The following is a selection of programs I've developed over the past fifteen years while an instructor in the Business & Technical Communications program at Austin Community College. My main reason for showing these programs is to demonstrate the fact that web courses-in-a-box don't provide nearly the function that web-based instructors need. It's quite true that applications like BlackBoard and WebCT are fine places for web-illiterate instructors to start. But even they are likely to become frustrated with the limitations of these applications.
You can test out the programs shown below to see how they work. (Chatroom and web-BBS programs are also available but obvious enough not to be included here.) I'm just now building this page (November 3, 2009).
|Quick review and comment program||This one enables you to review brief student responses and comment on them rapidly.|
|Heading-formatting practice||In a technical-writing course, you may want students to get some practice inserting headings into text. This program enables students to get that practice and to see a recommended format.|
|List-formatting practice||Similarly, you may want people to get some practice reformatting regular paragraph text as numbered or bulleted lists.|
|Table-formatting practice||And finally you may want students to get some practice converting text to tables.|
|Student-developed quiz questions||One way to get students to read textbook assignments is to provide online reading quizzes.|
|Textbook-chapter multiple-choice reading quizzes||This one is the obvious multiple-choice quiz based on some segment of reading.|
|Textbook-chapter short-answer reading quizzes||This one sends short-essay questions based on some segment of reading to the instructor.|
|Item-by-item exercises||This one goes through an exercise item by item providing hints on wrong answers and feedback on right and wrong answers.|
|Diagnostic quiz||This one provides a "diagnostic" that can be used to suggest study schedules for those taking the diagnostic.|
|Online FAQ||Another way to get students into a community feeling in an online course is to provide an online FAQ, to which they can post questions and answers.|
|Online reading annotations||If there are numerous articles on a topic out on the Web, you can ask students to read and annotate a certain number of those articles. Students can then read each other's anotations when they are deciding whether to read an article.|
|Team project area||This program creates a directory for individual teams containing an updateable team webpage, a form to update that page, a drafts subdirectory, a team chatroom, and a time sheet for team members to log in their work on the project. On the team webpage are areas for the team name; a project description; team member names, e-mail addresses, duties, phone numbers, etc.; team rules; project outline; and project design notes.|
|Project-planning form||This program provides students with a form that asks essential questions they need to address on the way toward completing a project. Their answers can be sent to two or more e-mail addresses.|
|Get-acquainted memo||A simple way for students to become aware of each other in an online course is for them to write a personal memo that everyone else in the course to read.|
|Quick survey||You can put out a question with a multiple-choice, checkbox, or textual format to survey class opinion and then see compiled results.|
|Online grade calculator||This enables students to crank in their grades and see what they are makingor could make given certain grades.|
|Online gradebook||This one enables instructors to enter grades, which can then be viewed by students.|
|Ongoing discussion pages|
|Online journals||Online journals have many uses in an online coursenot just the cliched how-I-feel-about-life sort of journal. The online journal programs here (1) create a journal, (2) enable journal entries, and (3) enable the instructor to append comments to journal entries.||Writing projects: post & review||You can provide a form for people to post their writing projects and to enable you to comment on those projects.|
|Date-specified schedule||When you do training online, you may want the ability to schedule individual students according to the date they want to start.|
|Student check-off schedule||For training students, it's a nice touch to enable them to "gray out" units they have completed.|
Information and programs provided by firstname.lastname@example.org.