discuss and seek help from one another.

It is envisaged that multimedia design will enable better understanding of the teaching of Bhagavad Gita.

Literature contains many suggestions as to how … might be used in teaching. However, it contains little in way of empirical evidence as to the success of such programs. Therefore, I decided to conduct an exploratory qualitative case-study investigation of the effectiveness of in teaching Bhagavata Gita.

The plan is to develop lessons, trial and evaluate, make improvements and launch a proper Bhagavata Gita course.

Participants will study at home in their own time. It is envisage that most of the participants would have little or no experience in any online learning. Therefore, my foremost requirement would be to ensure that "The instructional tools and resources used in on-line courses bring the classroom to the student while accommodating the students' lifestyles, schedules, job responsibilities and preferences" (Cereijo, Young, & Wilhelm, 2001).

I assume that the participants will be self-regulated, motivated, independent, and active participants but, do expect some would need regular pushing.

A variety of strategies will be utilized to arouse learners' curiosity and attention and stimulate a sense of inquiry using (Berlyne, 1965; Kopp, 1982). I intend to use Keller's (1987) ARCS model and Quinn's (2006) Seven Steps to guide in the design model. I am also aware that learners prefer straightforward, clear-cut information (Joung and Keller, 2004).

Communication guidelines will be given so that participants not only know how and whom to contact, but get timely and constructive feedback which should encourage and motivate the learners especially when they are working independently at a distance (Zvacek, 1991; Rowntree, 1992; Visser L., 1998). A variety of multimedia options will be used including, web pages, PowerPoint, audio and visual presentation as Mayer (1997) says "people learn more deeply from words and pictures than from words alone." Also according to Mayer's Multiple Representation Principle: it is better to present an explanation using two modes, verbal and visual, representation rather than one. The intention is to adopt multimedia Learning theory to design material to optimize learning, as Mayer and Moreno (1998) assert that a combination of auditory, visual, words and images provide optimal condition for learning in terms of retention and transfer of knowledge.

9.0 Research Methodology

This section describes the research methods used in this study.

9.1 Qualitative Case Study

This study emphasizes qualitative research design to explore the effectiveness of …. In the teaching and understanding the principles of Bhagavad Gita. Schofield and Verban (1988) assert that qualitative research is particularly suited to 'exploring the context in which phenomena under investigation occur and to suggesting the perceptions of the individuals being studied' Relatively little is known about the impact of multimedia design on understanding teaching Bhagavad Gita, but it is clear that the educational context is very important in determining if and how multimedia design will have an influence. Schofield and Verban (1988) argue that any research relating to computers needs to keep in mind that computer utilization can be conceived as either an independent or a dependent variable. A variety of factors influence 'whether' and 'how' multimedia designs affects the situation. Factors such as the purposes for which multimedia design, ease of navigation, etc influence students and teachers.

The choice of the case study approach was influenced by Merriam's (1988) suggestion that case study design is particularly suitable when:

The future of a program is dependent upon an evaluation being performed and there are no reasonable indicators of success which can be formulated in terms of behavioral objectives or individual differences

developing a better understanding of the dynamics of a program

conveying an account of an educational program.

This choice further satisfied two other preconditions Merriam and Simpson (1989) classify to help the researcher decide on the appropriateness of using a case study. These conditions are when:

The desired objectives of research focus on humanistic outcomes as opposed to behavioral outcomes or individual differences

The aim of case study is not to find the 'correct' or 'true' interpretation of the facts, but rather to eliminate erroneous conclusions so that one is left with the best possible, most compelling interpretation.

Such qualitative research, according to Bell (1993), is also:

Sensitive to the environment of the research and

Flexible, since multiple methods are used depending on the situation, and the findings of these alternative methods are compared.

9.2 Methods of collecting data

Qualitative data consist of "detailed descriptions of situation, events, people, interactions, and observed behaviors: direct quotations from people about their experiences, attitudes, beliefs, and thoughts; and excerpts or entire passages from documents, correspondence, records, and case histories. These descriptions, quotations and excerpts are raw data from the empirical world, data which provide depth and detail. (Patton, 1980, p22).

Data collection by participant observation and interviews would also be supplemented by asking students to explain their understanding of the concepts of Gita in writing. This provides an excellent opportunity to understand students' thought processes.

Woodruffe (1992) found feedback as an important texture of case studies. She states that journal writing can provide an 'educational pulse' that the teacher can 'feel to determine' effectiveness of his lesson. She also found that by reading a journal a researcher can become aware of students understandings and problems and a student can express his or her ideas and feelings and provide feedback about the classroom activities.

In this investigation at the end of each lesson students would be asked to write a self assessment of the activities. Prompts would be provided and students expected to write comments. It is expected that the journals would provide the researchers with an insight into participants' understanding and problems with principles of Gita.

9.3 Ethical Consideration

In a qualitative case study ethical issues are likely to emerge at two points:

during the collection of data and

in the distribution of findings.

In order to conduct and disseminate in an ethical manner by the knowledge that the research needs to be carried out in an ethical manner and the principles of ethics.

Implementation, Observation & Evaluation

Following the advice of Fredrickson, Clark & Hoehner (2002) the course will have a "welcome" section which will include navigational directions. Using both an initial news item which will introduce the course, its objectives as well as letting students know what they could expect from me and tell them how to ask for help. Both Inglis et al. (2000) & Fredrickson et al (2002) wrote about the importance of creating a teaching space in which students could easily find everything they needed. I will keep the navigation as simple as possible; with "goals for the week" set out.

Program introduction will have the aims of the trial as well as general overview of the Online Bhagavad Gita Study Program, its objectives and what I intended to do in future. The Introductory section will have the course details with its objectives. Each week a news item which set the goals for the week and task for the week; couple of reading extracts with discussion questions. Wherever applicable the subject matter will be illustrated by animation using PowerPoint presentation or an audio file to complement the two. An Introductory forum where participants will be requested to introduce themselves.

Will keep the participants up to date in the classroom through regular weekly announcements which will be posted as news as well as emailed to them since Fredrickson et al. (2002) suggest that, "when instructors use the announcement section regularly, student participation in the course increases." (29(7) p. 21).

Following Fredrickson et al. (2002) advise students will be asked to complete an online evaluation of the course.

Higher quality training course can be presented through the use of web based material because of its more diverse range of presentation options including; colour, animations, video, multimedia interactions and interactions between groups and individuals. (Inglis, Ling & Joosten 2000).