Chapter 3: Theoretical Framework for the project
Chapter One outlined a specific context and problem while Chapter Two dealt in more detail with a series of issues fundamental to the effective exploitation of the WWW for language learning and concluded with a look at material currently available on-line. The principle problem found at ELI was that this very range was in itself daunting; that the number and scale of issues involved in utilising and integrating WWW resources within the ELI context were far too cumbersome and wide-ranging to be easily or effectively harnessed by teachers and students. Clearly, a means of mediation needs to be developed through which teachers and learners are provided with an appropriate range of material and equipped with the skills necessary for its effective exploitation. As a starting point it is worth taking into account Freeman (1997: 11), who identifies four general, but key issues to be considered when seeking to use web-based teaching technologies: choosing the right people to implement it; producing adequate training for teachers and students; the necessity of efficient twenty-four hour WWW access in order to attract mainstream users; and finally a system of evaluating what works and what does not.
These areas are consistent with the points highlighted previously in Chapters One and Two. These chapters have also made it clear that any serious proposals and materials aimed at the integration of WWW materials must be firmly anchored within a clear pedagogical framework, related to and possibly derived from the specific context within which it will be applied. Referring to the design of multimedia materials specifically, Kennedy and McNaught (1997: 1) do, however, make a very valid general point regarding the connection between technology and teaching approaches: "We need a framework which links pedagogical perspectives on teaching and learning to strategies for designing specific interactive multimedia elements related to particular desired educational outcomes." The authors refer to Ramsden (1992) for a list of general concerns when developing material: good teaching practice, emphasis on independence, clear goals, appropriate assessment and appropriate workload. The focus is perhaps not so much on the technology itself, as on the application of good teaching practice to this technology, as Meskill and Ranglova (2000: 23) say: "Learning is teacher-orchestrated and student-centred, with technology tools stimulating and supporting off-line thinking, discourse, and learning." and, "Central to the success of technologies used in second and foreign language study is how thoughtfully technologies are integrated into both the social context of learning and its content." This, as has been seen through previous experience at ELI, is the key issue and the one which remains to be adequately developed for the integration of WWW at ELI.
Integrating technology implies, however, seeking to add something genuinely new and beneficial rather than simple novelty. Chun and Plas (2000: 151) indicate that many activities currently available for language students on the WWW: "... involve only text-based responses from the learner ..." combined with follow-up activities such as comparing notes etc. which leads to the conclusion that: "Although these activities may be inspired by hypermedia environments, they are usually carried out in more traditional, non-networked means." In other words, Chun and Plass (2000: 153-4) identify, the challenge is how to: "... take full advantage of the current networked multimedia environments while remaining firmly grounded in principles of second language acquisition."
Warschauer (2000b) also discusses the new pedagogy required to deal adequately with the new literacies that rapidly changing technology is imposing and requiring. He suggests a move to Project-based activities rather than task-based, as projects provide more scope for a wider range of interaction while noting at the same time that any project in itself may be composed of a number of tasks. Through project work the full scope offered by new technologies can be used to the fullest extent. Nevertheless, as seen at ELI with more general CALL material, the scope and aim of the project and activities in general will depend heavily on the age and level of the students. Furthermore, what may be necessary are a series of steps which, having project-based work as an ultimate goal, may very well begin with more traditional activities, while relying on the novelty factor to lend another level of interaction and pave the way for future developments.
Clearly, there are a number of theoretical and pedagogical issues which need to be explored when contemplating the integration of WWW and language teaching. Crucial to any such effective integration will be firstly, an understanding of the context within which the materials will be used particularly, as in the case of ELI, when the materials are being integrated into established teaching context to supplement rather than replace existing methods and approaches.
3.2 Teaching and methodology at ELI
ELI has a reputation both in the city and nation-wide for quality and seriousness. This success is a product of many factors and one of the essential ones is that of understanding the context within which it works and of providing a suitable curriculum and teaching approach. ELI is also dedicated to continuous improvement and change which has included the exploration of multimedia-equipped computer rooms in all its major centres and an investment in the time, materials and training to maximise the use in a way which fits within the existing curriculum rather than replacing it or threatening the traditional image of the school and the importance of its teachers.
