Summer 2010 Distance Education Survey Faculty Response

Summarized and Combined



After reviewing your student evaluations† what do you think went well in this class?


  1. It appears the freedom and flexibility of the all online format was popular. The use of Wiki Spaces was too.
  1. Students enjoyed the class; they learned and work on their own time.
  1. This was an excellent course for graduate students entering in counseling preparation programs or in media technology.† Overall, the students were pleased with the course content and delivery.† It was important to meet with them for an initial orientation to the course.† This contact was especially important in developing rapport with students and to have face to face contact in order to set the tone for the course.† The discussion board component was essential in providing students an opportunity to practice their skills in collaborative, interactive dialogue and to form a working alliance with classmates.† This also provided opportunities for networking.
  1. Students could learn at their own pace
  1. Communication methods in giving feedback to students.
  1. This data is exactly the same as 6331 N01.††† Content of material was correct and applicable.
  1. The course seems to be a hit with the great majority of students.† The tutoring services we provide seem to be a positive for students.† Tele-tutoring seems to be helpful to students who reside off-campus. However, many students who live on campus prefer to use tele-tutoring. Overall, the entire course went well.
  1. They like the videos and power points in particular. They like not having to come to class.
  1. Most students felt this class was well organized. One student, however, felt that I should have told him/her where to find the information for each test question -- actually, I did, since each question was titled according to its source. They obviously like being able to do things on their own timetable.
  1. Students felt the course was well organized.
  1. Students indicated that the course expectations were clear.
  1. Students had a flexible schedule, so their time spent doing homework was more than usual classes. Students could view the lectures as many times as they like, so this helps them understand better the materials.
  1. I am accustomed to teaching Grad students, so working with undergrads who are not traditionally online learners was interesting. The majority were highly favorable toward online, mentioning flexibility, not having to attend class, good communication amongst teacher and student, and quick turnaround time and organization of course. Strong positive comments about instructor help through online adjustments were made. They liked options for additional F2F sessions if they needed it.
  1. This semester was a bit of a change for me - I taught undergrads who have not been traditional online learners; I usually teach seasoned online learners in the Grad school. They mentioned flexibility, not having to drive, and a positive instructor as positives.
  1. Flexibility to work at own pace; instructor set up of course was very well organized; samples and examples available to students; assignments meaningful yet challenging. One mentioned liking student feedback of each others' work.
  1. Students were positive about their instructional experience, the course content and design, the evaluation methods, and the caliber of my instruction.
  1. Students indicated that they learned a lot, liked the book and the course overall.
  1. This was partially online course and students liked assignments/topics. (There were only 4 responses)
  1. The class went as planned.† All the usual things went smoothly.† As good as May Semester can be.
  1. The classroom discussions were very productive.† We had relatively few problems with electronic submission of assignments this time around.
  1. Weekly online discussion threads allowed students the opportunity to ask questions and/or make comments in a safe environment with peers.
  1. Only two students responded to the survey but they felt that the course was stimulating, that the feedback was provided in a reasonable amount of time, and that felt I was an effective teacher.
  2. After reviewing the student evaluations I would say most everything went well. The student feedback was very positive.

 

What was problematic?† What needs to be improved?

 

