It is quite easy to move the text of prepared lecture notes to the web. One can type notes with a favorite word processor and save them in HTML format, ready for the web. Unquestionably there is high demand from students for access to every part of a course in this way.
As attractive as is the idea of universally accessible lecture notes, it does necessarily mean that students will learn more chemistry, or indeed, as much chemistry, as they did previously. Since lecture notes are readily available, there is a tendency for students not to take notes in class and not to attend class at all. Thus they miss out on many of the mental processes that can occur during a lecture. There are occasions where a review of lectures in the words of the instructor is valuable. We hope that students will use on-line lectures to supplement and not replace attending lectures and taking lecture notes.
One type of on-line lecture notes has little text, Figure 5. These notes used in a one semester organic course are available over the Internet using a Microsoft PowerPoint viewer, which the Netscape browser can be configured to use. Lecture notes prepared using PowerPoint can incorporate text, images, video and audio.
In the spring semester, 1996, 60% of the students said they use the on-line lecture notes and 66% found them to be "helpful" to "very helpful."
Figure 5, Internet lecture notes without pages of text.
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