Design methodology for the implementation and evaluation of a scenario-based online learning environment

Shirley Agostinho*, Jim Meek, Jan Herrington

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


A constant challenge facing university faculty and academics is determining how innovative and authentic elements, based on constructivist philosophy, can be manifested effectively in online learning settings. In this article, we describe an educational technology postgraduate course on evaluation that incorporated a scenario whereby assessable tasks were grounded within the context of a fictitious consultancy company. The scenario was driven by the use of a fictitious character - a "remote" Chief Executive Office (CEO) and the reconfiguration of the teacher as a company-recruited Academic Advisor. Characters were used as a motivational device to drive the online activity for the course, which was delivered completely online. The evaluation findings highlighted that whilst the company scenario and use of character did provide an authentic learning experience for most students, its use required considerable support and scaffolding in order to maximise its potential to facilitate an engaging and authentic learning environment. This article describes the rationale for the course redesign, explains the approach taken to evaluate the effectiveness of its implementation and presents the findings of the evaluation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-242
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Interactive Learning Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes


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