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Educational Psychology (EDPY) 479
Introduction to Computer-Based Instruction (Revision 2)

Revision 2 closed, replaced by current version.

Delivery mode: Individualized study online.

Credits: 3 - Applied Studies

Prerequisite: PSYC 289 or PSYC 387. Students should also have a basic knowledge of computers and the Internet.

Centre: Centre for Psychology

Challenge for Credit option not available.

Course website


This course explores various facets of the application of computers to the teaching-learning process. Topics include a brief history of educational computing, an overview of the contemporary field, the relationship between the psychology of learning and computer-based instruction, the development of computer tutorials, computer drills, computer simulations, instructional games and computerized testing. The course includes a laboratory component in which students learn to develop computer-based lessons using an Internet browser as a delivery device and HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) and JavaScript as tools for lesson development.

The course requires no previous knowledge of HTML or JavaScript but does demand skills acquired previously in basic microcomputer use, including some use of an Internet browser.


Unit 1: Introduction

Unit 2: Computer Tutorials

Unit 3: Hypermedia and Web-Based Learning

Unit 4: Computer Drills

Unit 5: Computer Drill Construction

Unit 6: Computer Simulations

Unit 7: Educational Games, Tools, and Open-ended Learning Environments

Unit 8: Using Image Maps

Unit 9: Tests

Unit 10: Overview of Design and Development

Unit 11: Course Project

Unit 12: Final Exam Preparation


To receive credit for EDPY 479, you must complete all of the assignments, achieve a mark of 50 per cent or more on the final examination, and achieve a composite course grade of at least "D" (50 per cent).  The weighting of the assignments is as follows:

Unit 1 Computer Conferencing Introduction    1.0%
Unit 1 Quiz    4.0%
Unit 2 Quiz    4.0%
Unit 3 Construct Home Page    5.0%
Unit 3 Quiz    4.0%
Unit 4 Quiz    4.0%
Unit 5 Construct a Drill    8.0%
Unit 6 Quiz    4.0%
Unit 7 Quiz    4.0%
Unit 8 Image-Map Tutorial Construction    8.0%
Unit 9 Quiz    4.0%
Unit 10 Quiz    4.0%
Unit 11 Course Project   21.0%
Unit 12 Final Exam   25.0%*
Total 100.0%

*For students who score less than 50 percent on the final examination, the final examination score will serve as the course grade.

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Note: The final examination for this course must be taken online at an invigilated location. It is your responsibility to ensure a computer with an Internet connection and Internet Explorer 5.0 or higher is available for your use at the invigilation centre.

Course Materials


Alessi, S. M., and Trollip, S. R. (2001). Multimedia for Learning: Methods and Development. 3rd ed. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

Other Materials

The course materials also include Athabasca University-produced online materials: a student manual, study guide, and online tutorials.

Special Instructional Features

In order to complete this course students are expected to have access to an IBM-PC compatible microcomputer that is capable of downloading and operating Netscape 4.0, an Internet browser program.

The minimum configuration for an IBM-PC compatible would be: Windows98, 64 megabytes RAM, hard disk, a 486 processor, a graphics card, a modem of 28,800 baud, and a printer.