3.2.1 Teaching approach
While course books heavily influence the content and sequence of material for a given syllabus they can also indicate a methodology. Most of the course books in use at ELI combine communicative methodology with clearly defined structural analysis and practice. This is not surprising, as Nunan (1989: 1) points out: syllabus (the what) and methodology (the how) are increasingly linked through communicative teaching methods: "... with the development of communicative language teaching, the separation of syllabus design and methodology becomes increasingly problematic."
An overall communicative approach provides ELI with exactly what students appear to require: a mixture of grammatical and structural analysis which incorporates support for students’ studies at their schools while at the same time expanding into a series of opportunities to acquire communicative skills practice in small groups with a native teacher. Indeed, this is precisely what Littlewood (1988: 77) sees as the advantage of communicative approaches: "... a communicative approach encourages us to go beyond structures and take account of other aspects of communication."
3.2.2 The classroom
"An intrinsic part of the ELI philosophy is that teachers are self-motivated professionals who operate best with a system that offers guidance and support rather than control and supervision" (ELI Teacher Manual 2000: 3). Again, this is very much in line with what Dubin and Olshtain (1986: 38) describe with regard to communicative approaches: "The role of the teacher is to facilitate the learners’ participation in these communicative exchanges ..." while drawing the logical conclusion that: "Course designers who carefully consider the various approaches to syllabus design may arrive at the conclusion that a number of different ones are needed and are best combined in an eclectic manner in order to bring about positive results."
The role of teacher in making curricular policy and syllabus goals meet learner needs and expectations is of vital importance. Dubin and Olshtain (1986: 80-81) describe the teacher as director and learner as player and Stevick (1980: 16-17) summarises the teacher’s role by identifying five factors expected of a teacher: cognitive, classroom management, setting goals, personal/interpersonal, enthusiasm for task. In a private language school such as ELI, where maintaining student numbers is so important, teachers are acutely aware of their role as director, in keeping the orchestra that is a class working together so that no one drops out discontented. Achieving this requires an awareness of individual student needs but also a knowledge of the overall cultural context from which the students come; as Stern (1983: 277) points out students: "... frequently come to language learning with positive and negative attitudes derived from the society in which they live and these attitudes in turn influence their motivation to learn the second language."
3.2.3 Task based learning
Within the overall communicative approach and the autonomy individual teachers have, a common approach can be identified, that of task based learning. The syllabus is effectively the course book but the implementation of this syllabus in the classroom is in the hands of the teachers. It is they who take the content from the syllabus and divide it into tasks. Willis (1996: 53) provides one definition of what a task is: "By ‘task’ I mean a goal-oriented activity in which learners use language to achieve a real outcome. In other words, learners use whatever language resources they have in order to solve a problem, do a puzzle, play a game, or share and compare experiences." What a task involves is analysed in more detail by Nunan (1989: 47): "The definition of a language learning task requires specification of four components: the goals, the input (linguistic or otherwise), the activities derived from this input, and finally the roles implied for teachers and learners" A further important point is given by Skehan (1996: 27) on the necessity of imbuing the task cycle with a degree of flexibility: "When we examined the danger of approaching a task with the exclusive goal of completion we saw that a consequence could be that fluency is prioritised at the expense of accuracy and complexity."
There are a number of general constraints, primarily pragmatic and the most important can be summarised as being: textbooks which are written for general audiences; variations in age and level within even small classes; cultural expectations brought by students: they are often used to learning grammar to pass exams only and have had little experience of language for communication and thus the product can be more important for learners while teachers would like to pay more attention to the process. Typically, students also have very limited access to English outside of class time. The introduction of WWW based materials and activities may serve as factors in reducing the importance of these issues.
3.3 CALL Theory and Practice
The development of CALL material provides for some interesting general overviews linking the technology to methodological approaches. Levy (1997: 112) referring to Kemmis et al (1977: 23) and Hooper (1977: 167) highlights four potential descriptions of CALL usage. The first is Instructional which includes such typical CALL activities as drill and practice and can be related to more behaviouristic teaching approaches. The second is that of Revelatory which encourages learning through "...exploration and discovery." A third is Conjectural which "... emphasises active knowledge manipulation and hypothesis testing." A final one is Emancipatory in which the learner is clearly becoming more autonomous. There is a clear progression in these approaches from the limitations of more traditional language teaching relying on drill and behaviouristic practice activities, to more communicative approaches with increased learner autonomy and opportunities for an exploration of language on a much wider level.
