Webct adaptations in history content context conceptualization
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WebCT Adaptations in History: Content, Context, & Conceptualization. by Amy E. N. Darty, M.A. Department of History [email protected] Introduction.

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Webct adaptations in history content context conceptualization

WebCT Adaptations in History:Content, Context, & Conceptualization

by

Amy E. N. Darty, M.A.

Department of History

[email protected]

University of Central Florida


Introduction

Introduction

Although my courses at this time remain face-to-face environments, elements of WebCT accessibility and training can enhance my class websites through discussion forum management, grade book maintenance, and posted class materials such as study guides, term paper procedures, and links to historical sites. Evaluation of course knowledge was proposed, using terminals in a reserved computer lab rather than the traditional paper and ink method. Sample quizzes and mini-assignments will be used on-line whereas examinations will take place in the monitored lab environment.

With these changes, I believe students’ learning and comprehension will improve and my ability to provide timely feedback will increase—implementing web accessibility as a tool without fundamentally changing the classroom structure.

Additionally, migrating from the Pegasus server to the Reach server and WebCT requires consideration of several elements, both wants and needs. The Pegasus site presents several limitations including lack of privacy, static data, and laborious alteration. To facilitate this migration, the following steps have been taken…

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Migration needs assessment

Migration Needs Assessment

  • Wants:

    • Accessible components(log-in, eCommunity, syllabus, protocols, schedule/calendar, Q & A)

    • Content dissemination(outlines, lecture supplements, links for suggested reading, study guide, evaluation samples)

    • Contextual participationand evaluation(surveys, group projects, discussions, chats, quizzes, exams)

    • Historical relevance(links to “real” people, modern relationships to historical context, “how does the historical context relate to you?” links)

    • Feedback(grade book, virtual office hours, tracking)

  • Needs:

    • Accessible components(log-in, eCommunity, syllabus, protocols, schedule)

    • Content dissemination(study guide, evaluation samples)

    • Contextual participationand evaluation(group projects, discussions, quizzes)

    • Historical relevance(links to historical sites)

    • Feedback(grade book)

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Learning problems and goals

Learning Problems and Goals

  • Transfer of documents and materials

    from my Pegasus site

    (http://pegasus.cc.ucf.edu/~adarty)

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Learning problems and goals1

Learning Problems and Goals

  • Implementation of html and “front porch” interface (http://reach.ucf.edu/~euh2000b)

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Additional learning problems and goals

Additional Learning Problems and Goals

  • Uploading materials to WebCT (modules, study guide, syllabus, import students, etc.)

  • Orientation to WebCT environment and eCommunity mail for students (mini-quiz to test student understanding of CDWS-provided tutorial)

  • Scheduling lab time for examinations (split class of 50 into two one-hour sessions or locate lab for 50)

  • Selection of groups and project assignments (survey of students to determine diverse group assignment)

  • Challenging and fun activities to promote understanding of materials (build a crossword, evaluate History vs. Hollywood, visit a virtual museum and report, interview five students at random on one historical topic—what do they know?, create a website using research based on a historical topic, etc.)

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Creating the learning environment

Creating the Learning Environment

  • eCommunity for instructor and students (first two days—require students to log-in and complete bios)

  • Use of WebCT chat rooms to stimulate class discussion (post issue, require student debate, group summary of discussion)

  • Post study guide materials (post potential essay topics for each examination—seven possibilities listed)

  • Provide links for historical sites and virtual history tours related to class (links such as www.smithsonian.org and http://www.chateauversailles.fr)

  • Administration of quizzes and exams from the WebCT (mini-quizzes on modules, chapter quizzes to check reading and term comprehension, essay examinations from established list—they choose two of five given)

  • Increase feedback through grade book in WebCT

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Outcomes

Outcomes

  • Increase student access to course materials

  • Stimulate additional study and engagement of topics as groups and individuals

  • Increase preparation on evaluation formats

  • Expand student interest in the “details” of history through the web links

  • Reduce student complaints over grade access

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Conclusions

Conclusions

Though the transition seems fairly easy, there are many steps involved in transforming web access from a public to a private forum. These include altering html coding, course files, print media vs. electronic media, web-only assignments, and evaluation feasibility. With these changes, I believe students’ learning and comprehension will improve and my ability to provide timely feedback will increase—implementing web accessibility as a tool without fundamentally changing the classroom structure.

Overall, the process is worthwhile, which I hope will bear out this Summer 2002 session. These test courses for Western Civilizations I and World History II are the precursor to a fully developed “W” course for Spring 2003, which will be for American History II. Though the content is different for each course, the structure and ideology are equally applicable.

I welcome comments and suggestions for activities that may enhance those proposed herein. Contact me at [email protected] or (407) 823-0514.

University of Central Florida


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