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6. A competent scholar with a working knowledge of:
(e) Educational technology and its application

6e3.5 Reflections on EDUC689 Seminar: Technology Integration - WebCT technology

This course gave an introduction to the use of WebCT for integrating technology into teaching and learning.  The course itself was a 1-credit course, but included a contract for applying for additional credit.  I took the course during the summer of 1999, and planned to use WebCT when teaching Management Information Systems (MIS) in Singapore in October, 1999.  I felt that the online quizzes would be an excellent way of testing the material without taking up class time.  I also wanted to use the discussion board feature to facilitate an online discussion following the course.

Since this was my first course using WebCT, I decided to apply the time spent setting up the course towards additional credits for the Technology Integration Seminar.  In addition, I wanted to develop a system for automating the generation of quizzes in the WebCT upload format.  This is all documented in Applications of web technology, section 3.5.  I used these procedures to upload a test back consisting of 1,260 questions.  Once I had the questions in a tab-delimited form, it was easy to import them into the Microsoft Access database I developed and generate the WebCT upload files.  However, getting the questions into tab-delimited form is still a time consuming task.  I used the test generation software that came with the textbook, and wrote Word macros to massage the output into the form I needed for my database.  

These procedures cannot be generalized since each test generation package formats its output differently.  Nevertheless, I was able to get the questions into WebCT in considerably less time than it would have taken to key them directly into WebCT over the web.  Moreover, I would use the Access database to enter my own questions, rather than enter them directly via the web.

I found the course to be an excellent kickoff to get me started using this technology to enhance learning.  Students have indicated to me that they enjoyed being able to interact with each other via the discussion board, and found that using WebCT to take quizzes enhanced their learning experience, through being given immediate feedback, and being able to retake tests (with 10 questions being chosen randomly from sets of 35).

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Created: Saturday, September 11, 1999 9:11 PM
Last Modified: Thursday, June 6, 2002 9:39 PM