Online Presentation: Insights in Building Successful Online Courses

for Master in Open Distance Learning
Facoltà di Scienze della formazione, Udine

by Carmen Holotescu

Director Timsoft Romania
Lecturer CS University Politehnica Timisoara Romania
Online Instructor University of Maryland USA

  • 1. Introduction
  • eLearning priority in Europe -
    • Europe should become, by 2010, “the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world, capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion” - European Council, Lisbon, March 2000
    • "Use of new multimedia technologies and the Internet to improve the quality of learning by facilitating access to resources and services as well as remote exchanges and collaboration" - "eLearning: Designing tomorrow's education" Initiative, European Council, May 2000
  • Timsoft experience -
    • online courses, train of trainers, learning and practice communities.
  • 2. eLearning Model
  • Constructivist learning process
  • Adult Education Principles are applied
  • eLearning Methodologies: Case Studies, Problem Based Learning, Group Projects
  • Adapt to Learning Styles: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic
  • Involve all interactions: student-content, student-student, student-facilitator
  • Asynchronous interaction: reflection, validation, searching, learn to learn
  • Material: static and dynamic parts
  • Student: course Co-authors
  • Visiting Experts lectures
  • Empowerment Evaluation
  • Peer Mentoring programs for tutors.
  • 3. Tutors Roles
Stephen Downes's "Building a Learning Community" Presentation at Trinity College, University of Melbourne, the eight main attributes of a successful learning communities:

                   1.Focus on learning materials
                   2.Creation of a sense of whole
                   3.Integrate content and communication
                   4.Appreciate participant-generated content
                   5.On-going communication between members
                   6.Access to multiple resources and information
                   7.Educational orientation
                   8.Sense of history.

  • 4. eLearnTS environment:
The main components are:

1.   Authoring system - An authoring component used by the space administrators in creation and edition of the materials.
2.   Registration system -The database with the participants specific information.
3.   A content delivery function - The content may be in the form of text, images, sounds, animations. However the basic functionality that can be expected from an online learning environment is the creation of plain text and HTML documents.
4.   A navigation model - Syllabus, calendar, members list, links.
5.   Synchronous tools - The chat-rooms allow the members to communicate in real time between them and with the facilitator(s); also Live-Chat facility
6.   Asynchronous tools - e-mail and conferences ( web-forums). The conferences constitute the central part of the environment, that assure the interaction between all the members. This leads to the knowledge sharing between the participants.
7.   Security system - A component for controlling the access to the virtual environment.

  • 5. Conclusions and Questions

Hope to continue our dialog: Please contact me at:

Thank you,
Carmen :-)