Innovations Golden Apple Grant Recipients
Final Reports April 2002
1020 Web Page: A Modernist Approach
Rodriquez, Arts and Philosophy, Wolfson Campus
web page will be created which covers all of the subject
areas of the humanities within the modernist era. This
page will include lecture essays, slide presentations,
literary texts, music, cool links, terminology lists, test
reviews, and other course- related materials.
conceived, the project was supposed to “iron out
the kinks” of an already existing website that needed
to become more user-friendly and efficient. For instance,
when students clicked on slide-show presentations within
the website, it was difficult to click out of them as they
became ensnared in a “cyber loop.” Furthermore,
these slide-show presentations took up a lot of space,
making it very difficult for students to download music,
slide presentations and links, especially from home. Another
problem was that when students downloaded information from
the website, they were unable to print it out directly
due to the fact that the margins of the printed document
were incompatible with the website’s. As a result
of this misalignment, students would have to cut and paste
the website information onto Notepad so that one quarter
of the information would not be lopped off.
With the goal of making the website more accessible and functional,
Brian Colleary set out to use a new format for the slide presentations.
He first resized the scanned the works of art, optimized them
for the web and then re-inserted them into the website by using
Front Page 2002’s slide show format. These new slide presentations
enable students quicker download time as well as access from
their own homes, using a 56K modem and even a 28K modem.
And then the unforeseen happened. A part-time employee, inadvertently
and without authorization, made changes to the site, resulting
in it being completely inaccessible to our students during the
critical last two weeks of the Fall semester. Brian helped identify
the cause of the problem and attempted to facilitate its correction
by going through the appropriate channels. Unfortunately, the
site was not recovered until Brian put it up himself the first
day of the Spring semester (with the help of the new syllabus).
My story, however, has a happy ending. The aforementioned part-time
employee has dedicated a lot time to further transforming my
HUM 1020 website. First of all, he has realigned the website
pages, enabling students to download information directly from
the site. Secondly, and more importantly, he has changed the
website’s form and functionality by making the content
and scope even more student friendly. In fact, the website now
looks and “feels” differently. This has been achieved
through the redesign of the website’s format, based on
the new Wolfson Campus’ generic template. Furthermore,
the art is now showcased to be reproduced and appreciated as
best as it can be in a digital media. Much of the information
presented, moreover, is more easily accessible. For instance,
sample essays can now be quickly downloaded as they have been
re-located on the margins whereas before they became buried within
content materials. Finally, the website is more efficient since
it has been redesigned to consume as little space as possible.
My newly revised
HUM 1020 website is located at www.mdc.edu/wolfson/departments/art&hum/art.hum.1020.htm.
In order to check the validity of the project, I devised a questionnaire
that asked students the following questions:
• How often did you use the HUM 1020 website during the semester?
• How much do you attribute your success in HUM 1020 to the website?
• Compare your performance in HUM 1020 due to the website to your performance
in a non-website course this semester.
• How would you improve the HUM 1020 website?
Approximately 200 students responded to the survey in a most
positive manner. Over and over again, students said that they
accessed the site frequently. Almost every student responded
by saying that they hit the site at least once a week, many much
more frequently. Students cited that the site enabled them to
perform better than in classes that have yet to add comparable
web content. They particularly mentioned their reliance on slide
presentations, test reviews, sample essays and cool links. Many
students would like for us to add additional links that are relevant
to content material.
I have already
shared my revised website with my department. I would now
like to showcase my website campus and college-wide because
it is such a valuable educational tool for faculty and
students. One plan is to send my website to District and
campus administrators because I believe that more College
resources need to be channeled to such web projects. At
the time that I encountered my technical problems, I realized
the lack of communication between Network Services departments
as well as the lack of employees within these departments.
We need to commit to expanding these departments if the
College is going to provide better services for its students
and the community. Above all, these departments need to
understand that they need to provide better services to
the faculty. Finally, if there is anything that I have
learned is that these departments are undermanned.