An Analysis of the Design Features of Three Mixed-Mode Courses in a Master's Degree Programme

D. Pratt (South Africa)


Instructional design, mixed-mode, online learning, higher degree programmes.


This paper suggests that a system of communicative functions can be used to provide a framework for analysing course design, and illustrates this with reference to three mixed-mode courses intended for use in a master’s programme in Computer Assisted Language Teaching (CALT). The design principle is based on an architecture of functions necessary for effective communication, namely, the contextual, ideational, interactive social and reflexive functions. Because the principle is descriptive rather than prescriptive, and is thought to identify a deep structure of human functioning common to all social interaction, it provides a template for analyse of course design which can be applied within different educational paradigms. The template offers the course designer moving into a new milieu or medium the opportunity to gain a fresh perspective on the process of instructional design. Issues such as the educational context, course content, learning interactions, academic requirements and assessment can be now viewed in terms of how these contribute to knowledge construction, rather than whether the outcome per se is desirable: the latter issue is already addressed comprehensively in current instructional design paradigms.

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