Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Faculty poll: student access to prior course materials
I need your thoughts, oh wise professoriate.
If you had--hypothetically speaking, of course--created a bunch of course content in a learning management system (something like Blackboard or Moodle), would you want your former students to have access to that content? I'm talking about content like podcasts, any PDFs or docs you might have uploaded, tests and quizzes, etc.
For the purposes of this hypothetical, let's say you teach a course in the fall and again in the spring. It's the same course, but you have two different sites on the learning management system--one for the fall class and one for the spring. The sites will have a lot of identical content, but since you roll out content over the course of the class, the spring semester course starts as a relatively blank slate--you post content as students need to see it. Only students in the fall course can access the fall course site, and only students in the spring course can access the spring course site.
The question, then, is this: Should the fall students still have access to the fall course site once the fall course has concluded?
There seem to be two schools of thought:
1) Students should be able to access content from courses they've taken because they may need to review it for subsequent courses.
2) Students are lying, cheating bastards who can't be trusted not to pass test questions and other crucial course content to current students in the class. Therefore, the fall students' access to the fall course material may compromise the learning of the spring students.
What are your thoughts?
(Fox photo by Rob Lee, used under a Creative Commons license)