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Comments by others...

Monday, December 2, 1996 at 20:13:18
Jodie Bauman JBa
I really enjoyed this class. Although there were several things that troubled me. In the beginning, I thought that this class would be an easy "A" I was very interested in the internet, but knew nothing about it. Upon our first class meeting, I got the idea that since we would not be meeting, and there were no tests, this class was a sinch. Well, I proved myself wrong. What I really fould out is that this is the type of class I'm not good at. I need a structed atmosphere with teachers giving tests and assigning homework(and making sure you do it). Since nothing was collected or questioned, I found myself lacking in every aspect. I waited till the last minute to read, and 2 weeks ago I found myself on chapter 2.

Also, I got very stressed out when missed 2 weeks of school due to an operation. Since I was not here I could not do my work. I found myself wishing I had some take-home homework. This class was a very interesting experience for me. I found out a lot aobut myself as well as the computer. I do have to say though that I have accomplished everything that I set out to accomplish. I feel good about all the things that I have learned, and even though I fell a little behind, I still enjoyed the learning experience. If it wasn't for this class, I would still be asking friends how to do e-mail.
Tuesday, November 26, 1996 at 20:42:37
John P. Zampitella JZa
I am in agreement with the rest of the class I like the web page very much. I would also like to say to Dan Frank very good job on creating the web page. I can appreciate all the time and work you put into creating the page, after I tried to create my own. The web page has come around nicely. I must admit, I was hesitant about posting my responses for everyone to read, but I now see how it can be helpful for everyone. It allows everyone to learn from each other. I did have one suggestion in this area if possible, I think it might be beneficial to have a place to post comments just for the professor. I hope the interent becomes something for everyone to learn from and contribute to in order to better educate the people of the world.
Monday, November 25, 1996 at 14:48:50
Daniel Franc DFr
Thanks everybody for the feedback submitted so far. I won't comment on each now, just let me go back to a very good point raised by Alicia - the redefinition of 'structure' on the Internet really can make transition of _any_ activity into Cyberspace difficult. It's been twice difficult for you, since the structure of this online course has been evolving a lot, and it still is changing(a major update will come before Christmas, hopefully).

As for the lack of the 'social' function of the class, we're working on it and future version of the online courses will incorporate a Java-based chat room. In more distant future (1-2 semesters) we plan to use audio technology to enable a _real_ chat.

Monday, November 25, 1996 at 10:42:44
Alicia A. Wagner AWa
This is a comment regarding WCU user policies. User policies are set up and enforced to protect the personal privacy of the individual or organization. WCU policies are set up to do this as well as uphold the general university codes of conduct. I think it is important to have clearly defined user policies, because on the internet you are dealing with a large and diverse volume of information and people there has to be some guidelines and security to follow. When communicating via computer, you must use the same respect and consideration as in communicating person to person. These guidelines have to be more clear cut, because internet communication is so free and expansive.
Sunday, November 24, 1996 at 20:12:46
Alicia A. Wagner AWa
I just wanted to comment about the course and courses on line in general as opposed to the usual lecture type class. I think all in all this course served as a learning experience for all due to its experimental nature since we had to challenge our pre-set notions of what a college course is and the enviroment were learning takes place.

However, it is difficult to get used to the idea of not meetin each week face to face and not having definite due dates for assignments. Yes, this sounds like the ideal class, but in reality it conflicts with the learning enviroment we have been participating in all our lives as well as the individual learning patterns each of us have hopefully developed and understand by now. An on-line type class forces you to self motivate and structure your own learning so you can produce what is needed to complete the course successfully. We are so used to prof.'s organizing what we are going to learn, in what order, and when our assignments will be due, etc... Now, it is up to the individual.

I think for this course to be taught again (since our education has not revolutionized to on-line schooling as of yet or since everyone in college who will be taking these on-line courses did not grow up with the virtual classroom), there should be more structure imposed by giving due dates and having more face to face meetings. This will ease the students who have not been exposed to virtual classrooms into the experience more easily. There has to be a combination of structure and self-motivation by the student to complete a course in this new cultural experience--- the internet.
Sunday, November 24, 1996 at 09:52:33
smetros@utk.edu xxx
nice work
Thursday, November 21, 1996 at 14:17:38
Robert B. Ross RRo
Although putting the assignments, feedback, disccussions, etc. on the web page makes things a bit more organized and clear, I think that it is slightly less conveniant to have to access the web page, search the "work2do" and feedback sections rather than just checking my email for new messages. Don't get me wrong, I think that communication through the web has its benefits and functions, but I don't think that we should make communication via email obsolete.
Thursday, November 21, 1996 at 11:17:57
Elisa J. Garey EGa
I have had no troubles using the web page. It's awsome to be able to do class work and get assignments, no matter where i wonder off to. Well, as long as the internet is available. Which it often is.
Thursday, November 21, 1996 at 11:48:50
Daniel Franc DFr
Re the Back Button -- a good point! Actually, this is one of the bugs (or 'unintended features'?) of Netscape 2 that is used at WCU, Netscape 3 handles it correctly. When going back in Netscape 2 you have to click again on the Students tab, or try right-clicking when in a student's windows and choosing 'back in frame' in the menu window that will show up.

