Revised March 2002
Minimal Presence. Essentially all faculty at Purdue University North Central have a minimal presence on the web, which consists, typically, of a picture, credentials, telephone number, office number and email address. This information is often posted as part of a department web site and is often posted for this person by a designated "webmaster" staff or faculty member from the department. Possibly 40% of faculty are presently at this stage of web development at Purdue University North Central.
Basic Course Information. Many faculty post their office hours, courses taught, course syllabi, research interests and outside interests on the Web. This information is typically posted by the faculty member themselves and involves mostly text with some "hyperlinks" and few or no pictures. Often, these faculty need only a few-hour-long-relatively-easy-and-painless-to-obtain level of understanding on how to use Microsoft Word and/or Microsoft Frontpage for online publishing. Information Services (IS) at Purdue University North Central give courses on both Word and Frontpage throughout the year for interested faculty members. Other software packages are available, but only Word and Frontpage are presently supported by Information Services. This includes another 30%, say, of faculty at Purdue University North Central.
Extensive Passive Course Material. Some faculty have extensive "passive" course material posted on their web sites, including homework assignments, lecture notes, past tests, grades, off campus web links, program information, research papers, calculator and computer lab instructions, for example. Course material is posted essentially for distribution purposes to students; students do not respond to the instructor through the internet or email. A reasonable understanding of Frontpage requiring a few days of training would be recommended and Information Services is probably the best source of help in getting started for this level of activity on the web. Possibly another 20%, say, of faculty at Purdue University North Central fit into this category.
Interactive Online Course Material. A few faculty have "interactive" online courses where a student watches videos or animation, listens to audio, takes tests, submits homework, seeks course work assistance, engages in discussion and makes extensive use of email, all online, for example. A reasonable understanding of WebCT requiring at least a few days of training is recommended from the Multimedia Instructional Development Center on the West Lafayette campus for this level of activity on the web. More information is available from
Although there are other interactive education web tools, only WebCT is presently supported by Purdue University.
1. What kind of computer equipment, software and service do I need to set up a basic web page?
None. Your office computer and the computer equipment, software and service presently available at Purdue University, North Central is all that you need. However, if you are accessing the course material remotely, off campus, you need at least:
PC: 100MHz, 1Gig Hard Drive, 16 Meg Ram, 28.8 modem
Mac: 100Mhz, 1Gig Hard Drive, 16 Meg Ram, 28.8 modem, PowerMac
Web browser: Internet Explorer or Netscape (95% of web browsers are one of these two types)
2. How do I put my first web page on the internet?
You first ask Information Services to set up a location for you on the computer server that supports faculty web sites. You then create a Word (Frontpage) document file "index.html" which you save in this location. This is the first (front, top) page of your website. The index web page typically has a list of hyperlinks that connect to various other web pages, such as different courses you might be teaching, say.
3. How do I put a picture on a web page?
Pictures, like text, are files. There are different types of picture files: GIF, TIFF, PICT and so on. You might call a picture file something like "picture.gif", say. Pictures can be cut and pasted into Word and Frontpage and then onto the web. Pictures can come from a number of sources: they can be digital pictures taken by a camera which have been stored on a Zip disk, they can be scanned via a cable connection into your computer and they can be taken from a library of pictures given with Word, for example.
4. How do I put a sound on a web page?
Sounds, like text, are files. There are different types of sound files. You might call a sound file something like "sound.wav", say. Sound files are accessed by hyperlinks placed on the web page. Typically, the sound file is saved on the web server in a location close to the web page that accesses it. Sound files have to be recorded and stored on the computer and this requires a microphone and some specialized software.
5. How do I put animation/illustrations on a web page?
Animation/illustration, like text, are files. There are different types of animation/illustration files. You might call an animation/illustration file something like "illustration.ai", say. Animation/illustration files are usually pasted on the web page, beside the text. Animation/illustration files have to be created by you on the computer and this requires a reasonable artistic flair in addition to understanding some specialized software such as Dreamweaver or Illustrator, for instance.
6. How much time will have I have to spend setting up a course on the internet?
It depends on what you want to do.
If all you want to do is post basic course material and you have some experience on a computer, then it should not take longer than few days to get something on your web site.
If you want to post extensive passive course material, then aside from the few days it takes to get used to posting material on the Purdue University North Central web server, it should only take you as long as it takes to make this material up. It is possible to scan hand-written material into your computer and to post this material on the internet--this is not very time consuming. Typing up course material, on the other hand, can take a long time to do but, once it is done, only needs to be attended to if mistakes are found on the material or if the material needs to be updated from one semester to the next.
