Any students here taking a WebCT-based course?

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by mamorse, Apr 5, 2001.

  1. mamorse

    mamorse New Member

    Hi folks,

    As a faculty member at Ohio State University who began teaching online (last year) using the WebCT platform developed at British Columbia, I am curious whether any of you take WebCT-based courses. While there are a plethora of WebCT websites, they tend to cater to the instructors, rather than to students. I would be interested in any comments.

  2. Andy Borchers

    Andy Borchers New Member

    I've taught using WebCT and BlackBoard. In both cases I used the Internet tool to augment traditional on-ground class sessions. Both have similar features, but I find BlackBoard to be much easier (especially for novices) to teach with. For those with more HTML experience WebCT is more flexible.

    For my classes several features were quite useful. Online posting of grades are quite popular with students. Discussion Boards are good for threaded discussion groups - but this is always lame compared to in-class discussions. Posting lecture notes and syllabus is also useful. Attempts at synchronus on-line discussions (chat sessions) were always troublesome. The WebCT (and BlackBoard) programs seem incapable of supporting classes in a reliable way. Worse yet, the probability that a class of 20 students are all on the Internet at the same time and successfully connected to the website from their ISPs is pretty low!

    Thanks - Andy Borchers

    Thanks - Andy

    Andy Borchers, DBA
    NSU (1996)
  3. geckoz

    geckoz New Member

    I'm enrolled in a DL Bachelor of Computing (Computer Science) course at Deakin University in Australia.

    We are using WebCT for the following,

    ** While we have hardcopies of the course study guide, WebCT also has the pdf version available for download or printing.

    ** Downloading or online viewing of lab sessions

    ** Downloading/viewing of assignments

    ** Online review tests

    ** List of text book exercises to attempt

    ** Viewing of assignment results, though detailed feedback for each assignment is provided via email

    ** Discussion board - this is VERY lively, but is kept strictly on topic through modertation by instructors.

    It all works quite well.
  4. mamorse

    mamorse New Member

    Thanks for the feedback, Andy -

    I too am somewhat less than thrilled with the
    "chat room" synchronous communication feature. (Granted, this is not unique to WebCT.) My students and I much prefer asynchronous communications with WebCT. For us, the most important thing is that the student responds when he/she can within a proscribed time period.

  5. mamorse

    mamorse New Member

    Thanks for responding, geckoz -

    Are there any features that you don't appreciate?

  6. T. Nichols

    T. Nichols New Member

    The PDF version must be a teachers option. My syllabus is presented more as a newgroup posting and not as PDF.

    I'm currently in my second course with WebCT through Nova Southeastern University. I think I have used most of the functions within WebCT with the exception of the "Whiteboard".

    I find the chats useful in creating a community among the learners. I think that most of the other students in my classes would agree. One of the reasons I say this is that while only two chats are required, most of the students attend as many as possible. One of the main problem with the chats is that it really overtakes the system when your using it. In Tuesday night's chat, the instructor was trying to explain how to post a web page onto Nova's servers. While she was walking us through it, we had to open a new web page, etc. Well, anytime someone posted into the chat room, the page one was working on would disappear and required people to start all over again.

    I also find the method of uploading files into the "assignment drop box" to be very cumbersom.

    I enjoyed the classes I had on EMBANET a lot more. A major advantage of Embanet is that one could email to someones Embanet address from outside the system. The WebCt email option is strictly intrnal to WebCt.

    I'm not sure that there is a method of delivering tests through Embanet and for instructors, I can see where that would be a handy option.

  7. T. Nichols

    T. Nichols New Member

    Another advantage of Embanet over WebCT, one could unpost a message if they had spelled a word like "cumbersome" wrong and then resubmit it the way they intended it to be.


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