If you're looking for a textbook or reference resource for developing Web-based instruction that combines practical application with instructional design theory, this book is an excellent choice. First and foremost, the book is designed as a textbook for instructional design students developing Web-based instruction. However, the book is more than that; it is a very useful handbook for practitioners in the field or anyone who has been tasked with developing Web-based instruction. The book is effectively divided into three parts to facilitate its use. Part 1 provides an overview of Web-based learning, learning theory, and instructional design. Part 2 presents the author's design and development model for Web-based instruction. Part 3 covers the implementation and evaluation of Web-based instruction. What I appreciate most about the book and the model presented is its orientation toward concurrent design and rapid prototyping, concurrent design meaning that design, development, and evaluation activities overlap in the realization of the instructional product. This approach can be vital in business settings. Allow me to provide a scenario to illustrate my point. Suppose a company manufactures widgets to install on automobile suspension systems. We'll call the company MNO. MNO delivers some bad widgets to one of its primary customers, and the customer in turn sends them back to be replaced or repaired with a request that MNO correct the process that yielded the bad widgets. After careful investigation, it is found that several of the machinists working that product line are having problems programming the company's newly acquired computer numerical control machines. Management determines that this is a human performance problem best solved by training. However, management can't afford to pull these machinists as a group off the production line to attend classroom training. Web-based instruction seems to be the intervention of choice because it would allow machinists to train individually at a convenient time, on and off campus, thereby minimizing impact to production and getting the training accomplished quickly. Quick is the key word in this scenario. Remember, in this case, an unhappy customer who has stopped ordering widgets is driving the Web-based instruction initiative. Given this situation, what MNO needs is a concurrent design plan (model) that will result in the realization of a Web-based instruction prototype as quickly as possible. Why? Because MNO will probably want to provide objective evidence to its customer ASAP that an intervention is in the works to correct the performance problem. Here's the good part: the theory, tools, methods, and examples provided in Web-based learning: Design, implementation, and evaluation will not only help you solve human performance problems such as this using Web-based instruction, it will help you develop learning solutions for any application appropriate for deployment over the Web.
Are you are a lone practitioner, a trainer who has been tasked with developing a Web-based training application, and have little or no background in the theoretical underpinnings and methods of instructional design? If the answer is yes, this book needs to be in your tool box. It is well written with numerous tables, illustrations, and the authors provide an example Web-based instruction project that runs from start to finish.