Course developers can be distracted from applying sound instructional design principles by the amount of flexibility offered through online course development resources (<citeref rid="b16">Kidney & Puckett, Quarterly Review of Distance Education, 4 (2003)</citeref>, 203-212). Distance education course management systems (CMS) provide multiple features that can be easily integrated into online instruction. Easy integration does not equal good design, and poor design can impede learning (<citeref rid="b15">Kearsley, A guide to online education (1997)</citeref> http://gwis.circ.gwu.edu/∼etl/online.html). A taxonomy of the instructional value for CMS features is described. An example of how a course was translated into an online version, initially a failure, and redesigned using this taxonomy is presented. A taxonomy that strategically guides the use of appropriate CMS features to integrate informational, instructional, and learning elements into online courses can support designers in the development of quality of online instruction.
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