Profiles in Using the Web for College Courses

Prepared for and presented at the University of Louisville, Belknap Campus.
NOTE: links no longer available were removed on 18 February 2001 - the titles of the links still appear in this document.

All or nothing, or something in between

Subject Matter and Course plotted against Support and Delivery to create a matrix of profiles

Subject Matter Support
+ availability ... the Web functions as a vast resource for many topics and may provide more ready information, often more up-to-date information, for students than tradition sources
+ learner control ... students can pursue sources of information outside the "packaged" sources that have traditionally been available to them and do so more easily than has previously been possible
- loss of control over content ... instructors will find that students are bringing
- authentication ... students may show up with invalid, inaccurate, and poorly documented material

Subject Matter Delivery
+ content control ... you can provide selected, annotated, and verified subject matter with specific relevance to your course and students
+ accessibility ... the most current material is available to your students at any time, limited only by their access to the technology -- not by their access to you or your access to a printer, CD-ROM burner, or distribution channels
+ media/interactivity ... you can include color images, sound, and other media in your materials and build in opportunities for interaction
- effort ... although it is easy compared to some technologies, developing good materials for the Web takes effort
- ownership ... once it's on the Web, it's published to the world and failry easy for the world to get to unless you restrict access
- maintenance ... once it's on the Web it's "alive" -- you have to check on it and feed it to keep it from getting old and wasting away

Course Support
+ efficiency ... a very common reason for getting started on the Web -- you can distribute a syllabus with very little trouble and update it continuously without having to make new copies
+ flexibility ... course materials can be modified and amplified "on the fly"
- heightened expectations ... the obvious possibilites for course support lead students to expect instant updates
- new habits ... remembering to update the site and remembering what to update is automatic

Course Delivery
+ accessibility ... a benefit of any distance technology; the Web offers 24-hour, 365-day accessability barring technical difficulties
+ extension of effect ... potential for more aspects of a "live" course to be offered to distant students
- technology ... the simplicity of the Web becomes more complex when heavy-duty interaction is added, or you have to weave in more technologies
- course management ... managing feedback messages, discussions and individual communications in multiple channels is more time consuning than grading papers sent in the mail

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What does it take?

At Indiana University faculty and students are supported in multiple ways using the World Wide Web for their courses.

Support for students

Computing Resources for Students are extensive and easily accessible. Every student enrolled in classes is issued a username and password, which grant email, Web publishing and data storage capabilities. Access to public clusters is available 24 hours a day with a schedule of busy and reserved sites published to the Web. Consulting is available at every cluster, by phone, and via the UCS Knowledge Base. Students may take free courses (JumpStart) to learn to use the Web and to publish pages on the Web.

Support for faculty

In addition to sharing all the facilities offered to students, faculty may take advantage of workshops and individual support from the Teaching and Learning Technologies Lab. This service reports to the Office of Academic Affairs and the Vice-President for Information Technology and offers, among many other services in support of instruction, extensive Tools and Guides for Course Website Development.

In addition to any Web servers available for faculty in their respective units, University Computing Services maintains a central Web server on which any faculty may publish course sites. Users of the central server are supported by the Network Information Services group through the IUB Webmaster's Page.

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Links to readings and more examples

New Tools for Teaching;
James J. O'Donnell, University of Pennsylvania (1996)
Page of information and examples assembled by "a working scholar and teacher who has found in these new tools the most exciting possibilities to enhance teaching that have come along in my twenty years in front of the classroom." A few bits of the information are specific to his own institution, but in the main this is material you can use. If you're looking for a relevant, accessible treatment of the Web from a colleague, start here.

Support page for 'Designing Web Based Instruction for Active Learning'
by Stephen Bostock in Web Based Instruction ed. Khan, 1996
Just what it sounds like ... this page accompanies a chapter in "Web-Based Instruction." Included here are links to Web-based courses, technology information, discussions on the Web, and some papers. Especially helpful for anyone looking beyond the U.S. to demonstrations from the United Kingdom.

Using Instructional Design Principles To Amplify Learning On The World Wide Web;
Donn C. Ritchie and Bob Hoffman (1996)
Abstract: :Most educators in this country have heard about the World Wide Web. Many have explored this resource, and some are now publishing their own materials for student access. Throughout the brief history of the Web, the overriding educational principle has been to view this resource as a storehouse of information which provides unparalleled avenues of research. The potential for the Web, however, is greater. This article justifies and describes instructional design principles which can be used to transform Web material from simple informational resources to a powerful, instructional medium. "

Psychology Classes Online;
Department of Psychology; Indiana University (1999)
"Here in one easy stop is a listing of the classes offered by the Department of Psychology which are using the web as a teaching resource. This page is intended to give students an easy starting point for finding their class, and also to help instructors see how their peers are using the web. "


Web-Based Instruction (no longer available)
Badrul H. Khan, editor
Table of contents for this new book featuring nearly one hundred authors, representing institutions situated throughout the world. "This books covers all significant aspects of the design, development, delivery, and evaluation of instruction using Internet's World Wide Web. In 59 chapters, this 480-page-volume, 7 x 10 inches, provides users of the Web with online sources, case studies, references, and other forms of information regarding ways to use this new techology to improve opportunities for learning at all levels."

Web Based Instruction Reference List; (no longer available)
Faculty Internet Service Center; University of California at Berkeley
Complete and well-organized reference page created as part of the Ensemble Project. "The Faculty Internet Service Center is part of the Instructional Technology Program's Ensemble Project. The Ensemble Project's mission is to help faculty bring together the 'ensemble' of internet services they need to improve instruction. The Ensemble Project's long term plan is to establish 'FISC' accounts for faculty that will automate the routine tasks involved with setting up course web accounts, alias lists, and newsgroups. The Ensemble Project's long term plan also calls for the creation of a Course Homepage Registry that faculty, students, and others can access to find course descriptions, class schedules, and pointers to course homepages."

A Web-Based Model for University Instruction; (no longer available)
Philip Duchastel
Paper discussing the author's position that universities do not recognize or use the real power of the Web appropriately, and that to do so requires complete rethinking of what college-level teaching and learning should be.

Delivering Instruction on the World Wide Web; (no longer available)
Thomas Fox McManus; University of Texas at Austin
From high-level consideration of the advantages and disadvantages in using the Web for instruction to the nuts and bolts of HTML, this paper covers the ground in readable terms with many embedded links. ABSTRACT: "The Internet is fast emerging as one of a teacher's most important tools, with the World Wide Web emerging as the easiest and most popular way to access the Internet. The possibilities of Web based instruction are boundless. But many educators, both teachers and designers, are at a loss for how to use this tool properly. I will attempt to explain some of the basic issues involved in Web based instruction, it's design, and its delivery."

Cherie's Faculty Helps; (no longer available)
Cherie Gracie; Washtenaw Community College
Slightly whimsical but very well organized and edited selection of resources for faculty considering use of the Web for college courses. Start here if you want to feel as though a support person is giving you an individual tour through the possibilities.

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18 February 2001
Instructional Systems Technology
Indiana University Bloomington