As for the feedback page, in the future it is going to have little bit different structure, because we plan to separate the talk related to the page and the talk related to the course. It's somewhat conflicting when it's all together.
Wednesday, November 20, 1996 at 22:40:18
Kelly A. Nevins KNe
I'm in agreement with the rest of the comments from the class about the SOC491 page. It makes it much easier to follow the structure of the class and the assignments due. I really like the feedback page instead of sending our comments to Dr. McConatha because then the whole class can relate or learn something from the other students comments. What I like most about the SOC491 page is that any information needed about the course is just a click away!
Wednesday, November 20, 1996 at 20:45:59
Jeffrey L. Cantlin JCa
I am finding that interaction with the class through this page is going much better than I expected. I like the idea that if you do not understand or even have a particular assignment you can bring it up and take a look at it. At the same time you can see other students work an either provide them with or use their information for guidence. One thing I have a question about is the students section. Once you have choosen a student and read their bio, my first instinct is to click on the iocon which reads BACK. If you do so it will take you to the beginning of the site, not back so you can choose another student. Is this how it is supposed to work? Is this something that can be improved upon?
Tuesday, November 19, 1996 at 14:49:06
Mike Reese
Greetings. I am a senior in transportation engineering at North Carolina State University where I have been employed for the last 3 years as a web site developer. One of my theses I'm currently wrapping up concerns the internet and its effects on society. I am quite pleased to see that this course is going so well as I have taken a similar course in the communications dept. here at NCSU. Best of luck to all of you as you explore the global communications link of the future.

Sunday, November 10, 1996 at 15:00:40
MaryAnne Zampitella
In the latest edition of GW2K, Gateway's Magazine, there are several interesting articles on technology updates. One is on the relationship between the computer and the TV in homes and how this is likely to effect communication (something we've discussed in class). The author of the article claims that although there has been considerable growth in the number of computers in American homes, it has not significantly effected television viewing habits. However, he claims that "the next thirteen ye ars will drastically alter this relationship between the computer and the television. Everything from the way programs are made to the method through which content is delivered to consumers to the hardware consumers view it on will be dramatically changed by the introduction of technology." Digital television will produce high-quality shows which will use "more digital special effects likek real-time 3-D-modeled sets and virtual actors". The author cites new "pipelines"! which are being designed and tested for use in the next five years will deliver any TV program on demand to a computer/TV in the home. "Consumers will be able to choose to pay for a particular episode of a show and watch without commercials or watch for free by playing with a few targeted interactive ads prior to watching the program." To take advantage of this type of distribution, consumers will need faster PCs, designed specifically for the family room (which Gateway expects to have available by Dec. '97) and hard drives with massage storage capability to save the digital video. To go along with this hardware, "large, high-quality monitors or viewing devices will also become commonplace". Some observers believe that the cable companies will be able to deliver simple interfacing capabilities for this new technology directly to a regular television set. "However, the tremendous flexibility and innovation of the hyper-competitive computer industry will leave the cable! and telephone monopolists working hand-in-hand with hardware and soft ware manufacturers to redesign the family room of the future."

The hardware for this new family room already exists in labs and should be available at reasonable prices in 3-4 years; however, interface design will take longer. "The general populace probably won't adopt these changes for at least ten years. Cable television took 20 years to reach half the population and CD players still haven't penetrated half the household after 15 years." For those who live in one of the first-connected areas, this technology may be ready by 2001.

There are also articles on "Microsoft Office 97 Professional Preview" and the Destination Big Screen PC (31" monitor, keyless keyboard, remote mouse - now on the market). If anyone is interested in any of these topics and would like copies of the articles, I'll be glad to get them to you.

