Learn How Web Enhancement Works
Each term, 2 weeks before your classes start, you will be given access to a "course home page" that contains a variety of "course tools" that let you, as a teacher, deliver content, facilitate communication, and assess learning.
The course home page is organized using a design that has been determined to be most appropriate for enhancing face-to-face courses, but the instructor has many advanced and special configurations available to them.
Your students will automatically have access to this course home page the Friday before the start of your term.
Course content is not automatically moved form term to term. As an instructor, you are responsible for doing this using the systems file management capabilities and various exportable components. You will have access to the previous semester's course, leaving you plenty of time to make these preparations. This checklist (pdf) can help you with this process.
WorldClassRoom is great for extending your face-to-face class experience, but it should not be used to replace class time.
Learn the Tools
- Click here to view a list of the tools and a brief description of what they do
- Use the training on this site get a basic understand of what the "course tools" are
- Sign up to attend a workshop
- Experiment with a course you are currently teach
Develop your Ideas
Consider your class and the needs of your students. Think about the ways that you deliver course content, how you communicate with your students and how they communicate with each other, and how you assess that they are learning appropriately. Use these questions to help guide you as think about your courses:
What do you teach that students currently have trouble with?
Maybe there is a way to use these tools specifically to help them with difficult concepts
Do you have a way to identify what students are having trouble with?
Using a journal or other written assignments, surveys, quizzes allow you to observe student learning in new ways you weren't previously.
What currently takes up a lot of class time?
Discussions, exercises, field trips, and more can all be revisited to determine which can better realized with hands on, web-based elements removed from class time time such as watching or listening to recordings, reviewing powerpoint presentations that contain a large amount of information, and sharing class policy details.
What would you be doing more of in class if you could?
If class time is too short to cover everything, then consider how web enhancement can create opportunities for students to explore outside of the classroom.
What takes up a lot of my time preparing for class?
Delivering papers electronically can save time, as can accepting homework ahead of class time.
Does my class take advantage of the same web-based resources I do as a professional?
If there are an abundance of timely resources available to you as a scholar and practitioner, these items can be included in the web enhanced portion of your class.
Would my student's writing be better with access to the online writing center or if I used Turnitin?
Using this plagiarism detection service might help students avoid temptation or show them the errors of their ways in an effort to improve writing and promote academic integrity.
Do my students have enough opportunities to collaborate?
Class blogs, threaded discussions, and other tools can create more opportunities for students to work together and can be used to continue classroom discussions.
Are my students completing their reading assignments?
If your students need a little additional pressure, have them participate in a discussion on the reading, take a quiz, keep a journal of their thoughts or contribute questions to a class blog.
Do students get enough one-on-one time from me?
If not, then consider using the chat tool to hold virtual office hours, or have your students keep a journal for you to review and comment on. Placing more of your materials online may give you more time to individualize your class sessions.
What are your colleagues doing?
Other teachers can be a great source for ideas. The Faculty Development Center often has events in which faculty describe their successes with Web Enhancement and other teaching strategies
Prepare For Your Next Class
- Organize your course materials so that you are better prepared to begin delivering more of them on your course home page. Make folders by concepts, format, or chronological order. Use this structure with your course home page. For example, if you deliver great Powerpoint presentations each week, be prepared to share them with your students in a Powerpoints folder, or each week in a folder filled with resources to supplement that week's class. Try to have an idea of what your course home page will look like after you've spent time preparing it for students.
- Select the tools that will facilitate communication as needed by the activities in your course. Prepare for this by writing the use of the tool into your instructions and thinking of ways to guide students to the tool outside of class. For example, if you want them to participate in a blog, provide students a description of the activity, your expectations, and show them an example.
- Select the tools that you will be using to assess student learning. Prepare and test these resources ahead of time and include them in your course syllabus. For example, if you wish to use Turnitin to accept papers, put a statement in your syllabus along with directions that there will be a link on the course home page for each assignment in a "Turnitin Assignments" folder. Or if you decide to use a quiz, write or adapt a quiz, and determine how to let your class know that a web-based quiz will be part of the course.
- Finally, create a non-threatening, quick exercise for you students that require them to use the tools you have chosen. Ask them to do this the first week of classes as an orientation to your course home page. If you will be sharing files and using the blogs tool, have your students download an article and then post to a blog the first week. If you want to use the quiz tool, make a simple quiz for them to take. Making sure they can use the tools early on will help you better rely on them when it really counts.
The Faculty Development Center is available to answer your questions and help you come up with good ideas. Use this site's Get Assistance page to find out what your options are.