Teaching and Learning with Web Course Management Systems

Executive Summary

In March 2000, Xavier University's Center for the Advancement of Teaching invited proposals from all faculty members to participate in a case study aimed at the two questions concerning Web course management systems (WCMS):

  1. As regards teaching and learning, what are the advantages and disadvantages of WCMS?
  2. How do WCMS change, if in fact they do, the teaching and learning process?

The case study also provided the University community an opportunity to examine Web course management systems in order that it might determine "best practices" of WCMS and the type of institutional support that is needed to integrate WCMS into the teaching and learning process. Furthermore, the case study offered an opportunity to examine related policy issues that may affect the University and its faculty and students.

In summer 2000, six faculty members participated in the case study and developed on-line components of their courses using WCMS such as WebCT, eCollege, Anlon, and Blackboard. The Center hosted a summer-long seminar for the faculty members to assist them in course design and development. The faculty members participated in face-to-face meetings and on-line activities using the on-line seminar resources, which were delivered using an eCollege seminar website. The courses taught by these faculty members were offered during the 2000-2001 academic year.

A report was written for the entire University community, with particular attention given to faculty and administration. In it, we addressed three primary results of the case study:

  1. The "lessons learned"
  2. A short list of recommendations
  3. Brief consideration of possible issues of policy of particular relevance to faculty and administrators.

Individual faculty members contributed narratives that provide a sense of their experiences using the WCMS. We've also included an analysis of data that we gleaned from surveys of students and faculty.

And finally, we have a RealVideo tour that offers you a visual walk-through of the eCollege website we developed for the faculty involved in the project. This website served as the focal point for helping faculty think through issues of technology and pedagogy, and plan the on-line components of their courses.

Use the links below to visit any of these sections.

WCMS: Home | Executive Summary | Final Report | Narratives and Data | Findings | RealVideo Tour | Webliography