Teaching in Context: Improving Student Participation

How can creating web sites contribute to your teaching?

Our panelists, Lou Izzo, Dave Howell, Steve Pintauro, and Tom Visser, discussed how web sites can be used to effectively aid teaching. Some of the ideas gleaned from their talk are:


  • the web allows students to find and use "real-life" data, but it also allows them to create real projects with an audience and impact outside the classroom
  • use e-mail from students summarizing last class to kick off discussion for next class. If there are too many students in the class to make student-instructor messages manageable, try student-student e-mail.
  • putting a syllabus online makes for easier changes/updates and helps prevent "I lost the syllabus" problems
  • we saw the third semester version of the "lies" web site: web sites, like creating a new course, take time to develop but creating and recreating a web site can be a powerful tool to help us rethink how a class is structured and how the actuality matches with preconceived goals
  • "no discernible difference" sums up a result we sometimes see in comparing technology-enhanced courses to traditionally presented courses. Often the "discernible difference" is in the benefit to the instructor. As above, a web site facilitates organizing, rethinking and restructuring a class. It also provides a model for students to use in organizing their own learning.
  • a web site can be a recruiting tool both as indicator of what work is being done at UVM and as model for student work
  • student-created web sites can help students make the bridge to their professional lives--they have the experience that they can use later in conceiving, organizing, and carrying out a real project, and they have the visible and public results to include in a portfolio or resume
  • there are good, reliable readings to be found on the web. Using them can save students money.
  • web links are powerful things: the linking power of the web allows us to see if what we are doing connects with how we think about what we do. They also facilitate thinking in terms of meta-structures: how is our field organized, what' the big picture.

Last modified: 13January 1999 -- HGreenberg
[Return to general Workshop schedule]