Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration

For my Teaching With Technology class we were required to post a review of a teaching website. I decided to do my review here, instead of in the university’s platform because I had more control with the layout. Plus, I haven’t written anything here in a while, so might as well post it.

Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration

Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration
Click here to see the website!

Overall I like the bloggy feel but have some issues with the layout but I’m impressed by the open access content!

The Layout

This is the homepage. Quite bloggy!

This is the homepage. Quite bloggy! Click to go to the homepage.

The first thing that immediately comes to mind when viewing this website is how bloggy it looks. This isn’t a bad thing at all! I think it looks clean, uncluttered, and very modern.

The user can click on the “view article button” which brings up the article of choice. The one thing that confuses me most about this website, is that the front layout is so beautiful and structured but the actual articles are presented in a basic HTML format. The text scrolls across the entire screen,  there is little to no formatting, and it’s not very pretty. I feel like if they could make the front page so attractive and so attention grabbing they could also have made the individual articles follow suit.

When you click "view article" this big blocky text HTML file pops up.

When you click “view article” this big blocky text HTML file pops up. Click the image to view the article. 

Some good, some not so good.

Some good, some not so good.

And while the menu bar looks really nice at first, there are some other weird things going on.
First, overall, it’s the menu bar. Keep things short and sweet here. Make lists, not sentences.

  1. Why is the “Mission” crammed into the side bar? Why wouldn’t this link up into a bigger page. It’s your *mission*! Treat it with some respect and give it some space!
  2. The whole link doesn’t need to be that big. Just link the key words! I am glad that they put such an important part of the journal in an easily accessible spot.
  3. I quite liked this actually. The titles were bolded, the information was centered and didn’t look crammed.
  4. I like the idea of putting the editors, but it literally extends the entire length of the page! Thanking people is good, but maybe it would be better to just put a few of the most important people, and then add a link saying, “to see a full list click here!”. They could even fill it with bios and pictures! Keeping with the bloggy theme.

The Content:
I actually really like that everything is open access. I think more things should be open access. How do we further scientific knowledge if we keep it behind paywall? I think that was one of the best things about the internet. Things are “free!” How much do you think Wikipedia would cost if it were a real book? [Hint, if you guessed 6.6 billion dollars, you’d be close.] Do you think people would buy it? And now it’s one of the most used references in the world! So I’m very appreciative of open access!

I also really like that you can go back and look at all the previous issues via the “Archives”. I do wish that there was just a regular search bar and you didn’t have to click the link for the search option. But I do like that they gave you both options to search and to manually browse the archives.

I also like what the articles are about. I feel like many of them could be helpful. While a lot of the info is strictly about online education, there are a few articles about blended learning. I would really like to have seen more about flipping the classroom since much of that fits into the realm of online education. However, they may feel that blended learning  and flipping the classroom are similar enough to not need distinction.

 

TL;DR

  1. The layout has some questionable descisions. Specifically the menu layout and the way the actual articles are displayed. However, I really like the clean and bloggy feel of the homepage.
  2. The content is actually pretty good and I love that everything is open access!
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: