Web-Mediated Courses: The Revolution in On-line Design Education

Simeon J. Simoff, Key Centre of Design Computing, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia. Phone +61 2 9351 5297 Fax: +61 2 9351 3031 simeon@arch.usyd.edu.au

Mary Lou Maher, Key Centre of Design Computing, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia. Phone +61 2 9351 4108 Fax: +61 2 9351 3031 mary@arch.usyd.edu.au


On-line Learning, World Wide Web, Computer-mediated Design Education, Web Courseware, Educational Technology


At the end of 20th century computer technology is characterised by the convergence of multimedia and networking, which has increased the popularity of computers among educators. Within this technological emergence, the World Wide Web (WWW) has proven to be a valuable tool for design education in terms of connecting students to an enormous fund of information and for delivering various multimedia learning materials. This paper presents two computer-mediated design courses, a Virtual Design Studio (VDS) based on the design studio experience, and Computer-Based Design (CBD) based on a more structured learning approach. Experience from these Web-mediated courses suggests that learning approaches taken from face-to-face design courses need to be reconceptualised to take into account the unique opportunities offered by distributed computer media. We present the use of structured hypermedia and an on-line designers' logbook techniques for improving the quality of the learning experience.

Web mediated and supported instruction

The recent convergence of multimedia and computer networking has extended, to varying degrees, the use of multimedia information sharing technologies in professional design practice.The Web, as an educational media space and environment, introduces fundamental changes in the methods and techniques employed to educate and train design students. Overcoming time and remoteness to reach learners, the networked computer has become an active dynamic force in on-line education.

On-line learning includes two major components: (i) course materials to be delivered to the students; and (ii) communication between students and educators. When implemented via networked computers using the Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP) these techniques are referred to as Web mediated and supported instruction (WMSI) and are being integrated in on-line education.

The research done by Verduin and Clark (1991) allows us to specify some criteria which, if satisfied, makes on-line learning methods and technologies an effective instruction. In particular, they have

Over the last few years the Web has proven to be a valuable tool for design education in terms of connecting students to an enormous fund of information and delivering various multimedia learning materials. Offering information integrity of delivered materials and an easy way of modifying them, the Web has challenged stand-alone CAI/CAL programs. However, the majority of courses available on the Web are following either the flowchart of conventional paper-based courses or they are organised as hypermedia sources of information. For example, the Department of Physics at the University of Oregon offers three distance learning courses [HREF9] in alternative energy sources [HREF10], cosmology and the origin of life [HREF11], and energy and the environment [HREF12]. The courses have a common structure which includes administrative material, internet resources for this class, and three units. On-line education web sites usually provide a list of intended activities [HREF3], self-instructional programs [HREF7], and one-way courses, either as a set of slides of the lecture presentations or as a complete lecture in HTML format.

A considerable drawback of the prevailing approach in the design of Web-mediated on-line courses is the loss of interactivity and the single direction of the information flow. One common side effect of this approach is the loss of ability to trace student participation in the sense of interaction with the course material, other students, and tutors, which is an important element of design education. Some of these issues are discussed in [HREF4].

Web media and the specifics of design education

Design, as an educational subject, is characterised by the lack of clear separation between theoretical knowledge and practical skills. This is the reason why, from a didactical point of view, project-based learning methods, combined with easily accessible information sources, form the core of architectural design education. The instructional strategy is based on constructivist principles in which a student actively constructs an internal representation of knowledge by interacting with the material to be learned and applying the knowledge in the design context. It implements the principles of situated cognition (Streibel, 1991) and problem-based learning (Savery and Duffy, 1995). According to these theories, both social and physical interaction enter into the definition of a problem and the construction of its solution. Neither the information to be learned, nor its symbolic description, is specified outside the process of inquiry and the conclusions that emerge from that process.

In addition, present-day architectural design and construction tasks require team work in which there is some collaboration and some division of labour among the members. Thus, teaching collaboration becomes an essential part of design education.

Below we present two Web-mediated design courses - The Virtual Design Studio (VDS) and Computer-Based Design (CBD). We begin our discussion with some practicalities and goals that guided the course development.

Aims and premises in the development of Web-mediated design courses

The common aim of these courses is to teach students about the use of technology to enable collaboration in addition to giving the students a design experience. The students learned about a variety of collaborative work and supporting technology: CAD, 3D modelling, image processing, electronic communications, information and database management, the use of the Web for collaboration.

