Education and Values: Interface on the Internet

Case Study 2

Student Learning and the Power of the Web

In 1996 Dr. Jeffrey Barlow, faculty member in the history department at Pacific University, accepted a sophomore as an advisee who had transferred from another major. The following semester this student (Nathan Stanley) took an Asian history course from Dr. Barlow. This project-based course provided the resources for Nathan to pick a topic and study it in some depth. Nathan chose to look at the Korean War and developed a web site to present his findings. In a very short period of time this site began to receive a flood of traffic as a large number of veterans and others began to contact Nathan and discuss their experiences. Nathan’s site and the oral history of Korean War veterans it contains became one of the most popular and important educational Korean War sites on the web. Since that time, Encyclopedia Britannica has listed it as one of the “Web’s best sites” on the war. To date, the site continues to draw 2-3 email letters a week, many from families asking assistance in better understanding the Korean service of a grandfather. This project, and the use of a web interface to share his findings transformed Mr. Stanley’s undergraduate experience.

Key Points and Questions:
- In what ways can the web provide a forum for extending classroom teaching and learning?
- Should a student’s work be screened before it goes on the web? This case turned out well, but it is possible to have a negative reaction to the website.
- In what ways can ICT transform the traditional role of teacher and student, and the definition of classroom.
* Web based projects have the power to reach an international audience and to affect both the constructor and the global community in unforeseen ways.
* Constructivist approaches to teaching that employ appropriate applications of technology can provide the nexus for life-altering learning.


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Last Updated 1/23/02
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Questions: Mark Bailey - baileym@pacificu.edu