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Assessment Of Multi Media & Web Based Instruction In A Science Technology & Society Course

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Multimedia and Distance Learning

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.288.1 - 12.288.17



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Paper Authors


Patricia Backer San Jose State University

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Patricia Backer is a Professor and chair of the Department of Aviation and Technology in the College of Engineering at SJSU. She holds a BS degree in Chemical Engineering from Rutgers University, a MA and MS degree from Tennessee Temple University, and a MA and PhD from Ohio State. Her research interests are in the integration of multimedia and web-based learning into technology instruction.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Assessment of Multimedia and Web-Based Instruction in a Science-Technology & Society Course


Multimedia can be a powerful tool in exploring the nature of the world around us, including its technological systems. This paper describes the assessment of self-paced multimedia and web- based modules that are used in an advanced General Education (GE) course in the College of Engineering at San José State University. The development of these modules began in 1994 and has undergone many revisions. Currently, four of the seven units in this class are taught using either multimedia CDs or web-based material.

The General Education course, Technology and Civilization (TECH 198), is designed to introduce students to the realm of history and usage of technology in society and to increase their awareness of both the uncertainties as well as the promises of the utilization of technology as a creative human enterprise. Technology and Civilization, a Science, Technology, and Society (STS) course, is an example of courses that are becoming more evident on campuses throughout the USA.

The goal of these multimedia modules is to have the students use technology as they explore its impact on our society over time. Although the web and multimedia materials were developed by one instructor, they are used by all instructors in this class in different ways. The continuous improvement of the multimedia is driven by the evaluation of the multimedia by students and other faculty. Each year, the multimedia and web-based modules are revised to reflect the evaluative input gathered from the various constituents (students and faculty).

As part of the General Education program, this course undergoes regular assessment to determine whether it is meeting the GE Learning Goals. In addition to the GE assessment, SJSU mandates end-of-term assessment for at least two courses for each professor every academic year. This approach does not give a quick turnaround for implementing improvements in the curriculum. This paper will discuss the entire assessment model for this course including the GE assessment, the end-of-term course assessment, and the student assessment.


The general education program at San José State University1 is different from many in the United States. Instead of specifying a specific series of courses as part of the General Education (GE) of each student, SJSU has five Core GE areas (Skills, Science, Humanities & Arts, Social Sciences, and Human Understanding and Development). In addition, every SJSU student must take SJSU Studies (formerly called Advanced GE) courses in four areas: Earth & Environment; Self, Society & Equality in the U.S.; Culture, Civilization & Global Understanding; and Written Communication. Any department may propose a course for any area of GE. The course involved in this multimedia development process, Tech 198—Technology and Civilization, was approved as an Advanced GE course in the Earth & Environment area until Spring 2000. In Fall 2000,

Backer, P. (2007, June), Assessment Of Multi Media & Web Based Instruction In A Science Technology & Society Course Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--1587

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