DL Course Evaluation Summaries for Fall 2002

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. Like always, almost all reported student appreciation of not having to drive to class, flexible hours, ability to balance family/class and convenience.
  2. Students liked online testing.
  3. Availability of multiple technologies. The DDEC will encourage use of multiple technologies in faculty training sessions, and explore technical contraints to offering online video.
  4. Students are rewarded for participation and interaction
  5. Some faculty felt they got to know students better than in traditional course.
What was problematic or should be improved
  1. Some students reported being unaware of services available to them (DDEC, Orientation Materials and Library) even though the links were visible to them every time they opened the course. Continue recent efforts to bombard students with this information, through emails, WebCT login page reminders, orientations. Also provide ready-made orientation materials for faculty who choose to do their own orientations.
  2. Some students not prepared for self-directed nature of course . See above actions.
  3. Audio problems in Horizon Live and Epic Learning on some occasions. Provide live technical assistance to faculty doing their first few Horizon Live "live" sessions, requiring them to come to DDEC or sending staff to their office.
  4. One instructor said it was problematic "not being able to get handouts to students in less than 10 days," and says she will send them all by mail at beginning of course in a packet.  Encourage faculty to put handouts online in WebCT.
  5. Some students say they want more face-to-face meetings, but then very few attend.
  6. A few students still need basic technical skills before taking an online course.
  7. WebCT is very cumbersome from instructor's point of view.
Planned changes for future delivery of course, based on students' feedback
  1. Use more Horizon Live or streaming video to illustrate skills and technicques.
  2. Schedule GSAMS sites for a few minutes past the end of classtime when possible to add extra time for students who have after-class questions. Change scheduling to last 10 minutes past classtime when possible.
  3. Encourage students to interact more.
  4. Course specific changes not related to distance delivery such as textbook, assignments, etc.
  5. Have online office hours.
  6. Make sure students understand when they register for an online course what it entails.
Biggest adjustments required for distance instructors
  1. Finding enough time to develop class, answer emails, and respond to student inquiries.
  2. Getting comfortable with technical aspects of WebCT.
  3. Amount of time it takes to grade the assignments.
  4. Amount of time and typing it takes
Level of student services, DDEC, and instructor support
  1. All reported good to superior for non-academic support.