Using Web 2.0 Applications to Handle the Growing Pains of a Large-Enrollment Course.

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A hybrid accounting course was experiencing some “growing pains,” so we looked at Web 2.0 applications to solve the existing problems. The course was required to enter the business major, and over 1,000 students were enrolled each semester. The faculty identified the following problems:

• To decrease the teaching assistants’ (TAs) workload, the number of labs offered was reduced, resulting in increasing lab size from 35 students to 50 students and also the loss of computer labs in favor of traditional classrooms. • The large lab size made it impossible for TAs to develop good relationship with students, which was crucial to the students seeking help. • Loss of labs made it impossible for students to work on problems sets together in a physical setting. More specifically, they could no longer work together in groups with Excel and cut/paste into posting into the course management system.

Based on this needs assessment, the following solutions were recommended and implemented:

• Students used spread sheets in Google Docs with team members as collaborators. • Students exported and uploaded completed Excel spread sheet form Google Docs to the course management drop box for TAs to grade. • TAs to created blogs which summarized the agenda for the weekly lab. • TAs encouraged students to subscribe to the TA blogs and comment about what problems they need clarified during lab time. • TAs’ workload was decreased by activating email notification on blogs plus knowing in advance what issues need to be addressed during lab. • Faculty member subscribed to the TAs blogs to stayed informed about what is going on.

This presentation will review our experience with this new course design, and will provide the results of survey conducted with the students for their views of the course. Specifically, we will discuss how Web 2.0 applications impacted collaboration among students and addressed different learning styles.


Keywords: web 2.0, large-enrollment, collaborative learning
Stream: Curriculum and Pedagogy; Student Learning, Learner Experiences, Learner Diversity
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Dr. Wendy Mahan

Instructional Designer, Education Technology Services, Pennsylvania State University
State College, PA, USA

Dr. Mahan has worked exclusively in the design of online and blended courses with a focus on those that are large-enrollment.

Ref: L08P0072