DL Course Evaluation Summaries for Spring 2003

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. Some faculty felt they got to know students better than in traditional course. 
  3. Some courses: students like hybrid courses of some online; some personal contact.

What was problematic or should be improved

  1. Some students not prepared for self-directed nature of course . Make sure this is covered in orientation/advisement. Also communicate to department heads. 
  2. Time to get back grades. More feedback on assignments. Have training sessions on handling feedback; article in newsletter; HL presentation.
  3. Students complain about too many assignments. Reduce or make sure students are aware of nature of online learning. Make sure this is covered in orientation/advisement. Also communicate to department heads. 
  4. Using multiple platforms can be confusing. 
  5. More clearly defined guidelines for chat. DDEC develop them and make available for instructor use online.
  6. Lack of instantaneous feedback.
  7. Some students have trouble with attachments. Make sure this is covered in orientation.
  8. Make a book on WebCT available. It already is available in bookstore! Need to make sure instructors are aware of this.
  9. Hard to keep all students moving at same pace.
  10. Make sure students are aware of importance of attending orientation session. 

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

  1. Course specific changes not related to distance delivery such as textbook, assignments, etc. 
  2. Have online office hours. 
  3. Make sure students understand when they register for an online course what it entails. 
  4. Have fewer remote videoconferencing sites.
  5. More chat sessions sharing ideas.
  6. Have more online courses
  7. More contact time with students.
  8. Make sure students understand higher-level things in WebCT, like attachments, and private messaging. Make sure this is covered in orientation.

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 and give adequate feedback on homework assignments. 

Level of student services, DDEC, and instructor support

  1. All reported adequate to superior for non-academic support. 
  2. One instructor unaware that books can be purchased online from bookstore.