|M.Sc Thesis||Department of Quality Assurance and Reliability|
|Supervisors:||Dr. Moti Frank|
|Dr. Abigail Barzilai|
|Full Thesis text - in Hebrew|
Most higher education institutes provide instructors with tools for constructing course websites. LMS (Learning Management Systems) enable active and interactive learning and provide many options for organizing the course material, implementing pedagogical principles and managing the course.
In most undergraduate and graduate courses given at the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, the traditional face-to-face in class teaching is supported by a course website constructed by each course's teaching staff. Usually, course website includes all the relevant course material such as syllabus, messages, presentations, article summaries, student forums and sample examination papers.
In order to examine the quality of a product or service, one must examine customer satisfaction.
The purpose of this thesis was to examine the way students and instructors use the WebCT system as well as to point out the difficulties that prevent them from using the system more widely and to check their approaches regarding the system’s contribution to the quality of teaching and learning.
The subject in this study were instructors (N=16) and graduate students (N=118) of the Industrial Engineering and Management Faulty at the Technion. The study tools were questionnaires (handed out to the students and instructors), interviews and courses mapping tool.
The research findings show that the primary use of the course website in the Faculty of Industrial Engineering and Management is uploading course material and that there is little use of the interactive tools which could encourage active learning and instructor/student communication as well as communication among the students themselves.
The limited use of the course websites reflects the students' and the instructors' attitude toward the system. Apparently most instructors and students think that using the course website is beneficial to the course's quality as far as better access to course material as well as keeping up with it, and better course preparation and material organization. However, they think that the course website does not contribute much to the learning, the variety of teaching methods and the assessment of student achievements.
The findings show that instructors should be encouraged to use additional tools and features available in the LMS systems as now most of the instructors do not use them due to lack of awareness, lack of motivation as well as other reasons. This can be done by offering monetary reward, expressing appreciation, and providing more technical and pedagogical support.