Another attempt at defining the range of CALL applications has been to use terms of tutor, tool and tutee (Levy 1997: 83 from Taylor 1980). The computer is a tutor when providing a program which attempts to instruct and evaluate the student, again very often a drill or grammar or vocabulary practice programme. The computer can also be a tool in that a word processor can be used by a student and this may of course provide a less restrictive use of technology and one in which the computer plays no role in evaluating student work. The computer can also become the tutee when students or teachers actually programme it for a specific purpose. This, however, requires very specific skills which are not often found in a language classroom.
These general descriptions can be matched, as Warschauer and Kern (2000) point out, to equally broad developments in language teaching theory moving from a structural, grammar translation and audio-lingual approach to a more cognitive / constructivist approach highlighting comprehensible input rather than an explicit focus on grammar, to a socio-cognitive perspective and increasingly communicative focus around authentic interaction. The WWW, as seen in Chapter Two, provides materials for all these levels of interaction and theoretical approaches. What remains essential is the effective selection and application of an approach to a given set of needs.
3.3.1 CALL at ELI
As outlined in Chapter One, at ELI technology has been used in virtually all of the ways outlined above. A number of CD-ROMS and programmes provide tutor type packages through which students can practice and develop their grammar and vocabulary or specific skills such as listening. Such programmes appear to be particularly successful for younger learners who delight in, rather than get bored with, the repetitive possibilities and multimedia capabilities of CD-ROMs. They are also successful with low levels of all ages where the endless repetition, combined with the challenge to score well provided by many of these programmes, stimulates and gives an element of individual control and possibility for repetition not available in a class of ten or twelve students.
The computer has also been a very effective tool at ELI, in many senses of the word. From word processing to genuine CD-ROM materials from encyclopaedias to more specific material on the cinema etc. the material and technological capabilities have been used as a means of developing skills practice, be it writing, speaking as students report back after research, or reading and listening to the material on CD-ROM. This often implies a more cognitive / constructivist approach as students are initially exposed to the material and language and only later, in class, begin to focus on the form and content. However, it also stimulates communication and highlights a socio-cognitive perspective as outlined by Warschauer and Kern (2000: 2-4). To a much smaller extent, the computer has been explored as tutee through students designing of their own web pages and some brief experiences with authorware.
Overall, however, there is a tendency to prefer the computer as tutor as it very often, once the teacher is initially familiar with the material, leaves the teacher freer from technological worries and the methodological question of how to use more complex, freer, technological material. It is quite clear that as use of CALL materials move into more conjectural and emancipatory areas the potential may be fascinating, but so too the demands made on both learner and teacher and hence the necessity for support and training.
Using technology at ELI technology, specifically the WWW, there are practical constraints in terms of people's often limited exposure to the skills required for effective and productive use of the technologies available. Surveys with students at ELI show that, while there is a generally positive response, many of them experience WWW for the first time at the academy, a statistic which complies with the general penetration of WWW access in Southern Spain (see Appendix 1). Similarly, many teachers, even those having on-line email accounts, express a lack of faith in their ability to deal adequately with the WWW in general, and above all in the classroom. Here lay the initial problem perhaps with WWW at ELI: it was presumed that basic familiarity could be translated to the WWW without taking into account more fully the range of implications involved in utilising the WWW within a classroom context.
An effective framework for the development of material for exploitation of the WWW in ELI will have to consider these restraints and build in support to overcome these potentially crippling problems. Likewise, such a framework will have to be centred around a communicative approach, including task-based learning, and one which is adaptable to the range of student ages and levels found at ELI. A theoretical framework will have to include more traditional and familiar uses of computer as tutor while emphasising the importance and benefits of exploring the WWW as a tool through the provision of material which can be effectively explored for language acquisition purposes in some of the same ways genuine CD-ROM material has been at ELI.
3.4 Towards an approach:
The WWW, as has been discussed, may provide a mixture of, and potential, for all of the above uses and approaches to CALL from simple, behaviourist grammar and vocabulary drilling to more developed socio-cognitive approaches emphasising the benefits of wider exposure to analysis, coupled with the ability to both analyse and the stimulus to communicate and thus practice. What appears clear, historically, in terms of language learning theory and in terms of technological development, is the need for a general move from more behaviouristic activities to socio-cultural ones, which provide greater scope for communicative practice and in the process encourage the growing participation of the learner and learner autonomy. Central to such developments is the debate between that of instructivist or constructivist approaches when developing software or materials to exploit WWW material.
