The World Wide Web as a New Learning Tool: A Longitudinal Study of Web-Assisted Instruction in Enhancing Teaching Effectiveness

Chung-Chuan Yang
Yuan Se Institute of Technology, Taiwan


The World Wide Web has created a new learning environment for educational institutions in Taiwan. The capacity of presenting multimedia information has made the Web an effective tool for education. In addition, the interactive nature of this medium has enhanced the teaching and learning processes. Web-assisted instruction (WAI) also produces a new paradigm for understanding the effectiveness of computer-assisted instruction (CAI).

This paper examines (1) the effects of WAI on the teaching process, (2) the effects of WAI on the students' learning process, (3) the effects of WAI on enhancing teaching effectiveness, and (4) the effects of WAI on enhancing students' learning of the materials.

This paper employs a longitudinal method to collect data for answering these questions. Four hundred students in a small-size university in Taiwan were recruited for this two-year study. Three separate studies that use experiment, focus group, and in-depth interview methods are employed. Findings from this study indicate that WAI is a more effective teaching and learning tool than is traditional instruction. It also shows that WAI is more effective than text-based e-mail instruction. These findings are used to understand the effectiveness of WAI learning and teaching. Results of this study are also used for the improvement of the WAI system for future use.