Course materials for a Human Anatomy and Development Course were placed on the World Wide Web (WWW). The materials included a lab manual, lecture notes and slides, faculty-generated atlases, Web links, and examinations. The lab manual, lecture notes, and atlases were also provided as black-and-white hardcopy. The Office of Education assigned students a code name that allowed them to use the Web site and take exams anonymously. Student Web use was tracked and correlated with their performance on the final examination. Overall use patterns revealed that most students used the Web site to prepare for examinations, but not for daily studying. Old examinations were the most accessed documents; lecture notes were the least accessed. The access patterns of the students with top 20, middle 20 (closest to the mean), and bottom 20 scores on the final examination were compared. In general, there was little difference between the middle and top groups. Students in the bottom group used computer resources significantly less than the other groups. In a second analysis, the 10 students who used the Web site most frequently scored below the mean. The study suggests that interactive exercises will be heavily used, but that the preparation of all course materials for the WWW may not be an efficient use of institutional resources.
Copyright 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.