  1. The use of VMWare. This system has the potential to revolutionize the way computer labs are equipped but until the proper infrastructure is put in place it ...will not. A majority of students experienced problems logging into and using VM Ware.† This created problems with the course because VMWare was meant to offer specialized software.
  1. They had problems with CourseDen itself, not with my course.
  1. There was lots of power point slides to print and study
  1. Students did not especially like the group presentations online, since it was difficult to meet and to assign duties within the group. I think this is an excellent opportunity for students to learn new ways to interact and practice problem solving and communication skills online.† In the future, this may be a very common way to interact with others in order to accomplish goals in many fields of study and in the global workplace.† It is also important for students who wish to enter the education profession to be proficient in the use of technology and distance education.
  1. They did not like the in class portion
  1. Training students in the areas of independent and self motivated study.
  1. Being a 'N' course students comment about the lack of face to face communications.
  1. None was mentioned over which I have control or would not compromised the integrity of the learning experience & the rigor needed for the course.
  1. Students need to be self-starters to make online learning work for them. Some of them procrastinate and miss due dates, then want a grace period. I'm not sure what else to say here. All seems well.
  1. I need to figure out how to let them see their average for the class, as they earn the points on each assignment. Overall, I think it is well organized, somewhat challenging, and very interesting. I think I did well in responding and grading their work on a a timely basis. They hate working in groups. This semester, I'm going to try doing it through Glogster instead of having them get together to do power points as a group.
  1. Students seem focused on entertainment value of course.
  1. Some students had difficulty with project.
  1. Students did not clearly understand the purpose of some projects.
  1. We still lack software to write on the white board of the chat room more conveniently. This makes the process of explaining details too slow. We have Tablet PC but we cannot write directly on the white board as we do on the PC.
  1. Missed personal interaction. Sometimes would be nice to have immediate help from person in class rather than waiting online. Difficult to get motivated to do the work. Suggestions made: this course could be a 2-3 day workshop, F2F rather than full course; not much interaction with classmates; keep home page simple; more than one F2F session.
  1. Difficulty returning materials borrowed for the course; long drive to campus. It was mentioned that when students post a lot of questions when they don't understand an assignment, it distracts from other student work.
  1. No real problems were mentioned - one suggestion that I plan on incorporating is to have all students use the same photo blog. One student suggested having all course modules available at the beginning of the course. I usually release one module per week so I will reflect on that suggestion and consider the implications.
  1. Students complained about the project which, admittedly, is a lot of work for a summer course.† However, it is required that I have the students do a project.† Students complained about the group portion, but I allow them to complete it alone OR with a group, whichever they choose.
  1. Time limits on exams could be lengthened.† Students want to see quizzes after they've taken them, but I worry about the 'pass-along factor,' which is why I 'hide' them.
  1. Few students did not do their share in the group work. Overall, this course went very well.
  1. The audio lectures in CourseDen created real problems.† Not all browsers would play them properly.† Many students had a hard time downloading them to portable devices from CourseDen.† In the future I will publish the audio files on a backup public web site to avoid these issues.
  1. The distance elements of this course worked well.† Chrome and Firefox users still have problems when submitting assignments, but there were fewer than in the past.† Open Office files will still not download when using Internet Explorer.
  1. Scheduling physical on-site observations were challenging as they had to be coordinated with the partner off-campus supervisor. Also, orientation documentation did not get to these supervisors within a timely manner. Some supervisors expected more from students as if they were veterans with many years of experience.
  1. The emotional content of the course may demand more face-to-face time.
  1. The class was small.† More students needed to enroll.

 

What do you plan to change next time you teach the course?

 

  1. Possible face to face meetings, at the beginning and possibly throughout the course.
  1. Less power point notes.
  1. I may consider changing the group project to allow students to meet only online instead of allowing them to meet in groups on campus.
  1. Reduce the frequency of papers, while increasing the length and content.
  1. Move the course to a 'D' course and establish structured face to face meetings.
  1. Based on the majority of students input, I will try to keep doing what I am already doing.† I anticipate natural progression and update of course material.† This course is revised annually during the summer months.† We invest a great deal of resources and time in order to keep the course up-to-date.
  1. I want to find additional interesting articles that will address certain topics. I need to add some feature that allows them to see their class average as they complete each assignment (surely there's a way to do this, and I just don't know how yet).
  1. Attempt to incorporate more interactive assignments.
  1. May try to introduce more interactive activities.
  1. Rewrite project instructions.
  1. Try to prepare more detailed lectures and solutions of examples, quizzes to avoid writing on white board
  1. I will continue to organize the home page for clearer understanding. I will break large discussion groups into smaller units so discussion will be more easily facilitated.
  1. Continue to work on organizing course content in a streamlined manner.
  1. Have all students use the same photo blog. I'm considering eliminating the ePortfolio assignment and focusing more on the photo blog. I plan on incorporating Atomic Learning tutorials in the course now that the University has a subscription.
  1. This was a special topics class, so it will not be taught again.
  1. I plan to provide all off-campus supervisors with a copy of my syllabus and support for supervising students (orientation to the supervision continuum). I plan to ask supervisors to provide more information regarding expected knowledge and skills at that particular site so that students can be better prepared for those more challenging placements. I've already asked one supervisor to present to students prior to placement. Also, I plan to implement an orientation to the medical setting.
  1. This course contains a great deal of information so I am always looking for ways to convey that information without overwhelming students while also providing a well organized, content enriched class. Most of the students feel the class was well organized but one student felt that having multiple ways to access the material was confusing so I will consider changing this in the future.
  1. One student suggested more hands on activities. I'm not sure how to incorporate that suggestion into an online course but itís something to think about for the future.
  1. I would like to change some of the assignments to provide more in depth practice with some of the skills being taught.
  1. I'm not completely sure yet. Though the students did wish there to be more face-to-face time, they seemed to get a lot out of it. These groups of studentsí final projects were better and more complete than students' work in past courses.
  1. Online bulletin boards for discussion

 

What was the largest adjustment you made in teaching a distance course† and how was this addressed?

