Inarguably, the Internet has revolutionized the manner and speed of information transfer. The Internet as a course supplement represents a new reality in higher education and has moved from a novelty to a near obligatory component in course instruction today. Arguments for and against the use of the Internet in pedagogy have been made. For example, in plant identification courses the Internet allows students to experience the visual component of flora that is often difficult to bring into the classroom. However, the Internet can also add a significant time sink to already overtaxed university instructors, who likely maintain research programs, outreach and service, and instruction, often without assistance from teaching assistants or office staff in preparing Internet materials. It is within the context of these tradeoffs that the questions of this poster were born: How do we measure the efficiency of the Internet in pedagogical scholarship in higher education when expectations for research, service, and outreach have not diminished? As educators, we must advance from the generic methods of course evaluations (e.g., student post class reviews) to the development of metrics that critically and fairly evaluate the effectiveness and teaching/learning efficiency of Internet instruction, both from the student's perspective (which we believe has already begun), as well as from the instructor's.
Balster, Nick J. and Barak, Phillip
"Web-based technology in undergraduate instruction: A primer for moving beyond accessibility to measures of efficiency,"
Natural Resources and Environmental Issues:
Vol. 9, Article 57.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/nrei/vol9/iss1/57