The most time consuming type of web page to set up, by far, is an interactive one, which involves that you have a good understanding of the software packages that allow you to, for example, give online quizzes.
7. How much of my time is required in supporting the online course material, once it has been set up?
It depends on what you do.
Theoretically, once "passive" course material has been posted on the web, you need never attend to it again. However, course outlines change, you change your course materials, you change the "look" of the web site and Information Services changes computer servers, for example. As a consequence of these changes, you probably will attend to your web site at least ten or fifteen times during a semester.
Interactive course material posted on the web generally requires much more of your time, particularly if you encourage student email. For some online instructors, it is not uncommon for an instructor to receive 100-150 emails a week. The most time required for online instructors, though, is during the first two-three weeks of the semester, when students try to figure out how the online course material works.
8. Is there much support on campus for course material online?
Depends. If all you need is help in using either Word or Frontpage to post "passive" course material on the web, Information Services is very helpful. If you want to get involved in "interactive" course material, local campus support is essentially nonexistent, although the Multimedia Instructional Development Center on the West Lafayette campus is helpful, particularly with regard to the use of WebCT.
9. Can I just do online quizzes without doing an entire class online?
Yes. A lot of time must be spent figuring out how to set up an online quiz on the internet, but, once set up, online quizzes do save class time and can be designed to be automatically graded by WebCT. More than this, a number of course texts now provide online quizzes available through WebCT.
10. Is it possible to have homework assignments submitted over the internet and automatically graded?
Yes. A lot of time must be spent figuring out how to set up an online homework assignment on the internet, but, once set up, online homework assignments can be designed to be automatically graded by WebCT. More than this, a number of course texts now provide online homework assignments available through WebCT.
11. What do classroom students think of online quizzes?
Most seem to like them. For those students who have difficulty dealing with taking a quiz online, you can always give them the option of doing the quiz on paper.
12. Do students cheat during online quizzes?
Yes. Distance learning internet students, who generally do not know one another and are located a distance away from one another, have more difficulty cheating than local internet students who can sit down and do a quiz together. There are different ways to reduce cheating, including simply to give paper quizzes in addition to online quizzes, to make online quizzes not worth that much of the total grade and to give different quizzes to each student (chosen at random from a large group of questions), for example.
13. What is the difference between a (mail-based) correspondence course and an online course?
An online course is a quicker, more controlled version of a correspondence course. The instructor of an online course can require that a student log in at least a couple of times a week. Strict deadlines can be imposed on a student in an online course, unlike for a correspondence course, which depends on the speed of mail delivery.
14. Should all courses be given online?
No. Courses with labs, with heavy "hands-on" requirements, should not be given online. In fact, the faculty who have online courses encourage their students, if they are able to attend a classroom-taught version of course, to do so. The online courses are intended for students whose work or academic schedule does not allow them to take time to attend regular class periods and who have enough self-discipline to complete the course requirements with minimal support. Online students are expected to spend 10 hours or so per week on an online course.
15. Is it possible to give a course where some of the students are taught in class and some are taught online?
Yes, although the online students are generally at a disadvantage relative to the classroom students. However, to even things out, both groups would submit homework assignments and do tests using WebCT (say). Both would work from the same complete set of lecture notes.
16. Is it necessary and possible to enforce homework assignment and quiz deadlines in an online course?
Yes, it is necessary to enforce the deadlines. Speaking from experience, it is simply too confusing to have files submitted by students a times convenient to them throughout the semester. By having all students submit by deadlines throughout the semester, it is then possible to automatically grade the homework assignment or quiz and to release scores.
Yes, it is possible to enforce the deadlines. The deadline for each homework assignment (quiz) is given at the top of the page of the homework; it is also listed on the web page. Homework assignments (quizzes) are available for a one week period; the hyperlink to these assignments are "lit up". Before and after this period, the hyperlink is inactive. This assures that students are working on the correct homework assignment and that homework assignments are handed in on time.
17. Is the class homework assignment (quiz) any different than the online homework assignment (quiz)?
No. However, because the homework assignment (quiz) is online, it is restricted by what can be typed. For example, it is presently difficult to type mathematical symbols; it is difficult for a student to reply with mathematical symbols. There are different types of questions available for a homework assignment (quiz) online including multiple choice, matching and fill in the blank.
