This paper investigates the correlation between the quality of instructional design and learning outcomes for early childhood students in the online synchronous cyber classroom. Today's generation of e-learners has access to highly engaging and well-designed multi-media synchronous classrooms. However little data exists on what constitutes "good practice" in instructional design for online synchronous cyber lessons. The synchronous cyber classroom outperforms all other modes of instruction in enabling students to simultaneously integrate visual, auditory and kinaesthetic processes. The online synchronous cyber classroom provides learners with more authentic and engaging learning activities enabling higher levels of learning compared to purely asynchronous modes of self-paced learning. During 2001-2007 a group of students aged 5 to 8 years collaborated with their teacher at Brisbane School of Distance Education, Australia in a trial of online synchronous learning. The trial identified "best practice" in the instructional design of synchronous lessons delivered through the Collaborative Cyber Community (3C) learning platform at the National Sun Yat-sen University, Taiwan. A guideline for "best practice" in the instructional design of online synchronous cyber lessons for early childhood students has been developed and discussed.
Journal of Educational Technology & Society 10(4)： p.281-294