Third year optometry students at the Pacific University College of Optometry were asked to evaluate a required course that was converted from traditional lecture style to a Web-based offering using Net Forms and WebCT software. The course is an introduction to the thesis project to be completed prior to graduation. Eighty percent of responding students preferred to have the course offered as Web-based in the future while sixteen percent advocated use of the Web format with some lecture time. Reasons for preferring the Web format included convenience and ability to work any time and any place (37%), ability to work at own pace (29% ), not having to attend lecture (19% ), and a new mode of learning (15% ). Student evaluation of four aspects of learning revealed a majority favoring the Web as compared to traditional lecture. Based on student acceptance of this course, the growing need to make optometric education more efficient, and the desire to make adult educational techniques available to optometry students, we conclude that additional carefully selected courses should be offered on the Web.
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