INSIDE IOWA STATE
November 30, 2001
Students reflect on Web-enhanced classes
by Diana Pounds
Faculty packed the Memorial Union Campanile Room Nov. 14 to hear what Iowa
State students think about their computer- and Web-enhanced classes. The
get-together was the latest Faculty Forum, sponsored by the Center for
Teaching Excellence and Instructional Technology Center. Here are some of
the comments from students on the panel:
Fall 2001 WebCT and ClassNet use
- E-mail helps open up those who are uncomfortable speaking in front of
- The nice thing about a Web-based class is you can learn whenever you
want. You can pace yourself.
- Some face-to-face interaction between student and professor is important
to ensure that the technology is working for everyone and that students are
learning what they're supposed to learn.
- It's very frustrating when the technology doesn't work.
- Instructors are quite responsive to e-mail and that's very good for me,
as an off-campus student.
- For WebCT classes, the teaching assistants need to be completely in sync
with what's going on in class.
- Some online courses overwhelm students with too much information, too
- I like all the hyperlinking, because I'll be surfing all day. For
students who are overwhelmed, maybe the instructor needs to say, "Here's
more information, but it's not required."
- It's very useful to be able to find a syllabus, class notes, study
guides, streaming lectures and other materials on the Web.
- The first day of class, the instructor said: "Go register on ClassNet."
I didn't know anything about it. Instructors need to find out how familiar
students are with the technology and show them exactly how to use it.
- A tremendous advantage of the Internet is getting real time information.
For example, you can find the temperature of the ocean in the middle of the
- Technology is just one more tool the instructor has. Course content and
the instructor's style of teaching are much more important than whether or
not a lot of technology is used in the class.
WebCT and ClassNet, two popular online learner management systems at Iowa
State, are used in approximately 17 percent of the 2,400 courses offered
Ames, Iowa 50011, (515) 294-4111
Published by: University Relations,
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