Web-Teaching

Preface Acknowledgements Contents 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 URLs References

 

 


 

CHAPTER 11 *

Course Supplements *

EXAMPLES *

Instructional Message Design *

Amphibian Embryology *

Interior Design *

Audiology *

Biochemistry *

Languages *

Bioscience *

Chem Team *

Psychology (Statistics) *

Mathematica *

Physiology *

Physics *

Classroom Today *

HOMEWORK *

URLs *

 


 

CHAPTER 11

Course Supplements

 

 

Organizing and teaching courses that are entirely Web-based is a daunting project. It may involve substantial changes in teaching behavior and definitely increases time spent in planning (especially during the initial set-up.) Although successful discussions on the Web are reported widely by teachers, many discussion questions that spark active, fruitful debate in an ordinary classroom fizzle on the Web. Many teachers restrict their use of the Web to what we call course supplements. Course supplements can be as simple as handouts available on the Web. A dynamic, adaptable syllabus is a very common use. But where the Web excels over traditional teaching methods is in its ability provide complex interactive learning experiences like Java applets to help students understand complicated subjects. The course supplement is probably the most widespread use of Web teaching.

The Web is a remarkable, evolving communication tool. It allows dynamic, interactive communications. Even teachers who handle all the teaching offline have adopted Web software packages to manage many of the traditional aspects of their teaching: syllabi, handouts, messaging, and even gradebooks (see Chapter 3.)

For most of us, there has been a topic or issue that we've struggled to teach, but were never quite satisfied with our success. For these situations, the Web has proven to be a remarkable resource. This is especially true when multimedia materials are involved because the Web is a very powerful delivery system.

In addition to the many supplements being created by teachers for their own sites, there are numerous supplements being developed by commercial sources. Publishers provide sites intended to be used in conjunction with particular texts. Software developers provide sites to support and extend their product’s features.

If you are interested in supplementing your course with an online component to enrich your class, do a Web search before you create it. With the thousands of free online tutorials and animations that have been created by both educational and commercial entities, what you want may already exist. A quick Internet search for the supplementary material to help your students understand a particular concept may save you hours of work building your own.

 

EXAMPLES

Instructional Message Design

In Instructional Message Design {U11.01}, all of the course management (such as course syllabi, Figure 11.01) is accomplished on the Web. These pages were developed using crude software tools that were available prior to course management software packages.

 

Figure 11.01. Portion of a course syllabus used as a course supplement for Instructional Message Design at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.

Amphibian Embryology

Amphibian embryology {U11.02} is an example of a very powerful supplementary site developed to support a variety of courses (Figure 11.02). This site is rich with multimedia animations and images, and reflects the kind of instruction not available from a traditional text format.

 

Figure 11.02. Home page image from the Amphibian Embryology Tutorials developed at the University of Wisconsin.

 

Interior Design

Developing an understanding of construction techniques is important when preparing interior design students. Katherine Ankerson has found the use of multimedia supplements to be especially helpful in her courses related to creating construction documents {U11.03} (Figure 11.03).

 

 

Figure 11.03. Screen capture from animation illustrating features of wall construction.

 

Audiology

Newell Decker has used Blackboard's CourseInfo to manage a course, Advanced Practicum in Audiology. He uses online testing to deal with an aspect of testing (Figure 11.04) that once presented substantial difficulty in terms of getting students together with the hardware. Decker reports positive student responses to this strategy for assessing this particular competency in the course.

 

Figure 11.04. Test item from advanced Practicum in Audiology.

 

Biochemistry

John Markwell has developed some powerful supplements for use in his undergraduate biochemistry classes. Markwell has developed ShockWave animations to illustrate complex phenomenon (Figure 11.05).

 

Figure 11.05. Screen capture from animation describing steps the process of photosynthesis. This elegant animation, executed in Macromedia Director and converted to a ShockWave file, was created in about 12 hours.

Languages

Harvard University has developed a powerful Language Resource Center {U11.04}. Some resources are available only at the Center, while others are available over the Web. Russian audio tapes, for example, ones with very high clarity, are available across campus over the Web (Figure 11.06).

 

Figure 11.06. Modified screen capture of audio tape, "Pushkin: Biography and Poem" made available on the Harvard Campus from the Language Resource Center.

 

Bioscience

William Glider's materials are largely home made. Having started before the development of course management software, the sections shown here, while available through modern packages, were developed in a pioneering manner. There is no doubt in Glider's mind that his is a traditional course with learning goals similar to those of his many colleagues involved in teaching this multisection college biology course.

 

Figure 11.07. Home page of William Glider's biology class. Access to this page is controlled via ID and password.

 

While the topics shown here are found in most Web management software systems, at least three of these qualify as what are best called supplements: tutorials, biofacts, and cool links. (Supplemental instruction, as used in Glider's course, refers to traditional coaching instruction offered conventionally to volunteer students – help sessions, more or less.) An example of a tutorial is show in Figure 11.08. (These materials are available only to students enrolled in Glider's class.)

 

 

Figure 11.08. Sample tutorial from bioscience course. Animation (created in Flash™) shows red blood cells placed in a solution. Students have four possible responses, and receive feedback.

 

Chem Team

The Chem Team {U11.05} site has been developed by a team of high school chemistry teachers, and is one of several such sites developed at Diamond Bar High School in the Walnut Valley Unified School District, Walnut, California. It is typical for such pages to be linked to other similar resources, such as Audrey Sanderson's chemistry resouces {U11.06}.

