Dupuis, Elizabeth A. Developing Web-based instruction: planning, designing, managing, and evaluating for results. London: Facet Publishing , 2003. xvi, 279 pp. ISBN 1-85604-494-7 £44.95
Probably the closest equivalent to this volume is a book reviewed earlier: Sarah Horton's Web teaching guide, which has the advantage of having a single author. However, Horton's book is about online teaching in general, whereas the title under review is about library instruction. Thus, the title is a little misleading, since many may imagine - as I did before I opened it - that it relates to instruction in general. The true title ought to have been Developing Web-based library instruction
The book is the UK publication of a Neal-Schumann book in the The New Libraryseries. The series editor, Cheryl Laguardia, explains that she sought out the editor following the publicity given to the University of Texas at Austin TILT information literacy programme, with which Depuis was associated (she is now at the University of California, Berkeley) and that Web site is certainly worth taking a look at.
The fourteen chapters of the book are grouped into three parts, and each part has an 'Overview' by the Editor. They are: Part I, Planning and management; Part II, Evaluation and assessment; and Part III, Design and development. The individual chapters cover everything from budgeting and establishing the team to pedagogy (or andragogy) and site design, with many other things along the way. The authors draw on a fund of practical experience and present their information effectively and simply. They know, however, that there is nothing simple about any stage of the process of developing self-learning materials, hence the attention to issues such as conflict resolution in teams, and the ethical and legal issues relating to the use of data from users. In general, they present sound advice, but I believe that practitioners will find the guidance on site design and development in Horton's book rather more all-eccompassing.
In spite of its total orientation towards practice in the USA, readers elsewhere are likely to find this a good general introduction to the main issues of instructional Web site development. Each chapter is supported by a list of references and there is an Appendix of related reading. There is also another Appendix devoted to the preparation of a project proposal.
My one complaint is with the quality of the illustrations. The line drawings and screen shots of mainly black and white Web pages and adequate, but the screen shots of coloured Web pages are truly dreadful and the picture of page 247 of an "image with perspective" ought to have been dispensed with - surely any librarian would know what perspective is?
Professor T.D. Wilson