SITT 95: Would I do this all over again?
Department of Agronomy and Range Science
University of California
Davis, CA 95616-8515
Three types of educational opportunities
- GGG201A, Transmission Genetics:
- familiarize students with various types of electronic (genetic) data transfer
- Lab WWW home page:
- graduate students in lab
- write paper for electronic journal (draft)
- PLS103, Evolution of Crop Plants:
- presentation software for lectures
- develop course home page
GGG201A: Transmission Genetics
- Electronic information transfer:
- e-mail, gopher, FTP, WWW: hand-outs, lab demonstration
- class newsgroup:
- "index cards", assignments, old exams, answers to questions
- write mini-home page:
- student reactions
- Course home page: in development:
- put course notes on WWW
GGG201A: Transmission Genetics
Student reactions to introduction to the internet
In general strong support:
- "What I appreciate most about this course is being forced onto the internet"
- "incorporating computers is an exceptionally good idea and the effort was appreciated"
- "persevere with e-mail/Netscape, it has forced me to jump into the 90s"
- "the computers were a high point of the course"
- Frustrations: examples
- posting assignments on the newsgroup:
- "typing calculations into a computer is busy work"
- writing home page:
- "why not just compose a hotlist instead of learning HTML?"
- "showing what Mosaic does is different from understanding how it works"
- multiplicity of hardware, software
- access to computers:
- "some people had a big advantage because the facilities we each have access to differ widely"
- "we do not have our own computer with 8Mb RAM, a modem, Windows, the knowledge to add new programs, and to troubleshoot our computer and every computer on campus."
- Bottom line: Instructor: 4.2/5.0; Course: 4.2/5.0
Lab Home Page
- Tool to access information: e.g.,
- genome databases
- tools: e.g., PCR primers, 3D structure
- National Plant Germplasm System
- travel: World Factbook, exchange rates, Dept. of State travel advisories
- Tool to provide information:
- research projects
- publication lists
- genetic diversity
- genome mapping
- research: numbers? accessed by other researchers
- teaching: Guelph
- need to maintain up-to-date: how much work, how often
PLS103, Evolution of Crop Plants
- Newsgroup, e-mail:
- communication with students: "index cards", study questions, information about exams, answers to questions
- same comments as for GGG201A
- Use presentation software (Harvard Graphics):
- lecture delivery
- export slides as .gif files + development of lecture home page
- Course home page
- why? original course materials, graphics + images, development of project home page
- issues: access, copyright
PLS103: Evolution of Crop Plants
- "very helpful in following the lecture material . . . covered a lot of material pretty clearly and I feel like I learned a lot about the subject matter",
- "uses a lot of visual aids that are very helpful"
- "were really helpful in organizing and understanding the material"
- "his lectures are very clear and presented in a very organized matter"
- "too many handouts that confuse the students",
- "I like taking notes"
- "waste of paper --> two-sided copies"
- Literature searches:
- "I learned a lot with research for group projects"
- "I would have benefited from more instruction on how to use CC"
- Communications: e-mail, newsgroup
- little or no mention for student-instructor communication
- "I liked having study questions available"
- Bottom line: Instructor: 4.4/5.0; Course: 4.3/5.0
Would I do this again?
- Yes, but . . .
- So little time and so many options
- develop a plan over several years: successive improvements
- do not neglect technical details
- Technology is still in its infancy:
- transmission speed via modem
- text options limited: e.g., equations
- lack of standardization
- cumbersome, lack of "spontaneity"
- But of course . . .
- improved communications
- graphics capability --> better illustrations
- increased involvement and creativity of students; writing component
- familiarize students with new medium
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