Student Responses to the World Wide Web as the Primary Educational Medium in the Classroom

Scott Gazzard, James R. Dalziel

Abstract


In 1997 the Department of Psychology at The University of Sydney initiated a project to develop a “Reasoning and Argument” tutorial using the World Wide Web for the presentation of material. This format was chosen for a number of reasons, including cost-effectiveness, flexibility, and accessibility. This Web-based tutorial (WBT) was designed primarily for use in a classroom situation (unlike much web-based content), but also as a stand-alone resource which students could access from points external to the University. Student evaluations of the WBT were undertaken to determine students’ reaction to the use of this new format. Results presented here show that overall responses were very positive, although some time problems were found to detract from students’ enjoyment. Students completed the WBT in pairs in their usual tutorial classes, and evaluations indicated that the social interaction afforded by other students and tutors was a positive experience. Other positive aspects included interactivity, the inclusion of informative and stimulating content, and the ability to revisit material at the student’s convenience. Student evaluations of this project have encouraged further development of teaching materials using the World Wide Web, and the feedback obtained from students has proven to be a valuable aid to the design and application of future Web-based tutorials.

The “Reasoning and Argument” Web-based tutorial (WBT) may be viewed at: http://psychalpha.psych.su.oz.au/teach.htmls/psych1/p101/reasoning/Welcome.html

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