An Interactive Website for a Large Lecture

P.B. Stark


What Some Students Know Might Surprise You

Statistics 2 is the minimal course that satisfies the university's quantitative distribution requirement.

As such, one would not expect the students to be terribly "computer literate."



What Some Students Don't Know Might Surprise You


Expect a Mixed Reception

Some students consider using a browser "knowing all about computers." They feel that asking them to point and click is a serious imposition, and can't have anything to do with learning the material.


What Students Like Most About the Approach


What Students Like Least

Here are the results of a survey from Fall, 1997.


University Support?

The technology I'm using (html, html forms, frames, Java, JavaScript) is several years old.

Nonetheless, there is almost nowhere that the students can get access to the material. Consider, for example, the microcomputer facility in Evans Hall basement:

Similarly, the Wheeler facility does not let the students access the Java applets.

Students can access the material from the X-Window terminals in the Statistical Computing facility, but,


I sent email to the administrator of Cafe MOOlano two months ago to set up a MOO for my class. He or she has not responded.

It took three email messages from me and three from my system administrator to get a news group set up for my class on agate---one month elapsed.



Java is not "Platform-Independent"

Java is not "Platform-Independent"

Java is not "Platform-Independent"

Java is not "Platform-Independent"
Java is not "Platform-Independent"

You need to view your material using several browsers on several platforms to have a reasonable chance that the students get what you think you put there.

Enough said.


Why It's Not Worth The Trouble


Why Bother?



Samples of Student Comments







1997, P.B. Stark. All rights reserved.
Last modified April 11, 1997.