18. What if a student needs help in doing my homework assignment or preparing for a quiz?
They are encouraged either stop by (if they are a local online student) or to email me or telephone the instructor at their office.
19. How does a student find out how they did on a homework assignment (quiz)?
WebCT automatically marks their marked homework assignments (quizzes) but does not release the score. The instructor releases the scores of all students very soon after the submission deadline. The instructor also posts the points the student received for the homework assignment (quiz) on the web. Students can locate a particular homework assignment (quiz) score by using an ID number assigned to them.
20. What happens in the case when a student cannot get online because of technical difficulties, such as the server being down?
Probably nothing. The server has to be down for at least a week (if course material is to be handed in one week at a time), to adversely influence an online student. Most online students spend the vast majority of their time offline, reading through the lecture notes or text or doing the homework assignments. They are online for only short periods of time either submitting a completed homework assignment or doing a short timed online quiz.
21. How is an online quiz different from an online homework assignment?
The online quizzes are timed. Five different types of questions can appear on a quiz, including short answer, paragraph, multiple choice, matching and calculation. After 20 minutes (or whatever time limit specified), WebCT refuses any more answers submitted by the student. Students have an unlimited (within the one week time period) time to submit answers to homework assignment questions.
22. Is there a final exam?
Yes. The final exam is supervised. It is not given online, like all of the previous homework assignments and quizzes.
Local internet students, since they are close by, could write the final exam on the Purdue University North Central campus. The final will be held during the exam period, at a time and location given in a schedule posted on the Purdue University North Central (PU/NC) web site.
Distance learning internet students, since they are far away, must arrange with their institution's distance learning coordinator (DLC) a time and location for their supervised final exam. The final should be held on the first day of the exam period. The instructor writes the final exam and passes it on to the PU/NC distance learning coordinator, Barb Birchfield. Barb emails it to the student DLC who gives the student a supervised final exam. The student DLC then faxes the completed final back to Barb who then passes it onto the instructor. The instructor grades it and, along with the student's term work, assign the student a grade. The instructor gives this grade to Barb who then sends this information to the student's institution.
23. Is it possible to pass TI-83 calculator programs to an online student?
Yes. A distance learning online student needs to buy a special cable to hook calculator and computer together. Software, downloaded from the internet, is then loaded onto the student's computer to enable the calculator and computer to talk to one another. The programs are relayed from the instructors web site to the student's computer, via the cable, to the student's calculator.
24. What do you tell a student who wants to take an online course?
Ask them to consider the following online benefits and drawbacks.
I can arrange this online course around my schedule.
I must be extremely self-disciplined to complete class work every week on time.
I can take tests on the Internet on my computer at any time I choose before the quiz deadline and at my home where I am relaxed.
If I do the quizzes on my computer over the Internet at home, I am always worried the connection to the Internet will fail.
I never have to see or talk to the instructor.
I find it difficult to either see or talk to the instructor and I find I end up emailing him mostly.
Even if I do not have a computer, I can still do everything that is required on any computer anywhere that is hooked up to the web.
Even if I do not have a computer, there are so many computers hooked up to the Internet that are available to me that I have no excuses but to have everything done.
Even if I am sick, I can always get my homework assignments and quizzes handed in because I have a computer at home hooked up to the Internet.
Even if I am sick, I am under great pressure to get my homework assignments and quizzes handed in on time because I have a computer hooked up to the Internet at home.
I can cheat by looking at my notes and text when doing a quiz on my computer at home.
The 15 minute timed quizzes on the Internet are so short, I really do not have time to cheat and, besides, I know the final exam is supervised.
I am reasonably computer literate and I find it easy to work on the Internet.
The Internet is really easy to use, but setting it up properly for the course material, not to mention hooking up the TI-Graph Link for the TI-83 calculator is time consuming.
I never have to listen to a boring lecture.
I am forced to read everything, including lecture notes.
(the hyperlinks are NOT active)
WEEK 1. January 7,9,11
Register Into The Course.
Create WebCT account. Create, then log on to WebCT before the semester starts and try both a practice online homework assignment and a practice online quiz. If you cannot create a WebCT account, look at the instructions first and then, if this fails, contact me immediately.
Buy A TI-83 Calculator. Buy either the TI-83 or TI-83 plus calculator. Buy the TI-83 graph link that allows you to connect calculator to computer (the cable that comes with your calculator links calculator to calculator--not computer!). Make sure the graph link works.
