Putting WebCT to Work in the Library
Athena Hoeppner, University of Central Florida
athena@mail.ucf.edu

Summary

WebCT is the most widely used package online course creation, management, and delivery. Originally designed to help non-technical faculty deliver semester-length courses over the web, WebCT is now used by libraries to deliver various types of  library instruction. The University of Central Florida licensed WebCT in 1997, and the Library created the WebLUIS Tutorial in WebCT by 1998. To find out how other libraries use WebCT, I created a simple 5-question survey.  The responding 11 institutions revealed many similarities in their use of WebCT. The most striking revelation is that the libraries did not specifically select WebCT on its merits - rather, they use it because it was already licensed and in use on campus. The libraries put to use many of WebCT's functions, such as quizzing, communication tools, and statistics gathering. However, it is not ideally suited to library use and has shortcomings when applied to library instruction and services.

Survey Results

11 institutions responded to the 5 question survey.  Participants selected anticipated answers with check-boxes, and entered unanticipated answers in their own words. I have placed all unanticipated answers in quotation marks.

1. Why did your library choose to use WebCT?
Price 0
License already available (i.e. campus wide) 8
Product already in use on campus 4
Ease of use for instructor/designer 1
Ease of use for student 1
Security 0
Features (i.e. quizzing, glossary, chat, etc.) 3
.
2. Does your library use any other software to create and deliver library instruction?
"Power Point" 1
"Internet" 1
.
3. What instruction or services do you offer in WebCT?
Title Users/Year
"LIBR1101 Academic Research and the Library" 375
"Will launch LibraryU after Labor Day"
"Library Skills/ Information Literacy"
"We're in the planning stages"
"DELA, the Dalhousie Electronic Library Assistant" 627
"Library 121 - 2 credit distance ed course" 40
"None yet - under development"
"HUM7104 Research Methods" 100
"Information Literacy tutorial." 1,400
.
4. How would you best describe the instruction and services?
Virtual tour 1
General library and research concepts 4
Database or other product instruction 4
Technology or library competency requirement 3
Course-based "one-shot" instruction 3
Credit-bearing courses
Course Titles:
"Academic Research and the Library (LIBR1101)"
"Library 121 - Electronic Library Research Skills"
"Basic Library Orientation"
"Library Science 1"
"HUMN7104"
5
"Using the Webpac and DDC"  1
"Electronic Databases and Internet" 1
.
5. Which WebCT features do you use? 
Quizzing
Graded quizzes/tests 6
Ungraded self-tests 1
Automatic quiz/test grading 4
Essay questions 3
Random question selection 2
Surveys 0
Communication
Discussions/Bulletin Boards 4
Chat 3
Email 6
Course Management
Auto-populate 1
Syllabus  5
Grade book 2
Statistics
Page and usage tracking 6
Quiz statistics reports 5
Miscellaneous
Calendar 5
Glossary 4
Student groups 0
Student presentation/work space 0
Automated design and navigation features 5

 

WebLUIS Tutorial

The WebLUIS Tutorial is used to teach students some basic library skills - how to search the catalog and selected indexes.  All second semester English composition, ENC1102, faculty are asked to assign the tutorial.  About 1/3 of the ENC1102 students actually take the tutorial and quiz.
 
ENC1102 Use of the WebLUIS Tutorial and Quiz

 

Users

Quiz Score

Spring 1999

603

78%

Fall 1999

295

81%

Spring 2000

1053

85%

Fall 2000

434

83%

Spring 2001

904

84%

 

URLs

Open* Library Instruction in WebCT
WebLUIS Tutorial http://library.ucf.edu/Tutorial
LibraryU http://www.LibraryU.org
DELA, the Dalhousie Electronic Library Assistant  http://webct.dal.ca/public/library/index.html
Library 121 http://www.lib.montana.edu/~alivy/modules.html
Postgraduate Studies in Education: Information Skills Program http://webct.library.uq.edu.au:8900/public/distmed/index.html
CygNET: Information Skills Courses Online http://www.library.uwa.edu.au/training/online.html
University of Calgary: Library Tutorials http://www.ucalgary.ca/library/linc/webct.html
*These tutorials are open in the sense that anyone can see the contents of the tutorial.

About WebCT and Other Course Development Software
WebCT's Home http://www.webct.com/
Online Educational Delivery Applications http://www.ctt.bc.ca/landonline

Presentation Links
Putting WebCT to Work in the Library http://library.ucf.edu/Presentations/LITA
WebCT Survey No longer available