In both courses the students learned to transfer their ideas and to communicate them through electronic media. Previously, the transfer of ideas involved mostly learning to get them down on paper. The creative use of computers involves learning to make primary statements of ideas using electronic media. For example, take a thought and express it as a gesture - maybe as a diagram or a few keywords. In the case of a video conferencing session, not knowing the specifics of the medium leads to miscommunication, software crashes, interruption of the process, frustration and disappointment. On the other hand, knowing the specifics and limitations of computer media increases the efficiency of collaborative work. For example, knowledge of documenting video conferencing sessions allows session results to be included in the final project documentation.

Both courses are built on the following premises:

In addition we have the following technical requirements:

VDS: Web-mediated Virtual Design Studios as a collaborative learning environment

In general, the idea of the VDS was put forward by Mitchell and McCullough (1995, pp.441-462) as an extension of conventional studios, discussing different enabling technologies and corresponding studio scenarios. We have developed and applied the concept of a Web-mediated VDS as an environment for teaching students about collaborative design [HREF5].

Globally networked, the Web-mediated VDS combines the didactic model of the traditional design studio with distributed information organisation and communication, creating a collaborative learning environment. The workspace of the studio is spread across the net. We use the term "global" to stress the difference between the idea behind the VDS and the conventional studio equipped with computers, even if they are locally connected. In [HREF5] we consider in details the observations from four studios - two in 1995 and two in 1996 - whose main site resides in the University of Sydney. These studios elaborate several unknowns in the instructional model of the Web-mediated design courses, in particular: the studio management, the project definition and student interaction; and the representation of design information.

Studio Management

To model the organisation of the VDS, we borrow the concepts of role theory, based on the dramaturgical metaphor of a role (Wiggins, Wiggins and Zanden, 1994). The management and interactions "inside" the studio are described in terms of agents or actors, who have particular responsibilities and duties in accordance with a specific "position" in the VDS. In a traditional design studio, the participants include studio instructors, students, and possibly a client. The current VDS role system includes:

The tutor and the coordinator are sharing most of the managing activities. The client is responsible for assisting the brief formalisation and refinement. The client and the coordinator are assigning the grades for the final projects.

As in traditional design studios, learning is initiated by the student. Learning materials are made available and students pursue the material when the knowledge is needed for the design task. The learning materials are primarily exercises prepared for the students to learn about the communications and design technologies. Since the learning was student directed, and typically each student needed to learn the broad range of technologies, there was a large difference in the competency of the students at the end of the course. This issue is addressed in the Computer-Based Design course by creating design teams to distribute the expertise and using a more structured learning approach.

Project definition and student interaction

In each VDS we define a single common project for all students in the studio. In the case of a small scale project (for example, the design of a living and working environment in a remote location for a single family), each student has to produce a complete design solution and documentation. In the case of a large scale problem (for example, the design of an Olympic exhibition building for the Sydney 2000 Olympic site), students have to develop several alternative designs for the same site, and finally to produce one design.

Thus defining a design brief in a VDS needs a consideration of the nature of the collaboration among the students. In a traditional design studio, there is a spirit of competition among the students, rather than a sense of collaboration. Although we introduced the idea of collaboration in the VDS, we were not always successful in getting the students to work collaboratively. We identify two extreme approaches to sharing design tasks during collaboration:

The two types of projects define different levels of interaction among the students. Since the students were located in different universities, the interaction occurred via the internet. Interaction, or communication, occurred in two modes: synchronous and asynchronous.

In the asynchronous mode, students may work at different times, often on different parts of the design and do not require the simultaneous "net presence" of all team members. This mode does not impose critical bandwidth requirements on the network. It also has lower requirements towards designer communication and operation skills. Therefore this is a typical way of joint student design activity during the first few weeks.

The synchronous mode implies the simultaneous "net presence" and participation of all students involved in the collaboration. Currently, this mode of communication is limited by the need for high bandwidth networks and compatible platform independent video conferencing software [HREF13] and/or specialised groupware at each of the nodes of the distributed studio.

A variety of combinations, labelled as a hybrid communication mode, was used to exploit the advantages of synchronous communications within the limits of network bandwidth. Basically, in these hybrid modes, students use a text-based chat service for synchronising the simultaneous access to the same multimedia resource (a Web page, for instance) and for discussing and changing the contents of this resource. Table 1 displays examples of network tools used in each mode regarding communicated information.

