Institution Name

Instructional Delivery Plan

 

Note: Original submitted and approved in 2007 is linked at bottom. This is an amended version submitted April 2008, with new program requests.

Institution Contact:  Dr. Tim Hynes

Title:  Vice-President for Academic Affairs

Phone Number: (678)839-4752

Email:  thynes@westga.edu

Date Submitted:

 

 

Send electronically to: 

Dr. Sandra Stone
Vice Chancellor for Academic Programs and Planning
Sandra.stone@usg.edu

and

Dr. Kris Biesinger
Assistant Vice Chancellor for Instructional Technology
kris.biesinger@usg.edu

and

Ms. Marci Middleton

Director, Academic Program Coordination

marci.middleton@usg.edu

 

References:  USG Board of Regents Policy Manual: Section 303.03, Academic Affairs, Instruction Offered Externally
See http://www.usg.edu/regents/policymanual/300.phtml.

USG Board of Regents Academic Affairs Handbook:  Section 2.12, Off-Campus Instruction
See http://www.usg.edu/academics/handbook/section2/



Part I:  Plans for Change, New and Discontinued Sites and Programs

Complete summary information for all NEW external programs that your institution plans to offer within the next 3-5 years or plans to DISCONTINUE within that time period. 

Off-campus Programs

Off-campus Programs employ face-to-face instruction and interaction between instructor and students in an environment external to the institution’s primary campus.

Use these codes to enter information for each site.

Field

Entry or code

Site Name

Name of location

Type of site

OC = Off campus center

H = Host campus consortium

I = Instructional Site

CS = Contract Site

Site continuation plans

EC = Continuing Site

ET = Existing site; plan to terminate

N = New or planned

Degree Program

Name of degree program

Program Status

A = Plan to add

D = Plan to discontinue

Off-campus Programs (new or to be discontinued)

Site Name

Site Type

Site Cont. Plans

Degree Program

Program Status

 

OC, H, I, CS

EC, ET, N

 

A, D

Example:  XX High School

I

N

Associate of Arts

A

Example:  XX Center

OC

EC

M.Ed. in Special Education

D

Douglasville

I

N

Master  of Education with a Major in Middle Grades Education

A

Douglasville

I

N

Add-On in educational leadership

A

Douglasville

I

N

Master of Education with a Major in Educational Leadership

A

GHC in Rome

H

N

Master of Business Administration

A

Douglasville

I

N

Master of Business Administration

A

Newnan

OC

N

Master of Public Admin

A

GHC in Rome

H

N

Master of Public Admin

A

Douglasville

I

N

Master of Public Admin

A

Newnan

OC

N

Bachelor of Science in Education with Major in Early Childhood Education

A

Newnan

OC

N

Master of Science in Rural and Small Town Planning

A

GHC in Rome

H

N

Master of Science in Rural and Small Town Planning

A

Douglasville

I

N

Master of Science in Rural and Small Town Planning

A

Newnan

OC

N

Master of Arts with a Major in History, Concentration in Public History

A

GHC in Rome

H

N

Master of Arts with a Major in History, Concentration in Public History

A

Douglasville

I

N

Master of Arts with a Major in History, Concentration in Public History

A

Newnan

OC

N

Master of Arts with a Major in Criminology

A

GHC in Rome

H

N

Master of Arts with a Major in Criminology

A

Douglasville

I

N

Master of Arts with a Major in Sociology, Concentration in Criminology

A

Newnan

OC

N

Master of Science in Nursing

A

Dalton

H

D

Master of Science in Nursing

D

GHC in Rome

H

N

Master of Science in Nursing

A

Douglasville

I

N

Master of Science in Nursing

A

Newnan

OC

N

Master of Arts with a Major in Psychology for students desiring professional counselor licensure

A

GHC in Rome

H

N

Master of Arts with a Major in Psychology for students desiring professional counselor licensure

A

Douglasville

I

N

Master of Arts with a Major in Psychology for students desiring professional counselor licensure

A

GHC in Rome

H

N

Master of Education with a Major in Early Childhood Education

A

Hiram

I

N

Master of Business Administration

A

 

 

 

 

 

 


Distance Education Programs

In Distance Education Programs, the majority of courses required to earn the degree are delivered through one or more forms of distance technology, and the instructor of record and the student(s) are separated by time and/or geographic location.

Enter information for programs that are FULLY distance, OTHER distance education programs, and alternate delivery formats.