3.4.1 An instructivist / constructivist approach
ELI has used CALL for various reasons and in different ways often, as indicated, for instructivist purposes, particularly with younger learners. There appears little sense in investing solely in the WWW as a new platform for the same instrutivist element only; nevertheless, such activities do provide an easy place to begin for teachers and students, and may encourage students to explore the material outside of the classroom. For higher levels in particular, a crucial need is that of exposure and stimulus, which the WWW may provide through genuine materials and thus a constructivist approach, while not exclusive, should provide the backbone for any materials for the exploitation of the WWW at ELI.
Such an approach is clearly linked to the general progression through Vygotsky and social-cultural theory which emphasises that knowledge is constructed through social and cultural interaction (Criswell 1993: 190). In this situation the computer is more than an impersonal tool for autonomous learning and more: "... a medium through which a teacher and learner can communicate" (Criswell 1993: 22). The teacher scaffolds, aids the learner until they can internalise knowledge and convert it into something they can consciously control.
In general: "A constructivist designer adopts the view that a high degree of learner control will enhance learning opportunities by allowing the student to access the material in a manner more suited to her or his needs and interests. This model of design provides students with rich content and many navigational opportunities" (Kennedy and McNaught 1997). Mayers offers a similar conclusion: "Hypermedia / multimedia learning systems will be effective in so far as they support the learner in the performance of knowledge construction tasks." Interactivity by itself is not enough: it must be: "...at level of meaning, whereby the learner seeks answers to new questions, arranges the material into new structures, or performs other manipulations which succeed in raising the level of comprehension. Deep learning will then follow naturally."
The incredible variety of material and potential provided by the WWW clearly indicates the appropriateness of a constructivist approach but obviously this is also extremely complicated and in practice requires a lot of thought on a lot of levels. Furthermore, an instructivist approach need not be ignored entirely, as it may provide the first steps towards a more fulfilling use of the potential of the WWW.
3.5 Towards Integration
What can be seen is that the computer has been used in many ways at ELI within one key premise, that of integrating it firmly into existing pedagogical approaches as an aid and supplement but not as a replacement. The importance of integration has been mentioned on various occasions. Only through their becoming part of the curriculum and therefore of individual classes, will teachers and students understand the potential and realise the full potential of CALL activities. Moreover, only by achieving this will CALL activities be fully incorporated on a pedagogical level rather than becoming simply "fillers", easy Friday night classes, which may or may not fit in with governing principals, teaching objectives or learner needs. A theoretical framework has to highlight the full potential of the WWW and provide a basis for its exploration. Warschauer and Whittaker (1997) provide one set of basic, but essential guidelines, for the integration of WWW into language teaching.
- consider carefully your goals
- think integration
- don't underestimate the complexity
- provide necessary support
- involve students in decisions
These, are indeed, the key issues in effective integration of WWW into a given context.
Discussing integration in more depth, Slaouti (2002) points out the: "... need to adopt an approach that develops a critical awareness that allows the user to be prepared for not only the diversity and scope of this developing world, but also for its constantly changing nature." In the process, a user becomes aware of the material, their interaction with it and in turn begins to take control of the environment. As noted before, this development of what is effectively learner autonomy requires active teacher participation in its development. Referring to Savery and Duffy (1995) Slaouti (2002) outlines the following areas of guidance:
- anchor all learning activities to a larger task
- support the learner in developing ownership of the task
- design an authentic task
- design the task to reflect the complexity of the environment the learner will face
- support and challenge the learner's thinking
- encourage testing ideas against alternative views and alternative contexts
- provide opportunities for reflection on the content learned and the learning process
The emphasis here is, once more, on task and, as already outlined, task is crucial in day-to-day class preparation at ELI, within a more general communicative framework which is also anchored within more traditional grammar-based exam goals. Within a context where experience of the WWW for learning remains brief, designing an effective task for the exploitation of WWW resources will clearly involve, as Slaouti (2002) discusses, the concept of scaffolding which is defined as a "...support to the novice but also a potential framework for future strategies." This has been seen in the notion of Web Quests (Dodge 1996 & 1997), where the task is clearly broken into a series of easily achievable and equally clear goals with support available whenever possible to help the learner achieve them while at the same time developing learning skills. Without such help a learner and indeed a teacher, as had been experienced at ELI, will drown in the myriad of opportunities, the infinitive variations as to what is available and what can be done that the WWW offers. What may need to be remembered is that it is not the student alone who may require such scaffolding but also the teacher as s/he begins to explore the immense wealth of opportunities the WWW may offer.
