E-learning is still in its infancy. This can be seen both in the limited pedagogical quality and lack of portability of e-learning content, and in the lack of user-friendly tools to exploit the opportunities offered by current technologies. To be successful, e-learning must offer effective and attractive courses and programmes to learners, while at the same time providing a pleasant and effective work environment for staff members who have the task to develop course materials, plan the learning processes, provide tutoring, and assess performance. To overcome these deficiencies, the IMS Global Learning Consortium Inc. released the Learning Design Specification in 2003. With Learning Design it is possible to develop and present advanced, interoperable e-learning courses embracing educational role and game playing methods, problem-based learning, learning community approaches, adaptivity and peer coaching and assessment methods. In this handbook Koper and Tattersall have put together contributions from members of the 'Valkenburg Group', consisting of 33 experts deeply involved in e-learning and more specifically learning design. The result is a rich and lasting source of information for both e-learning course and tool developers, providing information about the specification itself, how to implement it in practice, what tools to use, and what pitfalls to avoid. The book not only reports first experiences, but also goes beyond the current state of the art by looking at future prospects and emerging applications.

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