 

  1. The way in which I deliver lecture and demo content, as well as A forum for 'critiquing.' Most of the lecture demo content had to be put on podcasts. Critiquing was substituted via posting images and commentary on Wiki Space.
  1. I had to type every single word I would have said in person.
  1. Teaching online is second nature to me, since so much of my communication is via e-mail, text, etc.† The adjustment to teaching the course online was minimal.
  1. I explain topics by writing what I would say so it is tedious work in terms of preparation.
  1. It takes a lot of time to prepare the power point slides.
  1. Significantly increased the amount of time spent in 'the course' compared to in class version.† There is always one more e-mail.
  1. Attempting to correctly communicate to a mass of people the same content of data.
  1. Packaging the course for asynchronous delivery.† I normally spend the entire summer creating the course and its content.† The development of extensive & high quality online offerings will grow with appropriate incentives.† Completing yet another form for the class is not an incentive.
  1. Laying out the plans for each session ahead of time. Adding voice to the power points and doing/loading podcasts.
  1. Course taught multiple times online.
  1. I have tried to give as detailed solutions, lectures as I could.
  1. Having online office hours via Live Classroom - this worked well but was not used much by students.
  1. Recorded lectures online and designed new assignments.
  1. I am experimenting with new technologies.† In this class I used audio lectures in .mp3 format as a means of delivering the material.† The largest adjustment was in figuring out the problems related to these files and making sure that students can access them.† I addressed this by creating a public web page with the audio files available through that.
  1. This class was the first in which I used a tablet netbook to grade assignments.† It had mixed results.† I had hoped the tablet netbook ($600) would give the ability to mark up papers in a manner similar to a tabled PC ($3500), but in practice the capacitive touch screen is not sensitive enough to write on.† It was useful for circling and highlighting sections of the text.† It is a halfway solution.† Better than nothing, but not quite up to the full boat.† For the price it was worth it.
  1. I became too comfortable with online discussion threads and uploading documents. Recently, I moved beyond that comfort zone and implemented learning modules. They are not perfect, but at least a start.
  1. I need to make sure that all the materials are prepared and posted prior to the start of class.
  1. The biggest adjustment is making sure everything is prepared in advance so students know what to expect and have all the materials they will need to be successful.
  1. Not being able to check in with students in person. As stated earlier, this course has a lot of emotional content and in the past when it was just 55% online, I had the opportunity to check in with them to see how they were doing and how the material was affecting them. I would like to try to find a comfortable middle ground between 55% and 95% online.

 

After reviewing student evaluation questions† what do you think of the level of non-academic support provided for this course by student services† the library† the distance education center† and the instructor?

 

  1. The Distance Education Center was invaluable in facilitating this course. From building it to maintaining all aspects I got consistently good advice and actual hands on help. I had no interaction with the library in regard to the course. Student services was moderately helpful with student IT questions although I feel they could be more thoroughly trained and briefed by IT staff to make their responses more affective.
  1. The students did not need any non academic help.
  1. I think the level of support is appropriate for students.† They seemed to be pleased with the support services provided and they felt comfortable in accessing these services.
  1. WebCt does not work well and it is very frustrating.
  1. Marginal, as students need a greater capability of resolving off campus support issues to accomplish the course.
  1. Some connectivity issues. As we move to more complex methods (ie; video) we are going to increase the degree of open issues.† As teaching is very time sensitive, the cleanest possible means of communication must be used.
  1. The people who provide our local non-academic support are simply fantastic! They are hardworking and pleasant.† However, I would like two issues to be addressed: the first issue, updating of course rosters.† I do not know why instructors are not allowed to update their course rosters whenever needed.† I do not know the logic behind the 48-hour lag time (perhaps, this is another issue that has not been resolved as a consequence of centralization).† Furthermore, in the past instructors were able to synchronize their course rosters in order to remove students who are no longer enrolled in the class & add late enrollees.† The time-lag of 48-hour is simply not acceptable and has proven harmful to students especially during the drop/add period. This issue is important especially for those who manage & teach courses of 400 students in each section.† The second issue, why WebCT/BlackBoard?† However, I have given up on seeing change.
  1. Getting it all planned out ahead of time.
  1. They just need to get used to asking distance learning for help, rather than always coming to me, thinking I can solve their tech problems.
  1. It was sufficient.
  1. The support was appropriate in terms of providing appropriate software to create lectures, online assessments
  1. Students rated support high, but still very low on full online courses.
  1. Students did not mention problems with online, but indicated they are more comfortable with F2F sessions.
  1. Students were very favorable to support, and online course delivery in general.
  1. Students were very positive about their entire experience in the course.
  1. Students barely commented on this.† There were no complaints about it from students.
  1. About normal.† I was not informed of any problems in this course, so itís a bad test case.
  1. There seems to be a weekly problem with CourseDen, however, the support staff is eager to assist and solve problems that arise.
  1. Students think the non-academic supports are good.
  1. The films that I require the students to view were put on reserve at the library (when the course is 55% online, we view them during our face-to-face meetings). I was disappointed that the library staff couldn't assist me in checking in whether students were actually viewing the materials or not. They claimed privacy laws hindered them from doing so, but this was for my class; I wasn't asking to see what materials they were checking out of the library, I was only asking if they were viewing the materials I put on reserve. This was problematic.
  1. There were no issues in this course.