Students help to fine-tune on-line Women's & Gender Studies course
The 16 students taking Introduction to Women's & Gender Studies during Spring Session brought a wealth of experience to the testing of on-line materials developed under the provincial Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) initiative.
According to Wendy Schissel, Subject Matter Expert with the U of S Dept. of Women's & Gender Studies, "the students' contributions were invaluable given their familiarity with the technology. They could foresee how these materials would be used based on years of web surfing."
The testing allowed Melissa Spore, Instructional Designer with Extension Division, Janet Boone, Multimedia Developer with the Division of Media & Technology, and Schissel to fine-tune on-line materials prior to the scheduled course launch this fall.
Spore, Boone and Schissel say the science of designing on-line teaching materials to maximize the learning experience is still in its infancy and opportunities like this to work with students who are actually using the materials contribute greatly to the quality of the end product. And the lessons learned here can be used to enhance the development of TEL materials for future courses.
Spore says, "our objective is to achieve the optimum balance of web pages, synchronous chats and asynchronous bulletin boards (messaging), films and music, and texts and links, in order to make the on-line learning experience memorable."
She adds, "Classroom testing provides us with the means to get the feedback we need in a timely and cost-effective manner." Whether face-to-face, remote, or some combination of the two, Spore sees on-line learning materials contributing to a variety of teaching situations.
More than 20 University of Saskatchewan courses are currently being developed for delivery on-line by September of 2003 under the TEL initiative. (See photo, bottom left, this page).