Web Class Room

How to Go From Class-Room to Web-Room as Painlessly as Possible

1.0 ABSTRACT Getting your course onto the World Wide Web (WWW) is best done
using a systematic approach. There are a number of steps that need to be taken
prior to starting any of the actual web work. Meetings should be held with
various groups within your institution. Once the actual coursework is begun,
there are some essential components and some optional components. There are
specific skills and talents that you either need to acquire or you need to
access. Each web-based course is unique, but they often have many components in
common. Some are essential, others may be optional. Resources can be found on
your campus, from the many web companies and from the web itself.

2.0 KEY WORDS World Wide Web, WWW, Distance Education, HTML, Web-Based

Instruction

3.0 INTRODUCTION The number of degree credit courses available on the World

Wide Web (WWW) has increased at the same astonishing rate as other activities on
the WWW. There are some specific steps that can be taken that will help to
transport the professor from the idea stage to the delivery of a course over the

WWW. Also, just like any other educational technology, web-based instruction
works better for some situations than others. Web-based instruction is useful
when you want to create a virtual environment which is not easily or, perhaps,
safely accessible. An example is sending learners to a virtual nuclear lab or on
a "virtual tour" of the Louver in Paris.

4.0 WEB BASED INSTRUCTION Web-based instruction it allows learners to gain
knowledge and skill more effectively than traditional methods. Simply
transferring material such as lecture notes to the web is not using the
technology to its best advantage. Lengthy text such as lecture notes are, in
fact, best printed because most learners experience eye strain and sensory
disinterest reading long passages of text on a screen. Some specific situations
tend to lend themselves to web-based instruction. 4.1 Encouraging Communication

You want to encourage communication through conferencing. Through internet
conferencing learners may participate in discussions or group work with one
another with or without the participation of the instructor. Role plays,
simulations of historical events and debates are also examples of how learning
can be facilitated through the conferencing option. 4.2 Accessing Source

Documents You want learners to use "source documents" to complete
assignments such as conducting an analysis or designing a project. These source
documents may not be readily available to learners or perhaps, based on the
assignment, will not be equally significant to all the learners. For example,
you may ask learners to research and analyze issues pertaining to Canadian
elections. To complete the assignment, various learners may access archived
information such as newspaper and journal articles which specifically relate to
their particular interest or point of view. One example is a site operated by
the University of Victoria (http://web.uvic.ca/history robinson/index.html)
which contains letters, maps, biographies and newspaper articles about the
murder of William Robinson committed on Saltspring Island in 1868. The
information at the site allows learners and the public to pursue their research
as they please and to access original documents which are not generally
available. Individuals are free to interpret the meaning of the documents and
reach their own conclusions. 4.3 Flexibility of Learning You want to provide
maximum flexibility to allow learners to undertake learning and research in the
order which best suits them. Because the web allows learners to "move
around" at will, they do not need to follow a structured hierarchy.

Generally learners need and want some direction but the web allows a more
flexible approach. 4.4 Further Study You want learners to pool data and/or
analysis to find patterns and trends or to undertake further study.

5.0 ASSUMPTIONS For a starting point and to keep us on track in this paper, I
will discuss degree credit courses delivered by the University of New Brunswick.

I will assume that for your case there is ready WWW web access for the professor
as well as web access for students. Again, for consistency, I expect my students
to have at least Netscape 3 (or its equivalent), their own internet service
provider (ISP), and the skills necessary to access the WWW. These are my
starting points - but most concepts discussed will transfer across institutional
lines.

6.0 BEFORE YOU START YOUR COMPUTER 6.1 Steps to Take There a number of things
that you should do before you begin to do any coding, contracting or late night
computer hacking. There are meetings to setup, there is paper work to be done
and decisions to be made.