FULLY Distance Education Programs (new or to be discontinued)

Program Name

Primary Technologies

Internet

Interactive Video

CD-ROM

Videotape

Other

Master of Education with a Major in Instructional Technology and Distance Learning

x

 

 

 

 

Add-On in media education

x

 

 

 

 

Add-On in instructional technology

x

 

 

 

 

Interdisciplinary Doctor of Philosophy with a Major in Distance Education Administration

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OTHER Distance Education Programs (new or to be discontinued)

Program Name

Primary Technologies

Internet

Interactive Video

CD-ROM

Videotape

Other

Specialist in Education with a Major in Media

x

 

 

 

 

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

x

 

 

 

 

Master in Education with a Major in Business Education

x

 

 

 

 

Certificate program in instructional technology

x

 

 

 

 

Endorsement in online teaching

x

 

 

 

 

Master of Professional Accounting

x

 

 

 

 

Specialist in Education with a Major in Reading Instruction

x

 

 

 

 

Master of Science in Rural and Small Town Planning

x

 

 

 

 

Specialist in Education with a Major in Business Teacher Education

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alternate Delivery Formats

In Alternate Delivery Formats, delivery deviates from traditional, degree programs offered by single institutions; used in conjunction with either off-campus or distance education programs.  Examples include Collaborative Degrees and Dual Degrees. 

Collaborative Degrees:  Online degrees in which faculty from more than one institution join together to develop and deliver instruction.  Each institution offers degree, and student receives degree from one institution, e.g., WebBSIT; WebMBA.

Collaborative Degrees  (new or to be discontinued)

Collaborating Institutions

Master of Education in Instructional Technology

To be determined

Master of Arts in Teaching

To be determined

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dual Degrees:  Institutions partner to offer degrees with other institutions.  Student receives degrees from both institutions. 

Dual Degrees  (new or to be discontinued)

Partner Institutions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other Alternate Delivery Formats:  Other configurations in which institution offer degrees externally. 

Briefly describe the type of arrangement and the degrees offered in any other alternate formats that your institution has developed.

Other Alternate Delivery Formats

Degrees (new or to be discontinued)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Part II:  Current Sites and Programs

Complete summary information for all CURRENT external programs that your institution offers. 

Off-campus Programs

Use these codes to enter information for each site.

Field

Entry or code

Site Name

Name of location

Type of site

OC = Off campus center

H = Host campus consortium

I = Instructional Site

CS = Contract Site

Site continuation plans

EC = Continuing Site

ET = Existing site; plan to terminate

N = New or planned

Degree Program

Name of degree program

Program Status

A = Plan to add

D = Plan to discontinue

Current Off-campus Programs

Site Name

Site Type

Site Cont. Plans

Degree Program

Program Status

 

OC, H, I, CS

EC, ET, N

 

A, D

Example:  Camden Center

OC

EC

BS in History

A

Newnan Center

OC

EC

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

A

Newnan Center

OC

EC

Master of Education with a Major in Early Childhood Education

A

Newnan Center

OC

EC

Master of Education with a Major in Special Education

A

Newnan Center

OC

EC

Master of Education with a Major in Educational Leadership

A

Newnan Center

OC

EC

Specialist of Education with a Major in Educational Leadership

A

Newnan Center

OC

EC

Master of Education with a Major in Middle Grades Education

A

GHC in Rome

H

EC

Bachelor of Science in Education with a Major in Early Childhood Education

A

GHC in Rome

H

EC

Master of Education with a Major in Early Childhood Education

A

Newnan Center

OC

EC

Master of Business Administration

A

GHC in Rome

H

EC

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Distance Education Programs

Enter information for current Distance Education programs that are FULLY distance, OTHER distance education programs, and alternate delivery formats.

Current FULLY Distance Education Programs

Program Name

Primary Technologies

Internet

Interactive Video

CD-ROM

Videotape

Other

Master of Education with a Major in Media (media specialist track)

x

 

 

 

 

Master of Education with a Major in Media (instructional technology track)

x

 

 

 

 

 

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OTHER Current Distance Education Programs

Program Name

Primary Technologies

Internet

Interactive Video

CD-ROM

Videotape

Other

Master of Science in Nursing (with post-master’s certification)

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Current Alternate Delivery Formats

In Alternate Delivery Formats, delivery deviates from traditional, degree programs offered by single institutions; used in conjunction with either off-campus or distance education programs.  Examples include Collaborative Degrees and Dual Degrees. 

