Developing Web Pages as Supplements to Traditional Courses

Developing Web Pages as Supplements to Traditional Courses

Cleborne D. Maddux (University of Nevada, Reno, USA) and Rhoda Cummings (University of Nevada, Reno, USA)
Copyright: © 2000 |Pages: 9
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-878289-59-9.ch009
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Abstract

There has been a recent explosion of interest in distance education. On college and university campuses, this interest owes much of its life and vigor to (a) a belief by university faculty that technology may be able to improve instruction, and (b) the sudden realization by university administrators that distance education is producing large sums of money and has the potential to produce much more. In higher education, the World Wide Web (WWW) has come to be one of the most popular service delivery vehicles for distance education efforts. At first, most sites were created primarily for courses delivered entirely over the Web. More recently, many Web sites are being created by individual instructors as supplements to their more traditionally delivered, on-campus courses. Currently, many thousands of Web sites are dedicated to higher education courses, and the number of such sites is increasing rapidly. This rapid increase has resulted in publication of many course-related pages that are less than ideal in both pedagogical and technical terms. This problem is especially acute for those pages that are supplementary to traditional courses, since there are seldom support services available for instructors who wish to design, create, and maintain such pages. Consequently, individual instructors are typically “on their own” with regard to planning, producing, and maintaining such pages. In contrast, institutional technical and pedagogical support is often provided for developers of Web sites intended for use in courses delivered primarily or exclusively by distance education, since such efforts are often assigned to a special unit such as an extension department or a department of continuing education. These units often employ or retain both technicians and subject matter specialists to assist in the development of course-related Web pages. Although this does not guarantee a quality product, some of the more obvious problems faced by individual instructors are sometimes avoided.

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