You are here:

Using a Design Pattern Framework to Structure Online Course Content: Two Design Cases

, , George Mason University, United States

AACE Award

E-Learn: World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education, in New Orleans, LA, USA ISBN 978-1-939797-12-4 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), San Diego, CA


Despite the central role that well organized and structured course content plays in engaging learners, the authors point to the absence of guidelines for organizing content in ways that meet course learning goals. Recognizing the need for a design solution and, perhaps, the need for a new design framework, design patterns are proposed as an alternative. After describing the elements of a design pattern framework, the authors examine two design cases, demonstrating how the design pattern framework is an applicable approach to structuring course content. The authors conclude with four ways in which a design pattern approach facilitates the design process.


Norton, P. & Hathaway, D. (2014). Using a Design Pattern Framework to Structure Online Course Content: Two Design Cases. In T. Bastiaens (Ed.), Proceedings of World Conference on E-Learning (pp. 1440-1449). New Orleans, LA, USA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved February 22, 2019 from .


View References & Citations Map


  1. Alexander, C., Ishikawa, S., Silverstein, M., Jacobson, M., Fiksdahl-King, I., & Angel, S. (1977). A pattern language. NY: Oxford University Press.
  2. Angeli, C., & Valanides, N. (2008, March). TCPK in preservice teacher education: Preparing primary education students to teach with technology. Paper presented at the AERA annual conference, New York.
  3. Arnold, N., & Ducate L. (2006). Future foreign language teachers’ social and cognitive collaboration in an online environment. Language Learning& Technology, 10(1): 42–66. Retrieved from Brush, T, Glazewski, K., Rutowski, K., Berg, K., Stromfors, C., Van-Nest, M.H., … Sutton, J. (2003). Integrating technology in a field-based teacher training program: The PT3@ ASU projects. Educational Technology Research& Development, 51(1), 57-72.
  4. Brzycki, D., & Dudt, K. (2005). Overcoming barriers to technology use in teacher preparation programs. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 13(4), 619-641.
  5. Bullock, D. (2004). Moving from theory to practice: As examination of the factors that preservice teachers encounter as they attempt to gain experience teaching with technology during field placement experiences. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 12(2), 211-237.
  6. Dougherty, E. (2012). Assignments matter: Making the connections that help students meet standards. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.
  7. Gamma, E., Helm, R., Johnson, R., & Vlissides, J. (1995). Design patterns: Elements of reusable object-oriented software. NY: Addison-Wesley.
  8. Gardner, H. (2009). Five Minds for the Future. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Review Press.
  9. Garrison, D., & Cleveland-Innes, M. (2005). Facilitating cognitive presence in online learning: Interaction is not enough. American Journal of Distance Education, 19, 133-148.
  10. Garrison, D. (2007). Online community of inquiry review: Social, cognitive, and teaching presence issues. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 11(1), 61-72.
  11. Goodyear, P., Avgeriou, P., Baggetun, R., Bartoluzzi, S., Retalis, S., Ronteltap, F., & Rusman, E. (2004). Towards a pattern language for networked learning. In S. Banks, P. Goodyear, V. Hodgson, C. Jones, V. Lally, D. McConnell& C. Steeples (Eds.), Networked learning 2004 (pp. 449-455). Lancaster, UK: Lancaster University.
  12. Harris, J. (1998). Virtual architecture: Designing and directing curriculum-based telecomputing. Eugene, OR: International Society for Technology in Education, University of Oregon.
  13. Hew, K., & Brush, T. (2007). Integrating technology into K-12 teaching and learning: Current knowledge gaps and recommendations for future research. Educational Technology Research& Development, 55(3), 223-252.
  14. Lemke, J.L. (1987). Social semiotics and science education. The American Journal of Semiotics, 5(2), 217-232.
  15. Kay, R. (2006). Evaluating strategies used to incorporate technology into preservice education: A Review of the literature. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 38(4), 383-408.
  16. Maddox, C., & Cummings, R. (2004). Fad, fashion, and the weak role of theory and research in information technology in education. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 12(4), 511-533.
  17. Mor, Y., & Winters, N. (2007). Design approaches in technology enhanced learning. Interactive Learning Environments, 15(1), 61-75.
  18. Mishras, P., & Koehler, M.J. (2007). Technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPCK): Confronting the wicked problems of teaching with technology. In R. Carlsen, K. McFerrin, J. Price, R. Weber, & D. Willis (Eds.), Proceedings of Society for Information Technology& Teacher Education International Conference 2007 (pp. 2214-2226).
  19. Savenye, W., Olina, Z., & Niemezyk, M. (2001). So you are going to be an online writing instructor: Issues in designing, developing, and delivering an online course. Computers and Composition, 18, 371–385.
  20. Song, L., Singleton, E.S., Hill, J.R., & Koh, M.H. (2004). Improving online learning: Student perceptions of useful and challenging characteristics. The Internet and Higher Education, 7, 59-70.
  21. Taba, H. (1962). Curriculum: Theory and practice. New York: Harcourt, Brace.
  22. Tishman, S., Perkins, D., & Jay, E. (1995). The thinking classroom: Learning and teaching in a culture of thinking. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn and Bacon.
  23. Tyler, R. (1969). Basic principles of curriculum and instruction. Chicago: University Of Chicago Press.
  24. Van Duyne, D., Landay, J., & Hong, J. (2007). The design of sites: Patterns for creating winning websites (2nd ed.). NY: Prentice Hall.
  25. Weisburgh, M. (2004). Documenting good education and training practices through design patterns. Retrieved from

These references have been extracted automatically and may have some errors. If you see a mistake in the references above, please contact

View References & Citations Map

Cited By

  1. A Preservice Secondary Education Technology Course: Attitudes, Knowledge, and Learner Outcomes

    Dawn Hathaway & Priscilla Norton, George Mason University, United States

    Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference 2016 (Mar 21, 2016) pp. 690–697

These links are based on references which have been extracted automatically and may have some errors. If you see a mistake, please contact