Collaborative Degrees:  Online degrees in which faculty from more than one institution join together to develop and deliver instruction.  Each institution offers degree, and student receives degree from one institution, e.g., WebBSIT; WebMBA.

Current Collaborative Degrees

Collaborating Institutions

eCore

USG (hosts Columbus State, Georgia Highlands College, Georgia Southwestern State University, Southern Polytechnic State University, Valdosta State University)

WebMBA

Georgia College and State University, Georgia Southern University, Kennesaw State University, Valdosta State University

 


Dual Degrees:  Institutions partner to offer degrees with other institutions.  Student receives degrees from both institutions. 

Current Dual Degrees

Partner Institutions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other Alternate Delivery Formats:  Other configurations in which institution offer degrees externally. 

Briefly describe the type of arrangement and the degrees currently offered in any other alternate formats that your institution has developed.

Other Alternate Delivery Formats

Current Degrees

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Part III:  Academic Programs and Delivery Methods

A.    Strategic Plan

Describe your institution’s strategic plan to offer external instruction for the next three years.  Identify disciplines, degree levels, delivery methods, and resource investments.  Describe how these programs advance the mission of the institution.

The University of West Georgia was one of the first institutions in the USG to offer full or partial online credit courses, and now delivers approximately 100 distance courses each semester representing more than two dozen curriculum areas. Currently three graduate-level degree programs are approved through distance learning. UWG is also a host institution for Georgia’s eCore and webMBA programs. In addition, the University has worked to meet the needs of western Georgia through its five degree program offerings (four graduate and one undergraduate) at its off-campus Newnan Center, and through an external degree program (nursing) in Dalton and an external degree program (education) at Highlands College in Rome. Enrollment trends, positive student surveys, and graduation rates are among the indicators of the success of these programs.

 

Following is a list of online and off-campus degree offerings that have previously been approved by the BOR.

Master’s in education with a major in media (online)

Master’s of science with a major in nursing (online)
Bachelor’s of science with a major in nursing (Newnan Center)
Master’s in education with a major in early childhood education (Newnan Center)
Master’s in education with a major in special education (Newnan Center)
Master’s in education with a major in educational leadership (Newnan Center)
Specialist in education with a major in educational leadership (Newnan Center)
Master’s in education with a major in middle grades education (Newnan Center)
Bachelor’s of science in Education (Georgia Highlands College in Rome)

 

The University of West Georgia seeks to provide increased access to non-traditional students in the region, as documented in its Mission Statement. In its commitment to providing educational experiences that foster the development of leaders and productive citizens in western Georgia and beyond, the University is considering the development of the following additional online and external degree programs.

Specialist in education with a major in media (online )
Master’s in education with a major in middle grades education (Douglasville)
Add-On in educational leadership(Douglasville)
Master’s in education with a major in educational leadership(Douglasville)
Add-On in media education (online)
Add-On in instructional technology (online)
Add-On in distance learning (online)
Interdisciplinary Ph.D. with a major in distance education administration (online with BOR approval – not yet applied for or received)
Bachelor’s in science in nursing (online)
Certificate program in instructional technology (online)
Endorsement in online teaching (online)
Master’s in professional accounting (online)
Specialist in education with a major in reading instruction (online)
Master’s of science in rural and small town planning (online)
Master’s of business administration (off-campus locations in Newnan, Rome, Hiram, and Douglasville)
Master’s in public administration (off-campus location in Newnan, Rome, and Douglasville)
Bachelor’s of science in education with major in early childhood education (off-campus in Newnan)
Master’s of science in rural and small town planning (Newnan, Douglasville, and Rome)
Master’s of history with a concentration in public history (Newnan, Douglasville, and Rome)
Master’s of sociology with a concentration in criminology (Newnan, Douglasville, and Rome)
Master’s of science with a major in nursing (Newnan, Dalton, Douglasville, and Rome)
Master’s of arts with a major in psychology for students desiring professional counselor licensure (Newnan, Douglasville, Rome)

Master’s of education in early childhood education (Rome)
Master’s of science in nursing (online)
Specialist in education with a major in business education (online)
Master’s in education with a major in business education (online)

Specialist in education with a major in business education (online)

Master of education with a major in business education (online)

 

We note that multiple factors, largely resource and quality assurance issues, may delay or modify any time table for formal requests for the above programs. However, our intent is to identify possible programs consistent with regional needs and institutional mission and available delivery strategies. Our thinking, quite simply, is that the inclusion of possible programs within the Instructional Delivery Plan would reduce the need for frequent amendment to that plan at such times that we declare an intention for some specific off-campus or distance program, and identify resources consistent with quality assurances associated with our academic programs.

