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Using World Wide Web Course Tools (Web Ct) For Close Learning

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2000 Annual Conference


St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000



Page Count


Page Numbers

5.708.1 - 5.708.6



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Nickolas S. Jovanovic

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

Session 1458

Using World Wide Web Course Tools (WebCT) for Close Learning

Nickolas S. Jovanovic University of Arkansas at Little Rock


Web-based learning is often thought of as a subset of distance learning, i.e., one technology out of many that can be used to provide educational experiences to students that rarely or never actually meet face-to-face with each other or with an instructor. But another model is possible: distance learning can be viewed as a subset of web-based learning because web-based course supplements also offer many benefits to "close" students taking courses that meet in traditional classroom settings. A third viewpoint is that "close" students are actually distance students most of the time, since even they should do most of their learning outside of the classroom; this model has the advantage of encouraging lifelong learning. This paper describes some of our experiences over the last three years while offering web-based course supplements, designed and delivered with World Wide Web Course Tools (WebCT) software, at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. One benefit of web-based course supplements for engineering (as well as other) programs is that they can permit more class time to be devoted to interactive classroom activities such as laboratory experiments and demonstrations, group projects, problem solving sessions, and student-instructor discussions, by shifting many information transfer activities to the web. Another benefit is that the multiple channels of communication offered by the web can encourage engineering students to write and interact with each other and the instructor more often than is the norm in many traditional engineering courses. Thus, these two benefits together give engineering students the opportunity to improve their oral communication skills in the classroom, and their written communication skills outside the classroom (on the web), two areas of relative weakness in the skill sets of traditional engineering graduates, but which are, nonetheless, highly desired by employers.

I. Close vs. Distance Learning

The web may be used to support the teaching of, and learning by, both on- and off-campus students. Several colleges and universities now offer entire web-based degree programs to distance students, but local students will likely enroll in these programs as well. In fact, many

Jovanovic, N. S. (2000, June), Using World Wide Web Course Tools (Web Ct) For Close Learning Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri. 10.18260/1-2--8825

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