Web-based learning environments: Current pedagogical and technological state

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Web is a firmly established, though virtual, reality Educators, well aware of the potential of the technology, have adopted it for creating new Web-based learning environments. This article presents a study of the characteristics of Web sites as teaching and learning environments. The major questions addressed in this study were: 1.What characterizes educational Web sites at the content, teaching, learning, and communication levels? 2. How do key teaching and learning issues appearing on educational Web sites date to educators’ expectations from the new technology? 3. What can a consideration of the current state of affairs teach US about further development and implementation of educational Web sites? To answer these questions we developed a classification scheme (the Taxonomy of WBLE); implemented it for the study of 436 educational Web sites focusing on mathematics, science, and technology learning; and elaborated on practical implications of the study; results. The overall picture we have unveiled may sound disappointing, and it can be summarized as “one step ahead for the technology, two steps back for the pedagogy. “But a thoughtful discussion of the results suggests directions for the research and development of novel Web-based educational models. Results indicate that many educational Web sites are still predominantly text based and do not yet exhibit evidence of current pedagogical approaches (e.g., use of inquiry based activities, application of constructivist learning principles, and use of alternative evaluation methods). Suggestions for future WBLE development are provided.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-76
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Research on Computing in Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2000


  • Disnncr learning
  • Web site classzfication and evaluation
  • Web-based learning environments


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