Sunday, November 10, 1996 at 14:00:40
MaryAnne Zampitella
The WCU World Wide Web Policy states that information should be provided by designated individuals who are responsible for content and accuracy. The provider must have written approval of the appropriate dean/director/department head. Final approval for content is at the discretion of the University Public Relations Office and Technology Systems. This policy attempts to ensure that information going on the WCU web page is appropriate, accurate, non-offensive, and in keeping with the University's vision of how it wishes to be represented to those visiting its site. Anyone wishing to post information on the WCU site should be mindful of how their information could/would be interpreted by others and of the fact that they are acting as representatives of the University, not as independent individuals. Information that could be considered appropriate for a person home page may not be suitable to be included on the University home page. The University needs to, and does, have final authorization of information provided by departments or student organizations.
Sunday, November 10, 1996 at 12:17:38
MaryAnne Zampitella
I agree with Alicia - I think the SOC491 page makes assignments and communication with class members and Dr. McConatha simple and straightforward. The assignment page is a great way of tracking assignments and keeping up to date. I find the page very user friendly and haven't hit any snags so far.

Daniel, to answer your question about the large graphics, I don't think they detract from the page at all. I agree that they could be a little smaller, but I don't know that I would have pinpointed that feature as something needing to be changed. I think the links you've incorporated make it easy to get around in the page, and the means of posting messages is clear and user-friendly. I think you've done an outstanding job.

Monday, November 4, 1996 at 23:41:28
Alicia A. Wagner AWa
I like the idea of having a feedback page for our class. It is easier to keep things organized through the home-page rater than e-mail for all the assignments, etc. The home-page is great though. I also had the question about the hot word.
Monday, November 4, 1996 at 14:48:50
Daniel Franc DFr
I did some testing on various platforms and I have a feeling that the graphics are way too big for the 640x400 resolutions (that are used by almost all computers at ACC), while they look pretty good on 800x600 screens. I'd really like to hear from you whether you think that making the buttons and inline "drawings" somewhat smaller would help the page. I'm not hiding that it will be quite a lot of work, but it should be done if you think it would be senseful. What's your opinion???
Monday, November 4, 1996 at 14:43:51
Daniel Franc DFr
I have question. Is it really true that none of the people who've been at this site don't have a favorite site that has any relation to culture/sociology of the Internet and that could have been posted in the Links folder? Or am I just missing something? May be there is a hidden link where everyone sends their sites??? Hm......

As for the hot word: it's nothing but a hidden link. A little tease for the SOC491 students ;) Re feedback tab: I'm somewhat lost -- the feedback _is_ usable by outsiders... The Links are not, but this may change in the future.
Sunday, November 3, 1996 at 17:42:26
velma xxx
Sorry, I hadn't finished my feedback and pushed the wrong button. The only confusions I have encountered are related to the "hot words" and why do you have a tab for feedback that isn't usable by outsiders?

Friday, November 1, 1996 at 21:19:42
velma xxx
I'm impressed! I think this is wonderful and a great beginning. I enjoyed reading about each person and send jeers to those who "copped out" with their "nada" prose. MaryAnne hang in there. I've done it and it's doable! I enjoyed reading each persons thoughts and congratulate those who took the risk to share of themselves with the world. albeit the internet world. Who knows where this will lead! Keep up the good work!

I love the format. Seeing a binder and lined pages warms me. This, for me, is a comforting format. Quite appropriate!

Thursday, October 31, 1996 at 12:43:51
Daniel Franc DFr
Thanks for the nice words, but don't hesitate also to submit suggestions for improvements. As for the hidden word - yes, it's tough; so let me give you a hint - on one of the main 7 pages there is a hidden link (clickable area of the screen), which will reveal the word to you. As for the starting of the page from MS-Mail, I've sent to all of you the new 'starting' file, so try that one.
Thursday, October 31, 1996 at 10:44:52
I'm pleased to see the feedback that is starting to come in here. I hope to see all you you at this site by next week. Good luck and Happy Halloween. NB: Be sure to check the assignment page (work2do) and the News.
Wednesday, October 30, 1996 at 10:53:37
Jeffrey L. Cantlin
I have a question. I have problems getting into our page through the clickable iocon in my e-mail. Is says, no application is associated with the attached file. Is this a problem with the page or just the link in my mail? Does anyone else in the class happen to have the same problem?
Tuesday, October 29, 1996 at 12:22:29
Jodie Bauman
The text of the feedback belongs here. I think the page is overall pretty cool. The only problem for me is the fact that we are supposed to find a hot word in it somewhere. I can't seem to be able to find it. I think that the page is a great idea, and should make the class more simple. With everything printed up on the screen, we can never forget what we have due.
Sunday, October 27, 1996 at 20:42:33

Jeffrey L. Cantlin
I would also like to thank Dan for the great work on this page. This provides a great communication link for the class.
Sunday, October 27, 1996 at 11:39:39
MaryAnne Zampitella
I think Dan has done an outstanding job on the SOC491 web page. The graphics are original and far exceed the quality of many home pages I've seen. I know the time spent on this has been considerable, and I think he deserves our thanks and recognition for a terrific job!

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