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The Web: It's Not Just For E Mail Anymore

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1999 Annual Conference


Charlotte, North Carolina

Publication Date

June 20, 1999

Start Date

June 20, 1999

End Date

June 23, 1999



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Page Numbers

4.549.1 - 4.549.6

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Paper Authors

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Thomas Libert

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A. G. Enright

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

Session 1647

The Web: It’s not just for E-mail Anymore

A.G. Enright, T. Libert Department of Computer Science, Electrical, and Mechanical Wentworth Institute of Technology 550 Huntington Ave. Boston, MA 02115


The World Wide Web is emerging as one of the most popular course enhancing technologies in world history, yet there seems to be much confusion as to the "proper" role that it should play in courses. In this paper we classify Web involvement in courses into four primary roles: Information, Discovery, Interaction, and Administration. We show how many web pages are "static", and provide the student only with an information stream. Other pages that include items such as Java and CGI are "dynamic," and allow students to perform self-discovery of topics at their own pace. Other web features such as e-mail and ftp allow the student and instructor to interact more readily. One potentially useful item is to use these same features to administer the course, posting assignments and answers, as well as to conduct business with colleagues and students remotely.

We present several examples from our own courses, which are part of a four-year Computer Science program that stresses a closed-laboratory environment6. Yet, all four techniques are applicable to courses that are centered in either open or closed laboratories. We also wish to stress using existing, freely available Web material to reduce workload, and provide a list of useful URLs for the Computer Science curriculum.

I. Introduction

The World Wide Web is history’s largest single information repository, currently containing an estimated 36,739,000 hosts at 4,270,000 sites, and perhaps billions of documents 1. So, at first glance, the Web appears like a super-library where students can do all their research quickly and efficiently. Unlike a library, however, the Web is more than just a knowledge repository. The web also allows for many types of interaction. Students can interact with applications, the instructor, and each other. The secret to effective course deployment is using all features of the Web without swamping students with more information than they can assimilate.

For the remainder of this paper, we discuss some of the ideas we have tried in our own courses, along with a discussion of ideas that worked and that did not. We attempt to give a potpourri of ideas that we have tried and found successful. We then classify these ideas into four primary areas of usage.

Libert, T., & Enright, A. G. (1999, June), The Web: It's Not Just For E Mail Anymore Paper presented at 1999 Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina.

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