Table 1. Design information communication

Information types

Information communication mode





Text-based chat service

email, Web-based bulletin board

chat service combined with parallel email exchange

images and models

shared whiteboard, groupware

multimedia email, FTP

chat service combined with synchronised viewing of same web pages

audio and video

conferencing, groupware

multimedia email, transfer of audio/video file

chat service combined with file playback

Represention of design information

In current Web-mediated VDSs the multimedia workspace is based on a heterogeneous environment where distributed designers use digital image processing, CAD drawings, and hypertext documenting. We identify two extremes in the management of such amalgamated design information:

In the early VDSs we used the informal hypermedia approach, allowing the students to structure their own presentation of design information. We found there was a lack of consistency and coherence in the student work and have since incorporated a structured hypermedia representation as an attempt to compromise both extremes. The idea is to introduce a regular structure for holding the information chunks and establishing some predefined relationships between the instances of this structure. The skeleton of our Web-based Design Document [HREF5] follows the Activity-Space design information model defined for the architectural design of buildings (Maher et al., 1997a). The idea is illustrated in Figure 1. The initial brief is specified as a set of activities with requirements for minimum space, needs, and owner preference. At each level the description of the corresponding set is stored in an HTML file. These descriptions compose a set of active linked tables that formalises the organisation of the brief. The links follow the decomposition of activities into particular subactivities. In addition to each activity, a link is attached to the corresponding space which has to be designed and documented by the students. The top page of the document includes a navigation tree. Each page of the document has information about current and upper levels, and an "emergency" link to the navigation tree. An example document can be found at [HREF1]. This regularity of the document structure has the potential for automation of document handling. The document is discussed in more details in [HREF6].

Activity/Space model
Figure 1. A Web-based realisation of the Activity/Space model

CBD: The Computer-Based Design course - structured learning in design projects

The CBD course introduces the use of the WWW, networking and electronic communication as the means for coordinating multidisciplinary projects. In engineering and architecture courses the time, resources and expense involved in realising real world components, systems and buildings place severe restrictions on providing students with a realistic experience of the whole product development process. Ideally students should have the opportunity to experience the excitement and disgrace of communicating ideas and collaborating on product realisation. In this course students work in multidisciplinary teams to design, develop, and deliver a complete Web description of the product. This approach overcomes the resource constraints inherent in realising physical products while still providing an authentic experience of contemporary product development.

Rather than only assessing the final design, as in a design studio, this course also assesses the students' knowledge and use of the communications and design technologies. The final grade was based on the following components.

Project definition and student interaction

Unlike the VDS course which focuses on architectural design, the CBD projects covered a wide span of design tasks from guitar and ergonomic chair design to a touch screen information system and bus stop design. The variety of projects reflects the disciplinary spectrum of participating students. The course is for architecture and engineering students. Unlike the VDS teams of architects, students were organised into interdisciplinary design groups of either three or four members each. They had 13 weeks to complete the task; 12 weeks of semester interspersed with a one week mid-semester break. The familiarity of the students with the Web at the beginning of the course varied widely, from basic ideas of the "information superhighway" through to those who already had their own home pages to those who were able to create sophsticated Web documents, powered with CGI scripts. The students were not expected to learn all the technologies, but to specialise within their project team.

Student interaction occurred through scheduled meetings via video conference software, email, and hypermail. A more detailed account of student interaction via computer-mediated communication is given with the analysis of the logbooks.

Represention of design information

Students used informal hypermedia to share and document representations of their design ideas. Each design group produced a Web-documented design project. The overall quality of the web-based presentation of projects was very high. Due to a team effort, a student could specialise in the presentation quality.

Course management and the designers' logbook

Course management was closer to the classic academic scheme, rather than the studio model. There were scheduled weekly topics on computer-based technologies in design. There were very few face-to-face meetings with the entire class and also very few lectures.

In a conventional face-to-face lecture-based course, measuring student activity is a fairly clear task. Usually teachers are looking whether the student is present at classes, he or she listens attentively and joins in discussions of presented material. At present Web-mediated courses do not provide the standard means for measuring student participation. Current Web-mediated VDS configurations neither keep track of student access, nor of how far the project has been developed. The access counters on every page of the 1996 VDS [HREF16] did not provide an adequate estimate as they included errors of random access, repeated access without purpose, and so forth.

