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Faculty Experiences Using Course Web Sites in Teaching

UCLA faculty and teaching assistants have been developing course websites since at least 1997 (many started earlier) whenthe Instructional Enhancement Initiative contributed resources to departments and faculty for this purpose. There is, therefore, a vast and growing amount of experience resident across the campus about the use of the web in instruction.

Using an interview format, we have begun to collect these experiences with the goal of sharing insights related to the development of website components to achieve specific learning and teaching goals.

Some of the observations which are emerging from faculty responses to the above questions are as follows:

Effective course websites:

  • are an extension of the faculty member's teaching style
  • are well integrated with and relevant to the content of the course
  • provide students with immediate access to unique resources such as original documents or real-time data
  • enable students to do research and produce scholarly works using primary resources
  • give students the opportunity to explore additional resources in areas of special interest
  • provide students with preparation materials on lecture topics
  • function as a bridge between work in the classroom and work outside the classroom
  • provide students with information to fill in knowledge gaps they may have
  • enable students to review and reference curricular materials throughout the course
  • give students an opportunity to work with students
  • put the course into a broader context
  • function as a vehicle for students to provide immediate feedback on the course throughout the course
If you are a UCLA student, do you have a favorite course website? Send us the URL and tell us how the course website has been helpful to your learning in the course.

If you are an instructor, we invite you to participate in this project, by sending us a brief description of your experiences teaching with the web so that we may follow up with you. We'd also appreciate hearing your views on the value of this information to you in developing your use of the web in instruction.

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