Developing Online Learning Materials

by Judith Maginnis Kuster - Minnesota State University, Mankato (

Whether you use a PC or Macintosh computer, several interesting opportunities are available on the Internet for developing online learning materials for clients and students. This column features two examples with which you can generate your own creative ideas or can use materials others have already put online.

The Quintessential Instructional Archive (QUIA) provides "templates for creating twelve different types of online games, including flashcards, matching, concentration (memory), word search, hangman, challenge board, and rags to riches (a quiz-show style trivia game)" as well as "tools for creating online quizzes." The activities are stored on the QUIA Web site and anyone with a Web browser can access and use them. For samples of types of activities that can be made and to sign up to develop materials, check

If you prefer, you can investigate some of the activities school-based speech-language pathologists (SLPs) have already produced:

A software program developed by "Half-Baked Software," a group that began at the University of Victoria in Canada may also be of interest. "Hot Potatoes" is not freeware, but is free of charge for non-profit educational users who make their pages available on the Web. Other users must pay $100. (Pricing information is available). Six applications are available, which enable you to create Web-based online quizzes using the following strategies: multiple choice, short-answer, jumbled-sentence, crossword, matching/ordering, and gap-fill exercises. With "Hot Potatoes" software you can easily produce quizzes that can be saved as html and placed on your own Web page.

A software review, "Hot Potatoes" a Healthy Diet for the 21st Century? by Steven Yoell describes in detail each type of quiz. The various software applications available from "Hot Potatoes provide a variety of applications for those who put material on the internet for clients and students. The following are examples of freely available materials developed with "Hot Potatoes."

Judith Kuster is in the department of communication disorders at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Contact her by email at

Kuster, JM, Developing Online Learning Materials, ASHA Leader, March 6, 2001, p. 9