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					Analysis of WebCT 3.0
Harun Altay, haltay@syr.edu
January 17, 2001
WebCT is a tool that facilitates the creation of World Wide Web-based educational environments.
It does this in three ways:

1. It provides an interface allowing the design of the presentation of the course (color schemes,
layout, etc.)
2. It provides a set of educational tools to facilitate learning, communication and collaboration.
3. It provides a set of administrative tools to assist the instructor in the process of management
and continuous improvement of the course.

URL to find out about it: WebCT 3.0 products can be found at http://www.webct.com.


TOOLS

     Content Tools
           Calendar            View entries in a shared calendar
           CD-ROM              Access CD-ROM content directly from your computer
           Compile             Summarize content from course material
           Content Module      View course material
           Course Map Get a course overview
           Glossary            Search for definitions of words and phrases
           Image Database      View images
           Index               Search for course topics and keywords
           MyWebCT Access all your WebCT 3.0 courses from one place
           Syllabus            View a course outline


     Communication Tools
           Chat                 Communicate with your instructor and classmates real-time
           Discussions Post and reply to topics
           Mail                 Email your instructor and classmates
           Whiteboard Share an online drawing palette

     Evaluation Tools
           Assignments View and submit assignments
           My Grades           View quiz and assignment results
           Quiz                Complete and submit quizzes
           Self Test           Test your knowledge without being graded

     Study Tools
                Bookmarks               Bookmark frequently used course pages
                My Progress             Track course pages you visited
                References              View a list of relevant text books, articles, URLs
                Search                  Search for course words and phrases
                Student Tips            Receive a "tip of the day"
                Student Homepages       Create your personal web site within the course
                Student Presentations   Present a project to your class
              Take Notes             Make study notes by annotating course material


Cost and Licencing
These price list is an old price list, the company does not publish their prices today.

The new prices can be learned through this site : http://about.webct.com/pricing

Pricing for Educational institutions
Student Accounts                 Annual License ($)               Faculty Support ($)
1-50                             335                              135
51-100                           670                              335
101-400                          1.335                            800
401-800                          1.670                            1.335
801-1600                         2.000                            2.000
Unlimited                        4.000                            Custom Quote

One System Administrator Support / Annual : $500

Corporate Pricing, annual, unlimited : $12.000


Training prices are being publish on the following address, I did not included them for not
having a very long report.

http://about.webct.com/pricing/train_price.html



Requirements/Limitations

Supported Platforms
    Solaris: 6 or 7
    Red Hat Linux: 6.2
    Windows NT 4.0
    IBM AIX
    HP UX
    Compaq OSF1

Supported Web Server : Apache (A free web server, which is good)


NOT : Although Windows NT is also included in the list officially, in real life, NT suffers a
lot in performance. For this reason, Syracuse University, IST Department changed its
platform from NT, to Linux. This made a big difference.

As an example (the case of Syracuse University) :

Student and course load : 600 students, 60 courses per semester (Even, the following
configuration can afford the double of that load)
Configuration : A server with 2 P3 processor at 800 MHz. 1.5 GB RAM, 30 GB Disk/RAID 5
Technical Support

Training : http://about.webct.com/pricing/train_price.html

Hosting, if you want : http://about.webct.com/pricing/host.html

There is 24 hour support for customers, with additional price.


Experience in Using It

I installed both for Syracuse University (with the administrator of this system) on Linux and in my
home on Windows NT. A Unix (that is Linux) Administrator can easily install this software. It is
also easy to install on NT.

To develop the content for any course, also, does not need sophisticated knowledge. One can
learn it very easily. There is a lot of existing material to act as a guide.

As a consequence of the ease of use and learning, the system forces you into some predefined
pattern. You don’t have so much freedom. Thus experienced users will not necessarily like
WebCT. It is not consistent with natural Web model - use Flash or even PowerPoint or Adobe to
produce quite nice looking pages


References
www.webct.com

References
www.webct.com

				
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