In terms of designing materials which purport to aid this scaffolding, Brandl (2002) provides another useful checklist of questions which the appropriate task should comply with to be effective:
- does design of reading lesson justify use of its medium i.e. take full advantage of aspects of this medium?
- are learning tasks appropriate to students’ level?
- do tasks engage in real world and meaningful tasks as well as variety of skills?
- how do students demonstrate what they have learned?
- are all instructions clearly stated?
- are hyperlinks functional?
and for activities centred around wider project work:
- are students prepared?
- are they familiar with how to conduct research and search Internet?
There are thus, a range of factors to be taken into account when designing materials for the exploitation of WWW material, from theoretical issues to very practical ones. What follows is an attempt at unifying this range within a solid, but more global framework.
3.6 The framework
This far, what has been explored is the need for a framework which provides for the integration of material into existing ELI methodology and CALL experience, implying a possible instructivist element for certain levels, but above all a constructivist approach centred around task-based learning which in turn can be integrated easily into existing classroom procedure.
As has been seen, various authors highlight a number of factors to take into account when attempting to exploit the WWW on a general level, to a more specific one dealing with the tasks for use by students in or outside of class. One summary of these issues is provided by Herrington and Oliver (1997) who discuss the necessities of providing authenticity combined with adequate coaching and scaffolding around carefully designed tasks. Pennington (1996: 7) offers a further list of what an ideal teacher or teaching system will need to include, emphasising once more, the necessity of helping and scaffolding learners’ progression and encouraging their exposure to language and experience with it to develop and grow as learner autonomy increases. WWW in itself only provides exposure to language and socio-cultural possibilities for exploitation. The challenge is to provide the rest; the materials and framework, the task and assessment through which a learner may learn and develop their own language awareness skills.
Chapelle (1998) outlines seven essential hypotheses for the development of multimedia CALL materials, which in turn, provide essential questions which need to be kept in mind when developing any CALL materials, including those which attempt to exploit the WWW for language learning.
- The linguistic characteristics of target language input need to be made salient
- Learners need to have opportunities to produce target language output
- Learners need to notice errors in their own output
- Learners need to correct their linguistic output
- Learners need to engage in target language interaction whose structure can be modified for negotiation of meaning
- Learners should engage in L2 tasks designed to maximise opportunities for good interaction.
These are essential issues to be taken into consideration but Chapelle (2001) offers a more general framework which is perhaps more useful as a global statement of intent when developing, not specific lessons, but a more general framework for the exploitation of CALL materials within a teaching context. The six areas of concern she outlines provide a simple yet powerful and robust model for the design and evaluation of CALL material, incorporating as they can, the majority of issues outlined so far in the previous chapters. What follows is an examination of the six areas in more depth and a reflection on how they may apply to the specific context, experience and necessities and the factors involved in exploiting the WWW raised in Chapter Two.
Language learning potential
This is crucial to use of CALL materials. It must remain more than a time-filling activity or a simple game which provides initial novelty but little long-term pedagogical value. There has to be a language point and purpose and also one which is visible to both teacher and learner. This requires a need for an attention to form and in turn the need for modified interaction, input and output through which students have the opportunities to both receive, analyse and produce. Integration into the given context, as highlighted by previous experience at ELI, is essential for maximising the potential in this area. What can also be explored is, as learner exposure to and comfort with new materials increases, whether the language learning potential can be moved beyond the classroom, whether or not students may begin to explore the material and its potential from their homes using skills they have acquired through work at ELI.
As seen in Chapter Two, none of what has been outlined in the last point will be successfully achieved if the learner fit is incorrect. Material, tasks, the linguistic input and forms, must be suitable for the given level, learner needs, expectations and skills: the importance of integration has been emphasised again and again. This is essentially given the opportunities for autonomous learning and individuality presented by CALL activities: one of the benefits is that CALL may provide material suitable for a range of levels, needs and learning strategies and personalities. The variety of content on the WWW may automatically, to an extent, provide this, but equally important will be the selection of material and task which accommodates the learner fit., the specific context and specific learner. This is exactly what previous experience with CALL demands and initial experience with the WWW may have been missing at ELI.