Our approach to tracking student activities is to employ the idea of a diary or logbook. Students were asked to submit each week a log of their activities and ideas via a Web form. The time log submission describes how much time a student spends on different course activities. These activities have been grouped into four major categories (Table 2). This separation helps to evaluate a reasonable balance between introduced subjects and technologies and to optimise the didactic schema of the course.

When the time log describes how the time was spent, the additional design log submission roughly describes what was produced during the week. It gives more details (working notes, ideas, sketches, references, etc.) about the design development. The design log differentiates the content of student activities related to the project into the following streams: design problem and intended function; market analysis and product research; alternative design concepts; design development; and performance analysis. The design logbook was supposed to help the groups keep track of design evaluation which can be used in the development of the final Web documentation. However, students were not very strict with the use of the design log, partially due to hesitation about what to include in each record. Because the design logbook was an important part of the course, the course coordinator stimulated them with assigning higher weights in the final weeks to an improved use of the design log.

TABLE 2. Classiffication of student activities in the time log book
  • asynchronous (via email)
  • synchronous (via video-conferencing)
  • technological issues
  • Traditional (e.g. based on conventional information sources, like books, journals)
  • Web surfing
design development
  • individual
  • collective
  • Web documentation

The results of the time and design log can be found at the course home page [HREF2]. Here we discuss in more detail the results of the time log (Table 3). Figures 2 through 6 visualise the table data. For convenience, the time log values on the graphs are converted into hours. Below we discuss in more detail the results in each category and compare these results between categories.

TABLE 3. Time log final results (in minutes per week) sorted by categories



























































































Web surfing













Design development







































Web documentation














Figure 2 illustrates the comparison between synchronous and asynchronous communication. With minor exceptions, the level of asynchronous (email) communication is almost constant throughout the whole course with an average of about 22 hours a week. Towards the end of the course, students focused on design development and documentation with much more intensive face-to-face communication. However, we expect that in a completely distance education course the intensity of the asynchronous communication would increase as the deadline for course work submission approaches.

The synchronous (video conferencing) communication was part of the assignment. The subject was introduced on the third week. The assignment required that each student should participate at least in four sessions of at least 30 minutes for each session. The first three weeks were without scheduled sessions. The actual amount of time spent by each team is more than the required minimum. In general, it was a rare case when all members of the team were available for a scheduled conference. Thus many of the team members had more than four sessions. Usually each session was two or three times longer than required, sometimes due to the amount of work that was on the agenda, sometimes due to technical problems and interruptions.

Figure 2. Time spent on each subcategory of comunication activities


In the logbook we only recorded the time for studying technological issues. Figure 3 displays the initial culmination in the "struggle" with technology. During the first few weeks, student efforts were concentrated on learning the basic features of the computer environment - operating systems, desktop and networking applications, and so forth.

Figure 3. Time spent on learning efforts

The maximum is rather "sharp" - only a week (the third one) was sacrificed mainly to the computer media. After that the time spent each week for learning is almost always less than the average estimate. This means that after the initial "hill climbing", students acquired sufficient skills to continue to progress the collaborative design project without acquiring more technical skills. This is reasonable and relatively low cost considering the complexity of the heterogeneous computer environment in which students operate. We consider that this is a result of the use of the Web as a course media. The Web browser integrates the information structure, content and context, enhancing understanding and usability beyond other type of browsers (e.g., an FTP or Gopher browser) that give access to similar material. Its simple platform independent interface makes it easier for students and teachers to exchange material. The browser allows document sharing, emailing, and other collaborative tasks with little cognitive overhead required of the student, saving more mental energy for student creativity.


As a consequence of the quick understanding of the Web features, we observed a significant shift towards doing research on the net rather than in the library. These results, illustrated in Figure 4, are confirmed also by the analysis of the video conferencing whiteboard files. When discussing a particular idea, its illustration, or the pros and cons, someone always asks about the source of the information which is put forward. In most of the cases students referred to the net.

