Date Approved

2008

Date Posted

12-15-2009

Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

College of Technology

Committee Member

Carol Haddad, Ph.D., Chair

Committee Member

Morell Boone, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jon Margerum-Leys, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Valerie Polakow, Ph.D.

Abstract

This study is a case-study examination of faculty-developed course websites and their usage within a single mid-western community college environment. Its purpose is to develop an understanding of the perceived value of selected course websites from both student and faculty perspectives based on website design and use. The study analyzes course websites from instructional and technological theoretical perspectives, drawing from literature in the fields of education and technology studies.

To understand course websites within the context of their usage, three selected course websites were paired with the instructor and a subset of students to form a case study unit. The case study methodology offered an opportunity for in-depth qualitative data collection through theory-driven examination of website features, observation of website use, and in-depth interviews with students and faculty.

Study findings indicate that perceived value is strengthened by the amount and quality of course-specific content while lessened by irrelevant content and/or lack of significant content. Because constructivist strategies embody interactive learning styles, web-enabling interactive content on course websites has the potential to create constructivist learning opportunities. Several factors influence course websites design and perceived value perspectives. Included among these are student involvement in the design process, professional development opportunities that support faculty development of course websites, faculty members technical abilities, and institutional support.

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