With a rich array of features, Oncourse offers an automatic method to create a web site for every course offered at the University. Once a course offering is entered into the University Registrar database, the teaching faculty and students registered for the course will be able to automatically access the course web site from anywhere via the Internet by entering their University Network ID. To learn to use, edit, or maintain materials in the Oncourse environment, it is not necessary to have experience with HTML nor to attend an intensive workshop. When instructors of record log on to the web sites for their classes, they are automatically entered into the authoring environment where they may easily add, edit, and update the content of each course web site. Each dynamically-generated course site includes an up-to-date class roster including the names all registered students as well as photos if they choose. A user profile or a homepage is provided for every student, faculty and staff member associated with a class. The user profile includes features such as virtual bookmarks where users can store their most frequently used web addresses for access from any computer connected to the Internet. The profile also includes a "portfolio," in which users can easily maintain documents and pages on the Internet. Each course web site also provides facilities for chat, mail, and conferencing, as well as a comprehensive toolbox and resource center. The toolbox contains a variety of teaching tools including online testing, web authoring software, and a variety of multimedia electronic resources unique to the content of a specific course avialble through Universtiy Library or other digital libraries around the world.
Oncourse environment is being designed to comply with technical specifications for learning materials proposed by EDUCAUSE and the National Learning Infrastructure Initiative (NLII) and is fully Y2K compliant.
Oncourse is designed to dynamically create a class web site for every course offered by the university. The image below shows the Oncourse course interface.
To learn more about the Oncourse user interface and environment, take a tour of Oncourse for First Time Users.
Windows 95/98 or NT 4.0
32 MB RAM
28.8k modem or network Internet connection
Internet Explorer 4 (recommended) or
Netscape Navigator 4.
MacOS System 7
32 MB RAM
28.8k modem or network Internet connection
Internet Explorer 4 (recommended) or Netscape Navigator 4.
First day of classes, Fall 1998. Sally Jones, a student with the university, uses her home computer to visit the Oncourse site. Like Professor Smith, she uses her favorite Web browser to connect to http://oncourse.iupui.edu/ and types in her Network ID, user name and password. The next screen displays Sally's courses. She clicks on XYZ499 where she can access the course information provided by Professor Smith. Included in the information is a welcome message from Professor Smith. As part of the first class assignment, Sally is asked to take an online skill assessment. Sally may also take a few minutes to find out who else is registered, and she may chat with some of her classmates.
First day of classes, Fall 1998. Sally's dad, an adult student at the university, uses his laptop computer to logon to http://oncourse.iupui.edu/, the same URL that Sally and Professor Smith have used. Although Mr. Jones lives in Indianapolis, his new job requires him to make many business trips, sometimes overseas. This time he is in Menomonie, Wisconsin, attending an important meeting. After logging onto the Oncourse site, Mr. Jones clicks on the Chemistry 101 button. Chemistry 101 is an online course designed for full delivery and access over the Internet with no face-to-face class meetings required. Like Sally, Mr. Jones will get to know his classmates, understand the course requirements, and take the first online assessment. Mr. Jones watches the first lecture via his laptop computer and spends a few minutes collaborating with his classmates and his chemistry professor. Before logging out, he sends mail messages to the course librarian and the course mentor.
Second day of classes, Fall 1998. Based on the students' responses to the online skill assessment, Professor Smith has decided to change the first XYZ499 class assignment and post a new reading list. In addition, he wants to develop an online conference for the following Friday evening. Again, he points his web browser to http://oncourse.iupui.edu/ and enters his Network ID to logon to the system; he then clicks on the XYZ499 link. Since Professor Smith is the instructor of record for XYZ499, the Oncourse environment automatically gives him "edit" privileges to change, add or delete any of the content and categories. Professor Smith successfully completes these tasks without any need to contact the university Support Center or the neighborhood kid who, in addition to mowing his lawn, is also his computer consultant.
Last week of classes, Fall 1998. Professor Smith is now convinced that a large portion of his class content and lecture could be delivered via the Web through the Oncourse environment. He is meeting with the chair of the XYZ department and the Dean of his school to discuss his idea to reduce his class contacts to only once a week while the rest of the course content will be delivered via the Web. In addition to the approvals needed to re-engineer the course curriculum and reduce the in-class contact, Professor Smith needs some funding to produce multimedia content to be purchased by the library as online resources for his class, including the digital version of his textbook.
The following years, 1999-2000. Now, all faculty from any IU
campus can easily add their course syllabi and teaching content (more than
47,000 courses), as Professor Smith did in the previous semester, from
a single interface. Students from any IU campus or those enrolled in an
IU certificate program will use their Network IDs to access course content
and engage in communication with others in their learning communities.
To offer feedback and ask questions about the Oncourse project, please contact
Ali Jafari, Ph.D.
Co Director, Advanced Information Technology Laboratory
Phone: (317) 278 2630
Fax: (317) 274 0776
Oncourse | WebLab | AITL | UITS | IUPUI | Indiana University