Drill activities by themselves may not aid understanding. Indeed, it can be argued that only interaction and exposure to samples of genuine language aids a deeper appraisal of meaning and in return production. The WWW may provide the samples of language but as Chapelle (2001: 85) says it will be the task itself which forces students to use the target language in a meaningful way. Initially, this will also imply close co-operation with the teacher who will play a key role in highlighting linguistic factors within the potentially wide range of authentic material students may be exposed to and encouraged to interact with. Once more, the nature of how students are encouraged to focus on meaning will depend on age, level and thus on the tasks they are provided with; in other words, effective integration is again crucial.
Closely linked to the last point is the question of authenticity. The WWW in itself, for many ELI students will provide the first contact with samples of authentic language outside of the classroom. This may be exciting but also potentially de-motivating if the language samples provided are too difficult, or too large for students to deal with in a profitable way. Key to this potential conflict is that of firstly selecting adequate sites and material and then designing effective tasks which allow students to focus on selected samples of language rather than attempt to understand every single item. Activities should also be designed which maximise the potential of authentic material to further a focus on form and also opportunities for further skills practice as the material is discussed, analysed, reported on etc. Implicit in such design features is the idea of scaffolding, aiding and guiding learners and teachers, particularly in the initial stages.
The successful resolution of the former points should result in positive impact for the learner and indeed the teacher. This is of crucial importance to the specific problem at hand: despite an overall positive experience with other CALL material a similarly positive sense of pedagogically sound exploitation and interaction has not been developed with the WWW at ELI. Careful design of material based on the factors outlined in these three chapters should result in the positive impact of learners exploring new channels of input of language, in developing a range of skills for dealing with these and, as a result, a more developed awareness of language and ability to analyse, internalise and eventually use it. Positive impact not only refers to experience in class but the potential for encouraging students to access material outside of class time also.
Chapter Two highlighted the nature of hypermedia and also the problems both students and teachers may have when faced with a new technological source of input and navigation. Unless technology is carefully implemented it will remain in the hands of the few fans or casual users, with its full potential ignored. This has been seen with use of the WWW at ELI, in contrast to a wider use of CALL product and techniques. The issue of practicality incorporates the previous categories in that, unless it is perceived as being a practical language learning source and tool, WWW will not be tested by either teachers or learners. The essence of such practicability, over and above pedagogical approaches is that of access: twenty-four hour broadband connections will automatically encourage use over less reliable dial-up connections which are more complex to use, slower and frequently cut off. Once this essential connection is provided, equally important, as highlighted above, is the practicability of the tasks in terms of learner fit but also in terms of the material chosen and the design of any on-line elements involved. Design of such material is of such importance that it requires a subsection within this general area.
The effective design of tasks and material which can be effectively exploited within a given context also automatically has the implications on a technological level. Hagen (1993: 56-7) maintains that multimedia design for language learning should include: comprehensibility, interest / relevancy, sufficiency of input, sequencing, and also multiple entry points, alternative learning routes and tutorial support. Kristof and Satran (1995) offer a series of key elements to take into consideration when designing software and these are generally equally applicable to web design. There are also, however, numerous resources both on-line and off referring to effective web design such as Kelly (2000).
The key is that of simplicity, ease of navigation combined with a layout which is not too heavily dependent on graphics for practical purposes but remains easy to navigate and understand. Hedberg, Harper and Brown (1993) discuss different types of navigation and necessity for reducing the cognitive load navigation may place on a learner. In general, the design of materials is essential in order to keep the overall aim clear and the means of achieving it visible and easily used. This is equally true of both on-line pages and paper-based tasks.
Higgins (1995: 3) says that: "... the best software is software which involves teachers, learners and parents in the same enterprise ... Software is only one element of a learning environment..." The same is equally true of the WWW. It is how it is used and with what materials, purpose and methodology, which will prove interesting and productive long term. Hardisty and Windeatt (1988: 8) make exactly the same point when discussing whether or not there is a CALL methodology: "The most important point is that computers are not very good at teaching by themselves. How effective computers are in the classroom will therefore depend on the way the teacher and students use them, and in this respect they are no different from any other medium."
In this chapter, based on the concerns outlined in previous ones, a framework is proposed through which WWW-based materials may be effectively exploited within a given context. Chapter Four will describe the material designed taking into consideration the discussion and framework adopted in this chapter.