Distance & Distributed Learning

Advisement

Identification of Courses in Bulletin

All distance courses (those which meet at least 51% through GSAMS, WebCT, or other technologies) are marked with a D in the Section Code in the printed bulletin and on BanWeb. 

Most distance courses include a description of the technologies used and other information underneath the listing in the printed bulletin and on BanWeb. More specific course info may be found at: http://www.westga.edu/~distance

Distributed courses (those which meet 50% or less through GSAMS, WebCT, or other technologies) do not receive special Section codes, but may have some requirement information in the printed bulletin.

Courses which meet
off-campus through video distance technologies (GSAMS or EnVision) have numbers other than 01 in the Section code.  The city is listed under Building in the printed listing.


Definitions


Distance Learning Courses: These meet 51% or more of the time through distance technologies, which may include WebCT and/or GSAMS or related technologies.

Distributed Learning Courses: These meet 50% or less of the time through distance technologies.  At least 50% of the meetings are face-to-face.

GSAMS: This classroom videoconferencing system enables live, synchronous interaction.  The instructor and some students are at one site, while other students are at one or more remote sites.

WebCT: The University System's selected online course management tool.  This internet-based tool allows for asynchronous interaction through bulletin boards, chat rooms, and student presentation areas.  This accounts for the majority of the university's distance and distributed offerings.

Distance & Distributed Education Center: Provides coordination, faculty and student training and support, and evaluation of  all distance and distributed courses.

WebMBA: Collaborative program among 5 universities, including UWG, enabling students to earn MBA almost entirely online.

eCore: Statewide collaborative program which enables students to earn most of core through online courses offered by various state institutions while remaining enrolled in one home college or university.

Are Distance Courses for Everyone?

No. There are many advantages and disadvantages which students should be aware of before selecting a distance or distributed course.

Advantages:
1. Internet-based courses allow students to work on their own time (evenings, weekends) rather than reporting to class at a particular time.
2. Greatly reduced travel time and expense.
3. Internet-based courses allow student to work from home or office (if they have equipment).
4. Students who prefer written communication may do well in online courses.  Students have more time to think about what they are going to "say" before posting it.
5. Students may get to know faculty and other students on a deeper level in an online courses since many are more inhibited in a classroom setting.

Disadvantages:
1. Online students may miss the face-to-face interaction with students and instructor.
2. Students who are not disciplined and self-motivated may find it a challenge to keep up in a distance course.
3. Students who are poor typists or prefer oral communication may be at a disadvantage in an online course.
4. Online courses may actually take more time than a traditional course (lots of bulletin board reading).

Online Resources with Complete Info

Distance & Distributed Education Center
http://www.westga.edu/~distance

Technical Requirements for Distance Students
http://www.westga.edu/~distance/vitalinfo.html

Links to Student Services for Distance Students (including registrar, bookstore, library)
http://www.westga.edu/~distance

WebCT Course Login Page
http://www.westga.edu/webct

eCore
http://www.westga.edu/~ecore

WebMBA

http://www.westga.edu/~busn/webmba.html
                                                                   

Campus Contacts


Distance & Distributed Ed. Center (678) 839-6248
WebMBA (John Wells) (678) 839-6467
eCore (Janet Gubbins) (678) 839-0630

The advisement process is evaluated by students enrolled in distance courses at the end of each term.