 

Fit with Institutional Mission

The University of West Georgia was one of the first institutions in the USG to offer full or partial online credit courses, and now delivers approximately 100 distance courses each semester representing more than two dozen curriculum areas. Currently three graduate-level degree programs are approved through distance learning. UWG is also a host institution for Georgia’s eCore and webMBA programs. In addition, the University has worked to meet the needs of western Georgia through its five degree program offerings (four graduate and one undergraduate) at its off-campus Newnan Center, and through an external degree program (nursing) in Dalton and an external degree program (education) at Highlands College in Rome. Enrollment trends, positive student surveys, and graduation rates are among the indicators of the success of these programs.

The University of West Georgia seeks to provide increased access to non-traditional students in the region, as documented in its Mission Statement. In its commitment to providing educational experiences that foster the development of leaders and productive citizens in western Georgia and beyond, the University is considering the development of the following additional online and external degree programs.

 

We note that multiple factors, largely resource and quality assurance issues, may delay or modify any time table for formal requests for the above programs. However, our intent is to identify possible programs consistent with regional needs and institutional mission and available delivery strategies. Our thinking, quite simply, is that the inclusion of possible programs within the Instructional Delivery Plan would reduce the need for frequent amendment to that plan at such times that we declare an intention for some specific off-campus or distance program, and identify resources consistent with quality assurances associated with our academic programs.

 

B.  Local, Regional, State Needs, and Student Demand

Document local, regional, and/or state needs and student demand for programs.

 

The region served by the University of West Georgia is one of the most rapidly growing areas of the state, indeed in the nation as a whole. With its proximity to Atlanta and attractiveness to new industry, the population of the area grew by more than 20 percent between 1990 and 2000. It is anticipated that this growth will not only continue, but will accelerate. Furthermore, projections from the Georgia Department of Labor indicate that occupations requiring college education will make up 25 percent of all the state’s jobs by 2010. The top three education-related occupations, according to forecasts, will be registered nurses, computer support specialists, and accountants.

Efforts to address the nursing shortage have focused on increasing the number of students and faculty in schools of nursing. In May 2006, the UWG Department of Nursing conducted an informal survey of Associate Degree Nursing (AND) programs in Georgia was conducted to determine need for and interest in the delivery of a Nursing Education MSN program via distance education. This survey included 13 USG institutions. Program directors identified 19 faculty members with interest in an MSN degree in Nursing Education and 29 with interest in a Post-Master’s Certificate. Sixty-two percent of the responding institutions preferred that the didactic components of the program be 100 percent online.

There also exists, throughout the state, a critical shortage of teachers. In Coweta County where the Newnan Center resides, approximately one new school is built each year. Coweta County is also among the 75 fastest growing counties in the United States. Fayette County, immediately to the east of Coweta County, also opens approximately one new public school per year. Seven of the programs under consideration directly address these most critical needs. In Douglas County, the University of West Georgia has established operations in downtown Douglasville over the past two years offering mostly continuing education courses. After consultation with Douglas County School officials and considering the geographic opportunities for access to the Douglas downtown area as well as the projected needs for new teachers in the Georgia combined with the anticipated growth projections of Douglas and its neighboring counties, we feel the programs, endorsements, and add-ons noted above will provided a much needed service. We anticipate expanding our program from downtown Douglasville to Lithia Springs Middle School, a partner with whom we place a significant number of students for field experiences.

We are also currently exploring possible additional sites for the M.B.A. program as a result of student requests and community demands. The graduate degrees in psychology, criminology, and small-town planning are also being considered in order to meet the area need for more trained counselors, law enforcement officers, and local government planners.

The interdisciplinary Ph.D. in distance education administration is being considered as a collaborative effort amongst campus colleges which would serve to foster the development of leaders in distance education in business, education, and government. The University is uniquely advantaged to develop and deliver this program because of its historical and recognized contributions to the field through its annual international Distance Learning Administration Conference and its Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration.  There is no other known program of this specific nature which exists in the region or in the United States, and we believe this will fill a lacuna in advanced education for the growing number of practitioners in this area.

Finally, telephone surveys of UWG students conducted annually since 2002 reveal that more than 50 percent of students wish that there were more online course offerings and programs available to them. It is not inconsequential to add that the development of new online programs not only serves identified student needs, but also addresses critical conservation issues and classroom space shortages.

