Table of Contents

Abstract

Introduction

Study Guide Design

Study Guide Features

Student Response

Conclusions

Future Work

References

Acknowledgements

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CHEMCONF '98

Student Response to the Use of CMC in CHEM 0010


Results of Student Evaluation

In total, 25 students participated in using the Web-based in conjunction with the traditional lecture-based combined course offering of CHEM 0010. For all of these students, this was their first time experience with using the Internet to supplement to a lecture-based course. The following is a summary of the responses of the student evaluation of the CHEM 0010 Web-based study guide.

Access

  • In the summer of 1996, 13% of the class had their own personal Internet access.
    In the winter of 1997, 50% of the class had their own personal Internet access.
    In the summer of 1997, 64% of the class had their own personal Internet access.

Usage

  • All the students found the study guide
    • very helpful,
    • very easy to use, and
    • very easy to navigate.
  • The frequency that the students logged on to the Web-based study guide is:
    • 12% - less than once a week,
    • 64% - 2-3 times a week,
    • 8% - 4-5 times a week,
    • 16% - only prior to a test.
  • The duration that the students spend working through the problems is:
    • 8% - less than 1 hour a week,
    • 68% - 2-3 hours a week,
    • 4% - 4-5 hours a week,
    • 20% - only prior to a test.

Usefulness

  • 94% of the students found the on-line testing component of the study guide helpful in identifying the problem areas of the course.
  • All the students found the hints that accompany the questions in the on-line testing component useful in guiding them to the correct answer.
  • All the students would like to see more of this type of Web-based study guide used in conjunction with other courses.
  • 92% of the students felt that computer assisted learning helped with this Chemistry course.
  • 91% of the students thought that access to the Web-based study guide via a modem was acceptable.
  • 89% of the students thought that access to the Web-based study guide via a modem was > 75% reliable.

Student Likes

  • When asked the features that they liked most about the Web-based study guide, the following points were mentioned.
    • Easy to use.
    • Everything is right in front of you (i.e. course content, glossary, periodic table).
    • To access your marks and problems.
    • Range of problems and hints provided.
    • Easy access. I could access a study guide at any time.
    • Ability to zero in on topics.
    • It's fun and gives the student a different approach rather than using a textbook.
    • Links to other sites are helpful.
    • Precision and quality of information.
    • "Interactiveness".
    • It is more interesting than attending a lecture.
    • On-line assignments.
    • I can access at home when ill.

Student Dislikes

  • When asked the features that they disliked about the Web-based study guide, the following points were mentioned.
    • Don't have Internet access from home.
    • Problems with logon to campus computers sometimes (i.e. logging on takes too long).
    • Eyes get sore.
    • Having to take out my book and read a section.
    • Print too small.
    • Inaccessibility at times, and some instances the lengthy downloading time.
    • Forgetting to close the pop-up windows and they hide behind the active window in Windows 3.1.

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Findings

There is a continuous growing increase of students having their own access to the Internet as the Internet has become recognized as a technology of information sharing. The use of Web technology as an educational tool is being greeted with overwhelming acceptance. In particular, students find this new educational technology tool easy to use and increases self-motivation. The 24-hour accessibility to the course is a definite advantage, and all of the students believe that the Web-based study guide is a helpful tool for their studies.

The majority of the students log on to the Web-based study guide 2 to 3 times a week, and on average, for about 1 hour in duration. The reliability of accessing the study guide seems to be dependent on three factors. In order of increasing reliability, the factors, which temporarily prevent access to the study guide are:

  1. Internet traffic, which is dependent on the time of day,
  2. the students' personal Internet Service Provider, and
  3. the gateway of the BCIT campus network.
The majority of the students think that accessing the study guide via a modem is acceptable. The graphic files in the study guide do not seem to be contributing noticeably to long downloading time.

The features of the Web-based study guide that are well-liked are:

  1. the instant evaluation of the submitted questions,
  2. the hints returned to the students,
  3. the dynamic mark display on each submitted assignment,
  4. the ability to check up-to-date course standing and the class average.

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Author: Rosamaria Fong
British Columbia Institute of Technology
Chemistry Department
Burnaby, BC V5G 3H2
rfong@bcit.bc.ca