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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Costs, Culture, and Complexity: An Analysis of Technology Enhancements in a Large Lecture Course at UC Berkeley


As colleges and universities nationwide anticipate enrolling more than two million new students over the next decade, UC Berkeley is exploring options for serving more students, more cost effectively, in large lecture courses. This research project analyzes economic and pedagogical questions related to the use of on-line lecture and laboratory material in a large introductory chemistry course at UC Berkeley. We undertook a quasi-experimental two-year study to determine if the utilization of on-line teaching materials results in significant restructuring of staff time in laboratories and lectures, if teaching facilities can be used by more students, and if the technology enhancements affect student performance and/or attitudes. What emerged is a rich, yet complicated, profile of the effects that technology enhancements have on the individuals and organizations involved in implementation and testing.

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