This result adds more support to the concept of Web-mediated courses. There are a few basic considerations when using the electronic media for developing course materials for distance education. The first consideration deals with selecting the media for transferring the information. This is especially important because there are so many choices when working with multimedia computing. This means selecting the software platform (for example, courses in multimedia design are usually oriented towards the use of Macromedia Director with an emphasis on the presentation). When the emphasis is on the contents with a reasonable presentation, the ability to process multimedia content, composed from an external file and corresponding description in a specified language (HTML in our case), interpreted by the browser, makes the Web an unbeatable course media.

Figure 4. Time spent on each subcategory of research activities

The next consideration involves developing effective representations so that students can describe what they are working with electronically. In this sense the Web offers a reasonable integrating information model with a page-oriented open structure, which allows an easier on-line development both of course materials and student reports.

The third consideration involves applying methods for interacting with the abovementioned representations using appropriate computer applications. The plug-in (or helper) techniques implemented in the Web interface minimizes the efforts for displaying different representations.

The fourth consideration deals with the selectivity in information retrieval. Improving access to information, the Web on the one hand simplifies the student's effort and decrease the time spent for the initial search. On the other hand, the vast amount of information sometimes blocks student perceptions, they simply cannot process it.

Design development

The appropriate selection of the course media has a direct impact on the efficiency of the design process. For the purposes of the study, we clustered the log of the design activity into three subcategories (see Table 2). The design development, with the exception of Web documenting, was divided into individual and collective activities, which are obviously exclusive categories. Web documentating was counted separately, as it is an individual activity when considering the editing of the file, and collective activity when considering the design of the document.

Design development
Figure 5. Time spent on each subcategory of design development

The graph in Figure 5 shows a remarkable "parallelism" between the individual and documenting activities throughout the whole course. Consequently, for project-based courses the Web environment allows students to avoid the typical cycle of initial development with the post-development documenting environment, when it is necessary at the end to recall some information on the design which may be either undocumented or just lost. This on-line documenting feature leads to a relatively low time spent in building the final multimedia documentation. On average, students spent about 50% less time for the preparation of the presentation than for the design development.

Comparison between categories

One of the aims of the study was to see whether the course was balanced with respect to its different components. Figure 6 visualises the weekly time spent for each of the four main categories (the data is presented in the shaded rows in Table 3).

The graph shows that, except in the first few weeks, the time spent on learning technological issues is less than the time spent on the design subjects and communication of ideas. Moreover, students spent a valuable amount of time for research. These are positive results which supports the technological basis of the course.

All categories
Figure 6. Time spent for each category of activities

During the active design period, starting from the sixth and seventh week, the focus shifted towards project design and documenting. The final crest reflects a typical "end-of-semester" syndrome.

TABLE 4. Total time spendings (in hours) sorted by categories
Absolute total amount (hours:minutes)
Relative total amount (%)


















Web surfing



Design development









Web documentation






Table 4 presents the absolute and relative total amount of time for the course activities. The bar graph in Figure 7 corresponds to the absolute values in subcategories (nonshaded rows). Students spent almost triple the amount of time in individual efforts than in collective work. This fact does not necessarily mean that they did not cooperate and collaborate effectively. In a series of experiments on computer-mediated collaborative design, Maher et al. (1997b, [HREF6]) observed different collaborative design styles. When one design team worked the entire session to achieve consensus on design decisions, the other team worked independently on two parts of the design, checking with each other only at the interaction of the corresponding parts. Thus the abovementioned fact supports the necessity for the development of objective measures of collaboration.

Figure 7. Total time spent per subcategory (see Table 4)

An expected result is the high percentage of Web surfing. The course had very few formal lectures and relied on students to find material on the Web in order to complete the projects. Looking at the communication aspects, asynchronous email communication remains preferable, which coincides with the higher amount of time spent in individual design activities. Thus, if we exclude the video conferencing, the course schema has low demands on network bandwidth.

Only 10.5% of the time was spent for documenting the project, which is a relatively low percentage. This result supports the further use of the Web as project documenting media in distance education.

Categories of course
Figure 8. Total time spendings per category of course activities (see Table 4)

Figures 8 displays the absolute values of the main categories (shaded rows in Table 4). The graph illustrates that the course is well-balanced. The course kernel (the development of the design project) consumes roughly double the time for the development of technical skills for completing the project. Almost equal time was spent in research and the communication of ideas.

