Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Web Links as Supplemental Material

As discussed in Session 2 Content, web links are a valuable source of supplemental materials for online learning. As a student in an online course, I find the web links to be a highlight of the online learning experience. The following lists a few of the pros and cons of utilizing a web link as supplemental material:


  • Adds Context: The web provides an opportunity to give the subject matter additional context.
  • "Infinite" information source: Links thread learners to places well beyond the original link.
  • Learning Community: An amazing aspect of the internet is that nearly all topics are explored and discussed by someone / somewhere. It is almost always possible to find and join and "community" that is interested in the same topic.
  • Varied perspectives: The web provides a multitude of perspectives beyond the interpretation provided by the facilitator.


  • Dead links: An obvious problem that can occur as hosted web pages are moved, deleted or amended can cause frustration and lack of confidence in the facilitator's credibility.
  • Information Overload: The vast amount of information on the internet can be overwhelming to someone just learning about a topic. This makes it necessary for the "suggested" list of links to be well edited.
  • Lose track of intended learning material: One thing leads to another and before long you aren't reading a topic that has anything to do with the original link.
  • Questionable quality of content: There is no guarantee of content accuracy or quality on most web sites or blogs. This puts additional burden on the facilitator to chose the most "credible" sites.


Forex-hopefull said...
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JIndelicato16 said...

Hey Jen - I just had another web link related issue last week while going through the content. I had printed out one of the required articles to read offline and then - while I was reading it - I saw all these wonderful underlined items that looked like they would be great resources - but because I only had the print out - I have yet to go back in and check those out. I certainly mean to do that though....

J Tzanis said...

Great summary of the key issues here! I find that I spend a LOT of time validating links and then checking that they're still available every semester...One of these days, somebody is going to find a way to make this all much easier!

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