Manfred Kuechler
Hunter College

Optimizing a Course Web Page: Didactic, Legal, and Technical Issues

Faculty workshop on August 19, 1999 at Hunter College


Tentative outline

This is a tentative outline and not all topics will actually get covered. I have addressed a number of the topics in documents written earlier (which get updated as time permits) and I have included links to these documents below.
We will decide as a group which issues are of most interest to the workshop participants at this specific point in time. My personal preference is reflected in the suggested order; I would like to cover at least the first five topics. Each of the last three topics could easily be extended to a workshop of its own. Whatever we do talk about, I hope that we will continue the workshop discussion on the newly created COURSEPAGE-L list with an increasing number of faculty sharing their questions, suggestions, ideas, and experiences during the coming semesters.
  1. Introducing Coursepage-l and its web interface
  2. Access and Usage Issues
    1. Assessing students' computer access and usage (class survey: informal vs. using a questionnaire)
    2. Getting students acquainted: demo session in computer lab, handouts, peer tutoring, what else
    3. Incentives: carrots (compelling contents, better instructor access) and sticks (assignments)
    4. Ongoing monitoring of course page usage
  3. The Start Page
    1. Form vs. function
    2. ERes vs. non-ERes page
    3. Making the most of an ERes start page (folders, color, emphasis -- no pictures) -- demo
    4. Making general department-specific Internet resources available
  4. Interactive Components
    1. Course bulletin board
    2. Course chat room
  5. Using copyright-sensitive material
    1. General considerations and "Fair Use" strategies: "deep linking" and password protection
      1. Using the ERes course password feature
      2. Using server based password protection
    2. Using Hunter and CUNY licensed resources
      1. Project Muse (full text online version of journals)
      2. Infotrac (includes Books in Print)
      3. Lexis-Nexis
    3. Using Media sites (print, TV/radio; US and worldwide)
  6. Using non-html documents
    1. Powerpoint, Mathematica, and other special formats
    2. Conversion to PDF (Acrobat)
  7. Creating "web guides" and other tutorials for distribution via the course web page
    1. Screen shots
    2. Screen movies (with Lotus Screencam)
    3. Streaming video (with Real  Systems)
  8. Advanced issues in HTML page creation
    1. Optimizing images (gif, jpeg)
    2. Using javascript and java applets
    3. Dynamic html pages