Technology is used to support instruction instead of being the main source of course delivery.

Web-Enhanced Courses are face-to-face courses that use any form of electronic media to post information, deliver content, provide learning resources, and foster student interaction outside the classroom. Even though web-enhanced courses use the internet and other online media, they are not considered distance education courses, because instruction takes place in the classroom.  

Why should I consider a web-enhanced course?

Web-enhanced courses — especially ones that use a Learning Management System (LMS) — give students greater control over their learning. With access to additional materials and online discussions, students have more chances to review course content and practice what they have learned with online assessments. Calendar functions in the LMS and announcements also encourage students to set and assess their personal learning goals on a weekly basis (Cennamo, Ross, and Rogers 33).

Cennamo, K., J. Ross, and C. Rogers. “Evolution Of A Web-Enhanced Course: Incorporating Strategies For Self-Regulation.” Educause Quarterly. 25.1 (2002): 28-33. Print.

What are the benefits of a web-enhanced course?

The following are some advantages of web-enhanced courses (Wingard):

  • Students are more motivated when they have responsibility for their own learning.
  • Students who learn at different paces can either preview or review materials at their own leisure.
  • Online learning accommodates a variety of learning styles.
  • Students have increased opportunities for interaction both inside and outside the classroom.
  • Instructors know their students better and are therefore more able to evaluate students’ progress.
  • Reticent students may feel more comfortable about contributing to discussions when they are online.
  • The access to a wider range of media options allows for more complex and deeper discussions of course content.
  • More class time can be spent interacting with students and the content instead of lecturing. 

Wingard, Robin. “Classroom Teaching Changes in Web-Enhanced Courses: A Multi-Institutional Study.” Educause Quarterly. 27.1 (2004): n. page. Web. 1 Sep. 2011.

How do I get started with web-enhanced courses?

Adding web-enhanced activities to a course beyond email and discussion boards might seem challenging at first. There may seem like there are too many choices about what, where, and how to add content, assessments, and activities.

Here are some suggestions for getting started:

  • Take an online course yourself. By participating as a student, you can get a better idea about what students will experience, as well as understand how course content, assessments, and discussions are structured.
  • Take a training class in teaching online, such as the @One Project’s Introduction to Online Teaching and Learning class. Contact the Distance Education Department prior to signing up for a scholarship code.
  • Try out CANVAS before taking your web-enhanced components live. Try the self-paced CANVAS 101 — Getting started course, or visit the calendar for information on upcoming workshops, links to instruction guides, and video tutorials.

What parts of my course can I web-enhance?

Once you are more familiar with the current LMS and online learning, think about which of the following 4 components of online courses you would like to use to supplement your course (Schmidt 2-5):

Any aspect of a web-enhanced course that makes it easier to organize and manage information about students and assignments. Some examples include online gradebooks, calendar features, and announcements.
Any aspect of a web-enhanced course that evaluates student learning. The most common example is online objectives tests and quizzes. Other examples can include collaborative or authentic assessments such as wikis, blogs, and discussion posts.
Content Delivery
Any aspect of a web-enhanced course that furnishes course subject matter to students. This could be used to supplement in-class materials with various multimedia tools as well as be the main source of information needed for in-class discussions.

Any aspect of a web-enhanced course where students and the instructor interact with one another. Tools include synchronous chat, discussion boards, and web-conferencing.

It is important to remember that building online components does take time and planning. When adding these elements to your course, you want to make certain that the technology used is enriching the experiences of your students and supporting learning outcomes during their face-to-face class time.

Schmidt, Klaus. The Web-Enhanced Classroom. Journal of Industrial Technology. 18.2 (2002): 2-6. Web. 2 Sep. 2011.