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.
The site is designed to accompany an online course. It can also be used for referenced materials.
(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 Google.
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 the module.
Again, the material is out of date, thus presenting very little applicable value for anything but supplemental information.
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