Students' feedback

At the end of the course, students were asked to fill an evaluation form comparing this course with more traditional courses using face-to-face teaching and paper-based examinations or project submissions. The results provided feedback to the educators on the effectiveness of presenting learning material on computer-based design entirely through computer mediation. The questions in the form were adapted from Hiltz (1992) with some enhancements. The questions and the results are available at the course homepage [HREF2].

Students mostly agreed that they had better access to the professor and tutors using email than in traditional courses. They were not sure whether they communicated more with other students in the class as a result of the computer mediation. However, they pointed out that computer mediation was an essential factor for learning more about computer-based design.

In general, students felt more "involved" in active participation in the course.The publicity that Web publishing gives to the projects was pointed out as a motivating factor, useful for the project development. As a result, the Web documents created by the students became an instant enhancement of the design learning environment.

Comparing computer mediated to traditional learning environments shows that students do not necessarilly feel more comfortable, though most of them found it more convenient to take the computer-mediated course. They appreciated the access to the learning material through the computer and the overall learning experience.

Lessons learned and future trends

During coming years, many educators will benefit from and also be burdened by the extension of the teaching and learning process to the Internet. This requires learning many new skills to maintain their competency as educators.

The experience of running these courses has identified some didactic benefits for students. The environment stimulates active, creative and explorative learning. Even the creation of the project documentation on the Web is a design problem. Students learn electronic communication, collaboration techniques, and etiquette in addition to design science. They also get practical experience in creating and handling electronic design documents, and examining potential uses of advanced information processing technologies.

Based on our experience, we identify the following compulsory components of a Web-mediated distance course:

1. Course materials and information - lecture and tutorial notes, project assignments, submission details, time schedule, glossary;

2. Course communication - asynchronous (email within the course group, bulletin board), synchronous (video conferencing with shared whiteboard, on-line chat);

3. Information search and access - within the course materials, the outer web space;

4. Student participation - bulletin-board archive, video-conferencing whiteboard files, student logbook.

We consider two directions for future Web-mediated distance courses: interactive and/or automatic assessment, and defining a sense of place for students. There are several difficulties with implementing interactive assessment using the Web-mediated course delivery mechanism in comparison to stand-alone CAI/CAL programs. The main disadvantage comes from the batch mode of information exchange. This makes the implementation of genuine, immediate and meaningful feedback problematic. Typically, a form is filled out then sent to the server which processes it and sends back another form or web page. Sutherland (1997) presents new architectures of enhanced Java/CGI implementations and Applet/Servlet remote method invocations, which have the potential to overcome this problem of the client/server model. These innovations allow greater interactivity and permit more complex client operations. However, this is at the technological front end and, consequently, it has a lack of tools to simplify the implementation. The lack of a robust, bug-free integrated, Java development environment does not improve the situation. And last, but not least, an educator is not necessarily a programmer!

The current horizon is already enlightened by the emergence of a new generation of Web-authoring environments which provide not only a set of tools that can be incorporated into Web-mediated courses, but also provide an environment for creating and structuring courses. These new environments include on-line quizzes, student participation and progress tracking facilities and enhanced course management facilities. The "working" pioneers in this direction are Web-CT [HREF18], developed at the University of British Columbia and WEST [HREF19], designed at University College Dublin. Even in these Web course authoring environments, the course paradigm is relatively static. In order to achieve more effective interactivity, parts of the course pages related to tutorials and on-line educational materials have to be generated dynamically according to the requirements specified by the student.

The experience of the Web-mediated VDS points out the "spatial vacuum" of Web-learning environments. A hybrid environment based on the Web, Moo and Video broadcasting technologies is used in design education at the University of Sydney [HREF8]. A sense of place can be developed by defining a virtual place that belongs to all the participants in the studio. We are trialing the idea of a Web-aware MUVE (Multi-User Virtual Environment). We are using the technology of the lambdaMOO language for communication, navigation, and spatial representations with web-aware objects. This environment allows us to design a set of rooms as the studio in which students can meet, work, and present their work. Being web-aware, the virtual space can be visualised by automatic web page generation using the current state of the studio definition. In addition to providing a place for the studio, this environment promotes both collaboration, through its rich language for communication, and constructionism, by allowing students to add to the environment.


Hiltz, S.H. (1992). The Virtual Classroom: Software for Collaborative Learning, in Sociomedia, E. Barrett (ed.), Cambridge, Mass:MIT Press.

