DL Course Evaluation Summaries for Fall 2001

Overall analysis of student course evaluation summaries as prepared by faculty teaching distance courses. The results were presented to DL Steering Committee members for discussion of distance program improvements, and action as needed. Action items are noted in red and continually updated.

What went well in Distance Learning Classes

  1. Almost all reported student appreciation of not having to drive to class, flexible hours, ability to balance family/class and convenience.
  2. Some reported that students enjoyed being able to refer easily to class notes and dialogue online.
  3. Mix of different technologies in some classes. The DDEC will encourage use of multiple technologies in faculty training sessions.
  4. Opportunity to learn how to use technology.
  5. Instructor-specific praises.

What was problematic or should be improved

  1. Technical problems with GSAMS, firewalls with WebCT, browser problems with WebCT, and lack of EnVision support at remote sites, poor audio with EnVision.
  2. Some students need more structure or miss the face-to-face environment.
  3. Some students arenít taking advantage of available WebCT training sessions, help guides, or support. The DDEC will publicize need for required student training sessions to faculty through email reminders, including but not limited to the faculty Webct listserv.
  4. Increasing difficulty in getting GSAMS sites.
  5. Course specific complaints, such as assignments, projects, books, group work etc.
  6. Some students donít care for WebCT online chats.

Planned changes for future delivery of course, based on students' feedback

  1. Some reported that their class was not suitable for distance delivery or that they would have more face-to-face sessions in future sessions (or remote site visits).
  2. Some reported the need to make sure that students understand the demands of taking a distance course up front. Complete orientation information is presently available to students online and in the bulletin. In order to assist faculty with advising distance students, a laminated advisement sheet has been created and distributed to all faculty. This advisement information is also available online at http://www.westga.edu/~distance/advisement/. The online orientation website is currently available at: http://www.westga.edu/~distance/handbook.html. A new online orientation site for distance students is under construction at: http://www.westga.edu/~online/.
  3. Some teaching through WebCT said they would use other technologies more such as Horizon Live to have more live interaction.
  4. One said that she would have voluntary face-to-face meetings to supplement her fully online course.
  5. Improve coordination and reliability of EnVision or use other technology such as Horizon Live instead.
  6. Teach more courses online.
  7. Course specific changes not related to distance delivery such as textbook, assignments, etc.
  8. Provide more clear, detailed instructions to students.
  9. Respond to email every day instead of 3 times per week.
  10. Have students sign a sheet stating their responsibilities.

Biggest adjustments required for distance instructors

  1. Finding ways to test students securely. DDEC staff are pursuing software to be used in conjuction with WebCT. DDEC staff will publicize availablity of state-wide testing centers and procedures for distant proctors, in training sessions to faculty, through email reminders, and via the faculty Webct listserv.
  2. Finding enough time to develop class, answer emails, etc.
  3. Finding ways to "show things" that you would traditionally easily present in a traditional class.
  4. Dealing with EnVision challenges.
  5. Getting students engaged and participating in the GSAMS environment.
  6. Email overload.
  7. Challenge of small group work in GSAMS environment.
  8. Dealing with students who had been out of school for a long time and had poor basic tech skills.

Level of student services, DDEC, and instructor support

  1. Most reported very good to excellent.
  2. Some reported satisfactory.
  3. Some said not enough information available from the student surveys.
  4. Some students wanted more direction from instructor.