What is web enhancement?
Each term, four weeks before graduate students are loaded into the system, 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.
What tools are available in WorldClassRoom?
With WorldClassRoom, assignment details can be shared with students online. They can then use this tool to turn in the assignments electronically, allowing the instructor to review them as they see fit, including uploading them into Turnitin.com to check for plagiarism. Feedback and grades can be recorded and shared effortlessly.
Instructors can prepare and deliver quizzes, self tests, and surveys with a wide variety of configuration options and question types. Feedback can be delivered for incorrect answers, and the tracking of multiple attempts and quick comparisons of student answers make the revising of assessment instruments a simple task.
Instructors can create and categorize discussions for a whole class or for groups of students. Discussions can be rated by classmates, or graded by instructors with the results being automatically entered in the course grade book. Journal discussions can allow a student to respond in written form for the teacher alone to review. Blog discussions let the class or groups contribute small article-like posts on the given topic.
WorldClassRoom has a complete integrated grade book. Quizzes, assignments, and even discussions can be created in such a way that grades are tracked, tallied, and presented to students automatically. Grade book features give the instructor full control over what grades are presented, how, when and to whom.
All WorldClassRoom users have a special place to house files that aren't specifically tied to courses - much like their own briefcase. It is simple to upload a presentation at home and download it for use in the classroom. The same file can then quickly be added to one or more course home pages for students to review.
Instructors can see which of their students are online at any specific moment and can start a chat with one or more of them. Likewise, students can see when other students are online and initiate chats to discuss course content. This tool could also be used to hold virtual office hours.
Instructors can share links to valuable information on the web with their students. These links can be organized into categories for easy navigation.
Faculty can upload the file of their prepared syllabus. When a student clicks the Syllabus tool, the file is downloaded or previewed in their browser.
Research resources are available to students in the same menu as other tools. Students can navigate to the library catalog, tutorials, databases, and more without ever leaving the confines of the course home page.
Students can access writing resources provided by the Writing Center, including information on getting help in person or online via the Online Writing Center.
How do I get started?
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, reviewingpowerpoint 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.