Experiences using WebCT:
Empower the Students and Burden your TA

Prof. Brian L. Evans, Dept. of ECE, bevans@ece.utexas.edu

Mr. Wade C. Schwartzkopf, Dept. of ECE, wade@ece.utexas.edu

(username "guest" and password "guest")

Slides in PDF and PowerPoint formats

This talk describes our Fall 1999 experiences using the WebCT framework for a required sophomore course in ECE of 70 students. Using the WebCT framework, students accessed course schedules, assignments, quizzes, grades, and lecture notes using a Web browser. Students plotted their performance against the rest of the class. Students interacted with the TA during the weekly virtual office hours by using the shared white board and chat facilities of WebCT. The advantages of WebCT follow:
  1. It handles most of the administrative overhead created by student inquiries into their grades and performance in the course.
  2. Students are in charge of checking the recording of their grades.
  3. Students could discuss homework solutions with each other at any time.
  4. The instructors can hold effective virtual office hours.
  5. It is accessible from anywhere in the world, whereas UT news groups and professors are only accessible on campus.
The key disadvantage is that the TA spent 5 hours per week on average on site maintenance. Setup of the WebCT site took about 40 hours.

Mail comments about this page to bevans@ece.utexas.edu.