Friday, July 20, 2007

WebCT Frustrations

I've just started a course entitled Advanced Technologies for Distance Education offered by West Georgia University. The University System of Georgia has now placed all their distance education programs under one roof--WebCT Vista. This is my first time using this platform, and I must admit that I have found it very frustrating. To begin with, WebCT Vista only works with certain JAVA runtime environments as well as certain browser versions--neither of which I was using. In fact, my JAVA versions were more recent. So I spent several hours trying to configure my applications to work with WebCT. Now the Browser Check indicates I have everything installed correctly, but I can't access the HTML Creator--definitely a feature that I would find useful in order to enhance my postings.

Our first assignment had us use HTML code to create an enhanced posting and discuss why knowing HTML could be useful. I must admit that knowing HTML can prove to be very practical. First, in my experience with using Microsoft Publisher to create a webpage, Publisher bloats the HTML code—adding unnecessary code. Remember--every extra line makes your page just that tiny bit slower to load - and all those fractions of a second add up! Many parts of the world are still using dial-up.

Learning HTML can widen your scope - you can look at your code, and understand what it is doing. Making a change to your page will be much easier. Moving parts of your page around can sometimes simply be a matter of moving that section of code. You won't have a lot of extra code that isn't doing anything - and who wants to type more than they have to? So your pages will be quicker to load.

If you want to test your code, try You can go to his main page for easy HTML tips.

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