Buy the texts. The required texts are bought from the bookstore (Understandable Statistics and Exploring Statistics Using The TI-83 order online) and one attendance workbook is downloaded off of the Internet.
Check out the syllabus.pdf.
Check out the rest of my web site for previous quizzes, scores, student evaluations and other course material previous course material
WEEK 2. January 14,16,18
Chapter 1. Getting Started
Chapter 2. Organizing Data
Answer all attendance1.pdf questions and submit them to me (Jonathan Kuhn) using webct email (and only webct email!) on or before 12 noon (EST) Wednesday, January 16. Title your email as "attendance 1"; type, for example, 1.a T, 1.b (d), 1.c five, and so on, in the text box of the WebCT emailer. Do not "attach" attendance 1 as a file to your email.
Answer the questions from hmk1.pdf selected at random for you by the webct homework assignment on or before 12 noon (EST) Friday, January 18. Submit as many times as you want, and receive the highest score of all the submissions. Do not use the WebCT email to send me your homework assignment; use the interactive "quiz/homework" link to send me your homework assignment.
TI83-lab1.pdf is a document which gives a list of all the TI-83 instructions used this week. It is for your information; it is not handed in.
Check how you did on your homework assignment by looking your score up at scores after 9pm (EST) Friday January 18. Use the last four digits of your SSN to locate your score under the column H1.
WEEK 3. January 23,25
Chapter 3. Averages and Variation
TI83-lab2.pdf not handed in.
Check how you did on your quiz by looking your score up at scores after 9pm (EST) Friday January 25. Use the last four digits of your SSN to locate your score under the column Q1. Your total score is given in the last column under TOTAL. Your grade is determined by comparing your total score with the benchmark scores beside "A", "B" and "C" at the bottom of the scores file.
Martin Luther King Holiday, January 21
WEEK 4. January 28,30; February 1
Chapter 4. Elementary Probability
WEEK 5. February 4,6,8
Chapter 5. The Binomial Probability Distribution and Related Topics
WEEK 6. February 11,13,15
Chapter 6. Normal Distributions
WEEK 7. February 18,20,22
Chapter 7. Introduction to Sampling Distributions
WEEK 8. February 25,27; March 1
Chapter 8. Estimation
WEEK 9. March 4,6,8
Chapter 9. Hypothesis Testing:
9.1 Introduction to Hypothesis Testing
9.2 Tests Involving the Mean (Large Samples)
WEEK 10. March 18,20,22
Chapter 9. Hypothesis Testing:
9.3 The P Value in Hypothesis Testing
9.4 Tests Involving the Mean (Small Samples)
9.5 Tests Involving a Proportion
Mid-semester Break, March 10-17
WEEK 11. March 25,27,29
Chapter 9. Hypothesis Testing:
9.6 Tests Involving Paired Differences (Dependent Samples)
9.7 Testing Differences of Two Means or Two Proportions (Independent Samples)
WEEK 12. April 1,3,5
Chapter 10. Regression and Correlation:
10.1 Introduction to Paired Data and Scatter Diagram
10.2 Linear Regression and Confidence Bounds for Predictions
WEEK 13. April 8,10,12
Chapter 10. Regression and Correlation:
10.3 The Linear Regression Coefficient
10.4 Testing the Correlation Coefficient
(skip 10.5 Multiple Regression)
WEEK 14. April 15,17,19
Chapter 11. Chi-Square and F Distributions
11.1 Chi Square: Tests of Independence
11.2 Chi Square: Goodness of Fit
11.3 Testing and Estimating a Single Variance or Standard Deviation
TI83-lab13.pdf not handed in
Make sure you know when and where your supervised final exam is held! Local internet students will write on campus at PU/NC; long distance internet students must arrange the time and location of the final with their distance learning coordinators. Arrange a time and place for the final exam
WEEK 15. April 22,24,26
Chapter 11. Chi-Square and F Distributions
11.4 Testing Two Variances
11.5 One-Way ANOVA: Comparing Several Sample Means
11.6 Introduction to Two-Way ANOVA
WEEK 16. April 29-May 3
Do you know when and where you are going to write your final exam? Bring TWO pieces of PICTURE identification!
Jonathan Kuhn, Mick Lantis, Julie-Ann McFann
Dornfest, Asha, Frontpage 2000 For Dummies, IDG Books Worldwide, Inc., Foster City, CA, 1999.