- Peer Review: “Online Class Materials”
Online Class Materials
- Mar 12, 2003 by Business
- This website is a collection of materials relating to teaching online e-commerce
related courses. Materials provided include: (1) An online dictionary of
e-commerce and marketing terms, (2) Reference and lecture materials for an
e-commerce life cycles class, (3) Reference and lecture materials for an
e-commerce marketing class, (4) A guide to writing basic HTML code, and (5) Some
tips for effective web design.
- Type of Material:
- This material is a combination of reference materials and lecture.
- Recommended Uses:
- The site is designed to accompany an online course. It can also be used for
- Technical Requirements:
- (1) Internet browser access is required to use these materials. (2) If you wish
to participate in the discussion forum, you will need to register. (3) You
will need access (permission) to a web server if you would like to try and
publish code written in HTML.
- Identify Major Learning Goals:
- The major learning goals are to: (1) provide reference materials (e.g., a
dictionary of terms, extensive hyperlinks for more detailed information, tips on
web design and HTML programming, etc. and (2) provide lecture material/reading
to gain a greater understanding of e-commerce life cycles and the use of
e-commerce in marketing.
- Target Student Population:
- Upper level undergraduate (junior/senior) or graduate students in an e-business,
e-commerce or e-marketing course.
- Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
- For the materials to be particularly relevant it would be helpful for students
to have some knowledge of e-commerce and marketing principles.
- The greatest strength of the module is the dictionary of e-commerce and
marketing terminology. As e-commerce is an evolving discipline having a central
source of terminology is helpful for those who teach e-commerce and
internet-related courses, particularly in the marketing arena. The author does
an excellent job of incorporating links (and links that work!) into the
definitions, where appropriate, in order to facilitate understanding and provide
more depth. The author makes efforts to ask for feedback from users about
terminology that needs additional clarification, the addition of
new terms, etc.
An additional strength of the module is the ?quick and dirty? guide to HTML.
While the steps provided won?t allow the user to create an elaborate web site,
the basic techniques are there to create a simple, workable site.
- My greatest concern was that it was difficult to determine if the materials
provided are for a single course in e-commerce (with a life cycles component and
e-marketing component) or for two individual courses. While the dictionary is
fully integrated into the site, the remainder of the material is not making it
difficult for someone coming to the site for the first time to understand how
this all fits together. It is also assumed that this is an online course but
this is unclear as some of the content implies it is a standalone course and
other content implies that the course is web-enhanced.
Other concerns include:
? Although it appears that the materials provided are probably for a marketing
course of some type, they seem more oriented toward an information technology or
information systems class. The marketing terminology is incomplete; maybe the
author should link to one of the online marketing dictionaries if a user wanted
broader marketing coverage.
? Some of the material may be dated. Some of the materials have
not been updated for 18 to 24 months. In a field that is as dynamic as this
one, this is a cause for concern. While it is understood that updating a site
consistently is a full-time job in and of itself, regularly scheduled updates
would be appreciated.
? It is unclear how the web design and HTML programming tips fit into the
materials provided except that they are a part of e-commerce and e-marketing.
If a web design section is to be included it should be expanded as the coverage
is superficial at best.
? The discussion forum does not seem to have been utilized at all. This was
very disappointing as student feedback, questions and discussion would have been
interesting to see (particularly in light of the fact that the author strongly
encourages use of the forum). The lack of postings on the discussion forum
creates a question as to the overall success of the course.
? Some of the content, particularly in the e-commerce marketing section,
provides only superficial coverage in various areas. Links to additional
sources would be helpful here.
One of the series of tutorials has not been updated in two years and should not
be considered of merit. The second series is currently being updated, but even
so, there is still outdated material used in the tutorials (such as the
discussion of search engines, which focuses at length on Alta Vista and ignores
Google). Knowing how the web is, one cannot blame the author. The web
world is moving at a ferocious pace.
- Concerns arise in regards to the glossary as well. Although the glossary may
be an original piece of scholarship, it contains many definitions cut and
pasted from another source on the web without attribution.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
- This material is best used as a supplement to a course in e-commerce or
e-marketing. All the material is ready to be used as it is posted on the site
and is easy for a student to access. The dictionary would be especially helpful
to both student and instructor and would be easy to link to from an existing
course web page. The site is commendable within the context of a young
instructor who is striving to engage the web as a useful tool for his students.
- The content is difficult to wade through because it entirely text-based. Some
of the lecture-based readings could be structured to stimulate greater interest.
The use of graphics, additional outside links, or some form of interaction
would greatly improve the module. All of the definitions and lecture materials
should be enhanced with links to outside sources to provide other perspectives
of the materials for those interested in learning more on the subject.
The site contains out of date material such as the discussion of
search engines, which focuses at length on Alta Vista and ignores
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
- The site was easy to use and access. The author should also be commended for
keeping all of the hyperlinks activated and working (especially since there are
so many hyperlinks throughout the document).
- The lecture material could be more engaging to stimulate greater interest in the
material. It would also be helpful if some interactivity could be built into
Again, the material is out of date, thus presenting very little applicable
value for anything but supplemental information.