Psychology (Statistics)

As we have noted before, and will note again in later chapters, prior knowledge is the largest single factor that accounts for variance in new learning. Any strategy which can increase current learning is likely to give good results. The optional, open access, repeatable testing used by Calvin Garbin in his statistics courses exemplifies the easy use of this approach on the Web. From virtually any location at any time, Garbin’s students can access course materials, and also attempt quiz items and receive feedback. Their performance in his course becomes dependent upon the amount of effort they are willing to put forth.

 

 

Figure 11.09. Sample item from Garbin’s extensive repeatable quiz bank. Readers can access these quizzes from the UNL Testing Site {U11.07}. For example, choose a Garbin course (such as Psychology 350 Lab), choose an exercise, create a login, and then practice away.

 

In Garbin’s courses, most of the assignments have a PowerPoint or other kind of "reading" available on the Web that the students may read before doing the Web practice. This combination means that folks with different preferred learning strategies can use different approaches. Some students really study for the exercises, and then get on line and work all of the problems. Others begin by taking a practice quiz and learn as they go. The exercises are set up on a mastery system. Students aren’t done until they get a specified number of practice items correct for each of the topics. Garbin has data that showing that the approach used (or one that is intermediate) doesn’t influence how much students learn from the exercises.

 

Figure 11.10. Sample feedback to item response from Garbin's extensive repeatable quiz bank.

 

Mathematica

Eric Weisstein's World of Mathematics at Wolfram Research, developers of Mathematica, provides an extensive mathematics resource (Figure 11.11). With eleven different major subject areas, most with over 200 sub-topics, this site provides a vast quantity of mathematical information, including some interactive figures.

Figure 11.11 Modified screen capture of one of the sub-topics (hyperbolic paraboloid {U11.08}) in Eric Weisstein's World of Mathematics. The two figures shown may be rotated through space to allow the user to view them from any angle.

 

Physiology

Numerous examples are emerging where faculty create course components for Web delivery and use them in place of traditional materials. The physiology laboratory manual {U11.09} by David Woodman is such an example (Figure 11.12).

 

Figure 11.12. Example material taken from PhysioDisc laboratory manual developed by David Woodman. This screen capture illustrates not only the illustrated notes, but two branches, one to an animation, and the other to a microscopic view.

Physics

In teaching, especially in science, there is a strategy known as the discrepant event. One verbally describes a situation, asks students to predict the outcome, demonstrates the phenomenon, and then asks the student to compare the predicted outcome with the observed outcome and rationalize any discrepancy. A really interesting physics demonstration involves rolling two steel balls, one on each of two adjacent tracks as shown in Figure 11.13. The Balls/Tracks {U11.10} Web site, developed by Jose P. Mestra and Tom Koch at the University of Massachusetts Physics Education Research Group (UMPERG) {U11.11}, illustrates this demonstration.

 

Figure 11.13. Modified screen capture from the Balls/Tracks site developed by the University of Massachusetts Physics Education Research Group.

 

Classroom Today

At the elementary school level, several sites offer opportunities for supplements. Classroom Today {U11.12} "provides up-to-date content that naturally links the Internet to the curriculum topics you teach."

 

Figure 11.14. Screen capture from Classroom Today site (June 22, 2000). Reproduced with permission.

 

HOMEWORK

Many high school and college teachers assign homework. WebAssign {U11.13} is an example of software that supports homework activities. It delivers the homework, grades responses, provides immediate feedback, and maintains a gradebook.

 

URLs

U11.01. CURR 859, Fall 99, http://dwb.unl.edu/dwb/Courses/CURR859/ Syl859F99.html (accessed 6/17/00).

U11.02. Welcome! (amphibian embryology), http://worms.zoology.wisc. edu/frogs/welcome.html (accessed 5/26/00).

U11.03. Overview of Construction Documents, http://www-class.unl.edu/DDEonline/architecture/index.html (accessed 7/3/00).

U11.04. Harvard Univeristy Language Resource Center, http://lrcnt.fas. harvard.edu/ (accessed 4/4/00).

U11.05. Chem Team: Main Menu, http://dbhs.wvusd.k12.ca.us/ ChemTeamIndex.html (accessed 5/26/00)

U11.06. Chemistry resources, http://www.dist214.k12.il.us/users/asanders/ chemhome2.html (accessed 5/26/00)

U11.07. UNL Web Testing Site, http://www-webtest.unl.edu/students/ (accessed 4/4/00).

U11.08. Hyperbolic Paraboloid– from Eric Weissteins's World of Mathematics, http://mathworld.wolfram.com/HyperbolicParaboloid.html (accessed 6/17/00).

U11.09. PhysioDisc, http://bs-dwoodman4.unl.edu/physio/physiology/ muscle.htm (accessed 4/20/00).

U11.10. Balls/Tracks project, http://physics.unl.edu/directory/koch/ umass_resch.html (accessed 4/20/00).

U11.11. University of Massachusetts Physics Education Research Group, http://www-perg.phast.umass.edu/default.html (accessed 4/20/00).

U11.12. Classroom Today, http://classroomtoday.classroom.com/home.aspc

U11.13. Welcome to WebAssign!, http://webassign.net/info/ (accessed 6/22/00).