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Maximizing Teaching & Learning. For the Short Course. Short Course Problem Overview. Inherently have problems getting students to learn required material due to their limited duration Compounded when there are clear distinctions in the skill levels of the students taking the class.

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maximizing teaching learning

Maximizing Teaching & Learning

For the Short Course

short course problem overview
Short Course Problem Overview
  • Inherently have problems getting students to learn required material due to their limited duration
  • Compounded when there are clear distinctions in the skill levels of the students taking the class
two main questions arise
Two main questions arise:
  • How can course content delivery be maximized?
  • How can you keep more advanced students interested while still maintaining an appropriate course content level?
class information
Class Information
  • CST 135, Introduction to the Internet & World Wide Web
  • Five-week course taught at Broome Community College
  • Content includes
    • How to use email & search the Web
    • Discussion of ethical issues
    • Creation of basic Web sites
more class information
More Class Information
  • Skill levels range from those with no computer skills to those with a programming background & have created some Web content already
  • Class meets 3 hours per week in a laboratory classroom equipped with a projection unit
immersion key to the 1st question
Immersion:Key to the 1st Question
  • Created Web site
  • Aside from the textbook, no paper is used
  • Assignments are exchanged via email
  • Quizzes are form-based Web pages submitted to the instructor & returned via email
  • Forces students to work in a Web environment for all phases of the course even though they’re in same room
  • Available outside of class
web site content addresses the 1st question
Web Site Content:Addresses the 1st Question
  • Designed (for the most part) to teach good design principles
    • Navigation methods
    • Page dating
    • Layout
    • Screen resolution
    • Displaying information in the browser title bar
    • etc
web site content addresses the 1st question9
Web Site Content:Addresses the 1st Question
  • My Web pages contain these elements & serves two purposes:
    • Site is easier for the students to use while learning the course material
      • Access to standard course documents, such as Course Policy & Class Outline
      • Current assignments with instructions are also available
      • Study Guides serve as lecture tools as well as reference documents for assignments
    • As students repeatedly use the site, they realize why the design principles are important, making them more likely to include them in their own projects
pedagogy dictates i break the rules
Pedagogy Dictates I Break the Rules!
  • While consistency is an important feature in good Web site design, this rule wasn’t strictly enforced
  • Students are told up front that this was done to provide as many online examples as possible
pedagogy dictates i break the rules11
Pedagogy Dictates I Break the Rules!
  • Consistency is illustrated in my design of the menu system for the Study Guides pages
    • All menus associated with the Study Guides use the same screen layout
    • While the backgrounds for each individual study guide are different, each provides a similar format
      • After the heading, most pages provide a topic overview followed by the details, which are organized by subtopic
      • Most pages not only provide sample code that can be copied and pasted to a student’s file, they also present the material using that method
        • See Lists screen shot
      • Aside from links (for navigability), each page builds on the previous topics, reinforcing their concepts
web site content

Web Site Content:

Addresses the 2nd Question

why is keeping the interest of more advanced students considered difficult
Why is keeping the interest of more advanced students considered difficult?
  • Common approach is to write the information for two different audiences
  • A better solution lies in subtlety, enhancing the way the information is presented
    • On the surface, Web pages look very straightforward
The Home page is menu-based providing access to all other areas of the Web site & a link to the textbook’s Web site
Study Guides teach students how to use email, create a basic Web page, create a template, utilize basic HTML elements, & Tips & Tricks
piquing their curiosity
Piquing Their Curiosity
  • Advanced techniques are embedded in most of the pages
    • Usually not apparent to novice students
  • Students are encouraged to review the source code for all the pages on the site
    • In fact, the first HTML lesson teaches the students how to look at a Web page’s source code
  • Since these screen shots are static, the more obvious advanced techniques aren’t apparent here
    • Play with the Web site & see what interests you
page loading effects
Page Loading Effects
  • Home page contains a JavaScript forcing the window to open in a 800 x 600 window or smaller depending on the available screen space
    • JavaScript isn’t taught in this class
  • Opening Web pages
    • Links to Web pages I created open in the current browser window
    • Links to Web pages at remote Web sites open in a new window
text effects
Text Effects
  • Way of capturing the user’s attention
    • Implemented on both sample pages
  • Internet Explorer & Netscape provide different effects
    • These Web pages contain the code for both types:
      • In Internet Explorer the title scrolls across the screen
      • In Netscape the title blinks
displaying different fonts
Displaying Different Fonts
  • Need to know the font’s name
    • Default Web page font is Times New Roman
  • These pages are designed to support a range of fonts that might be installed on a user’s machine
    • Student can download a self-extracting Zip file containing a set of fonts designed work with the site
    • Instructions for installing them are provided
displaying special characters
Displaying Special Characters
  • Need to know the special character’s HTML code or its numeric Unicode value
  • Each guide provides sample code that a student can copy & paste into a file they are creating
    • The advanced student will wonder how the tag brackets (<>) were displayed
pushing them forward
Pushing Them Forward
  • Links are provided to more advanced resources
  • As I learn new techniques, they are incorporated into the Web site’s design
    • When I have time, I plan to add guides for creating forms & advanced use of color & links
instructor information
Instructor Information
  • Rachel E. Hinton
  • Assistant Professor/Adjunct Lecturer
  • Broome Community College/Binghamton University
    • Takes you to my personal Home page which has links to this & other sites I’ve developed