Sandra Carriker


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To effect course redesign, the Computer Science Department investigated instructional software applications that could assist students in Fundamentals of Computer Science to succeed in acquiring skills. After a review of software applications, the Department decided to combine locally developed Web-supported materials with publisher-developed electronic resources in the trial phase to occur in Fall 2001. The trial involves one faculty member who used Blackboard, the College's online course management tool set, to put a variety of course materials online. Students have access to the course syllabus, schedule, class notes, assignment directions, links to publisher materials, and directions for using online materials.

In addition, students use SimNet, a CD-ROM application available through McGraw Hill, Inc. SimNet provides hands-on interactive learning and assessments in Word, Excel, and Access 2000. Students can master these course elements independently in open computer labs or at home. SimNet permits students to work on these applications even if they do not have Microsoft Office 2000 at home.

The combination of Blackboard, which has a pre-set template for instructional design, group communications, and class management, with publisher-developed software enables the course redesign to occur without labor and time-intensive development of local software and applications.