Maher, M.L., Simoff, S., and Mitchell, J. (1997a). Formalising Building Requirements Using an Activity Space Model, Construction Automation (to appear).

Maher, M.L., Simoff, S.J. and Cicognani, A. (1997b). Observations from an experimental study of computer-mediated collaborative design. In Maher, M.L., Gero, J.S. and Sudweeks, F.(eds) Preprints Formal Aspects of Collaborative CAD, pp.165-185.

Mitchell, W. J. and McCullough, M. (1995). Digital Design Media. Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York.

Savery, J. R. and Duffy, T. M. (1995). Problem based learning: An instructional model and its constructivist framework. Educational Technology, 35(5), 31-38.

Streibel, M.J. (1991). Instructional plans and situated learning. In G.J. Anglin, (ed.), Instructional technology, past, present, and future. Libraries Unlimited, Englewood, CO, pp. 117-132.

Sutherland, J. (1997). The Java Revolution. Sun Expert, 8 (1), pp. 43-54.

Verduin, J. R. and Clark, T. A. (1991). Distance education: The foundations of effective practice. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Publishers.

Wiggins, J. A., Wiggins, B. B. and Zanden, J. V. (1994). Social Psychology, 5th ed., McGraw-Hill, New York.

Hypertext References

http://www.arch.usyd.edu.au/kcdc/vds96/elective/brief.html - VDS'96 Elective: Web-based Brief.
http://www.arch.usyd.edu.au/kcdc/cbd96/index.html - The homepage of Computer Based Design Course.
http://www.distance.vic.edu.au/ - Distance Education Centre Victoria.
http://elmp.scu.edu.au/sponsored/ausweb/ausweb96/educn/eaton/paper.html - Eaton, M. Interactive Features For HTML-Based Tutorials In Distance Learning Programs, AusWeb'96
http://www.arch.usyd.edu.au/~mary/VDSjournal/index.html - Maher, M. L., Simoff, S. J. and Cicogniani A. Potentials and limitations of virtual design studio. Interactive Construction On-line, January, a1.
http://www.arch.usyd.edu.au/kcdc/journal/index.html - Maher, M. L., Cicogniani A. and Simoff, S. J.(1997), An Experimental Study of Computer Mediated Collaborative Design, International Journal of Design Computing (to appear).
http://www.wmich.edu/sip/docs/sip.html - Western Michigan University - Self Instructional Programs.
http://moo.arch.usyd.edu.au:7778/ - The StudioMOO Virtual Campus, University of Sydney.
http://zebu.uoregon.edu/disted/index.html - University of Oregon Distance Education Programm.
http://zebu.uoregon.edu/disted/phys162.html - Alternative Energy Sources.
http://zebu.uoregon.edu/disted/astr123.html - Cosmology and the Origin of Life.
http://zebu.uoregon.edu/disted/phys161.html - Physics of Energy and The Environment
http://www.kn.pacbell.com/wired/vidconf/vidconf.html - Video conferencing for Learning - a comprehensive source.
http://www.arch.usyd.edu.au/kcdc/design_studio_au/index.html - Australian VDS'95, University of Sydney.
http://www.arch.usyd.edu.au/kcdc/design_studio/index.html - International VDS'95, University of Sydney.
http://www.arch.usyd.edu.au/kcdc/vds96 - VDS'96, University of Sydney.
http://www.arch.usyd.edu.au/kcdc/vds96/elective/index.html - VDS'96-elective, University of Sydney.
http://homebrew1.cs.ubc.ca/webct/webct.html - World Wide Web Course Tools.
http://www.west.ie/ - Home page for WEST.


Simeon J. Simoff, Mary Lou Maher, © 1997. The authors assign to Southern Cross University and other educational and non-profit institutions a non-exclusive licence to use this document for personal use and in courses of instruction provided that the article is used in full and this copyright statement is reproduced. The authors also grants a non-exclusive licence to Southern Cross University to publish this document in full on the World Wide Web and on CD-ROM and in printed form with the conference papers, and for the document to be published on mirrors on the World Wide Web. Any other usage is prohibited without the express permission of the authors.

[Presentation]  [All Papers and Posters]

AusWeb97 Third Australian World Wide Web Conference, 5-9 July 1997, Southern Cross University, PO Box 157, Lismore NSW 2480, Australia Email: AusWeb97@scu.edu.au