The Benefits of Using Web-Based Enhancements in an Environmental Chemistry Class
- Cite this article as:
- Foust, R.D., Cruickshank, B., Stringer, M. et al. Chem. Educator (1999) 4: 108. doi:10.1007/s00897990303a
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Four semesters of student evaluations of an environmental chemistry class have been analyzed for differences that can be attributed to Web-based enhancements. The enhancements included Web-based lecture notes, reading and problem assignments, bookmark files, and videotaped lectures. We developed these materials as part of a larger project to provide university-level technical courses over the Internet. Student perceptions of the course improved significantly (α = 0.10) after adding Web-based enhancements. Student’s opinion of the instructor improved, but the change is not significant at the 90% confidence level. The student responses to “Was the course challenging?” “Was my interest stimulated?” and “Was the instructor concerned?” were unchanged in the two groups of students. Drop rates were unchanged between the two student groups. The grade-average was nearly identical for the two student groups (82.9% vs. 83.5%), but the grade-distribution changed significantly. The percentage of A’s decreased slightly when Web-based enhancements were added, but the number of B’s increased from 22% to 40%. The percentage of C’s, D’s and F’s decreased for the students with access to Web-based enhancements. These results indicate that Web-based materials helped weaker students improve their performance and, therefore, their opinion of the class and of the instructor was more favorable.