4.3.5
WORLD WIDE WEB BASED INTRODUCTORY PLANT PATHOLOGY STUDY PAGES
WORLD WIDE WEB BASED INTRODUCTORY PLANT PATHOLOGY STUDY PAGES JAMEs E. PARTRIDGE University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebraska, 68593-0277, USA Background and objectives opportunity to adapt their Innovations in teaching technologies have afforded instructors the individual styles to the available tools. The new developments also present opportunities and challenges to teachers, while creating uncertainties as to which technologies may actually be beneficial for enhancing learning in their classroom. Over the past four years we have developed, modified, and revised an extensive set of documents for publication to the World Wide Web[l]. These Web Study Pages are designed to support a junior level university course Introductory Plant Pathology. The experience gained in developing this system may be beneficial to others considering the use of this information presentation medium andlor style. Results and conciusions ction between student and The World Wide Web presents a useful vehicle to allow increased interafaction between student and faculty. The active use of faculty drafted Web Study Pages enables faculty to guide student preparation prior to class as well as follow up after class. One on the great assets of a Web Study Page is that the faculty member can make intrusive comments and ask specific comments on textbook content. Questions can be posed for students to consider during their pre-class preparation and thus stimulate discussion outside of the classroom period. It has been our experience that students respond positively to this type of guided study and come to class better prepared to engage in discussion. Because textbooks are inherently out of date very quickly after their publication, Web Study Pages are a very convenient means of updating textual materials that may become dated. They also provide a ready means to cause students to question the infallibility of the written word, Few textbook authors are prescient and consequently as new research results are published it becomes necessary to update information. The Web Study Page is a ready means to do all of these. The results on final grades have been informative. The Web Study Pages have been used for the past three years. During this time the final percentage scores of the upper quartile of the class has shifted upward approximately 5 to 7 percentage points; while the lower quartile has shifted lower (some precipitously). The middle two quartiles have increased in the quality and breadth of their ability to synthesize answers, respond to questions, and pose questions. Student satisfaction, as determined by end of semester course evacuations, indicates that students are very appreciative of the Web Study Pages. Student learning of factual information, as assessed by the final comprehensive examination, has improved as well. In order to be successful, the instructor's the intended use for Web based materials must be clearly explained to students. As presented here, this Web Study Page is intended to complement the required textbook, not replace it. Our experience has shown that approximately 80% of the students use the web pages as intended while less that 10% of the students use the Web Study Pages as a replacement for the required text. These students have not done well on the course as reflected in poor in-class discussion and examination scores. One cannot measure motivation; however, it appears that Jesser motivated students may make the mistake of attempting to use the Web Study Pages as last minute examination preparation in lieu of the textbook. References dPartridge, J.E. 1997. URL:www.ianr.uni.edulianrlpintpath/peartree. University of Nebraska. Lincoln, NE