 

C.  New Facilities Investments, Locations, Acquisition and Operating Costs, Financing, Other Commitments

If any of the plans for these offerings include using new facilities or new technologies, explain how the institution plans to address associated costs. 

 

The Newnan Center has facilities to handle the current student load. The main building has been an educational center since its inception. With 10,000 square feet of usable space, it is able to handle six classes with forty students each at any one time. In addition, there is a large auditorium that can seat up to sixty students and two computer laboratories with combined capacity of thirty-five students. All classrooms are fully multimedia capable with computers, permanently mounted LCD projectors, electrically operated projection screens, and video playback machines.

In 2003, the university funded, through the county, the renovation of a 3200 square foot building at the Newnan Center. This facility houses a forty-nine seat tiered auditorium with full multimedia and distance learning equipment, and computer connections at each table seat. A twenty- seat conference classroom has a Polycom unit and multimedia technology in this building. All facilities have minimum CAT V wiring, and fiber interconnecting the buildings. The Newnan Center has a dedicated T-1 for internet connectivity to each computer station. With proper scheduling and careful planning, the Newnan Center can increase its course offerings, programs and enrollment within its currently existing facilities.

The Rome offerings have been done in consultation with our colleagues at Highlands College. Such would continue to be the case for any future offerings. Douglasville and Douglas County offerings would be done in consultation with our potential partners there—both current partners in County Government (for space in Old Court House Facilities) or with Public School Partners in Douglas County).

We currently offer Continuing Education courses in the Old Courthouse in Douglasville. As has been the case in other external offerings, this facility was made available to us by community partners. The facility provides three rooms with basic instructional resources. We anticipate expanding our program from downtown Douglasville to Lithia Springs Middle School, a partner school at which we place a significant number of students for field experiences.

Prior to committing to any new facility, the Director of Extended Degree Programs collaborates with the Vice-President of Business and Finance to ensure that the cost of using the facility is affordable within the business plan or fiscal model of the off-campus offerings. All sites must also be physically adequate in terms of size, ventilation, parking, and ADA compliance. The buildings must meet Board of Regents requirements for classroom use, including security, and classrooms must be equipped with the appropriate technological equipment required for the courses which will be offered. If these fiscal, institutional, and curriculum-related requirements are met, a recommendation is made to the Vice-President of Academic Affairs for approval.

 

 

D. New Technology Investments

Provide information about projected lifespan of new technology, value, and improved learning outcomes.

 

No new significant technology investments are identified for the delivery of the distance and off-campus programs under consideration. All of the distance programs will utilize course management tools (WebCT/ Vista) and supporting software (HorizonWimba) which are already in use for other distance courses. Technology costs will be limited to ongoing maintenance and upgrades of distance learning technologies and existing technologies at the Newnan Center. Highlands College and our Dalton Nursing program facility currently house all the necessary instructional technology to accommodate the proposed new programs at these sites.

Upgrades and technological enhancements necessary to support UWG courses and programs at these sites are coordinated through UWG’s technology directors of each college (Education, Business, and Arts & Sciences). These directors either work with the technology coordinators of the off-campus sites to plan and implement consistent technological capabilities/ upgrades, or directly provide additional technological resources (hardware, software) to these sites if needed. The associate director of extended degree programs is also a member of the university’s Technology Coordinating Council, and serves as a further liaison between campus technology leaders and off-campus program coordinators.

The College of Education updates and maintains its technology and related equipment on a three-year rotating basis. Where possible and under strict guidelines, student technology fees will be utilized for equipping instructional facilities comparable to on-campus settings. Between the College’s resources and the UWG Student technology fee, no new significant resources will be needed.

UWG is currently involved in a re-conceptualization of technology acquisition strategies, and has begun the process of integrating technology acquisitions for off campus and on-line offerings into that process.

 

 

 


Part IV:  Infrastructure and Services

This section addresses the elements of program delivery that ensure that quality is maintained and is organized into the following categories: 

·        Infrastructure and Services Common to All External Programs

·        Infrastructure and Services Unique to Off-campus Programs

·        Infrastructure and Services Unique to Distance Education

Outline information about infrastructure and services that are common to all external programs and not de­pend­ent upon delivery format.  Briefly site actual process, policy, procedure, or practice for all components. 

Infrastructure and Services Common to All External Programs

B.  Curriculum and Instruction

Educational content and student outcomes

Example:  Regardless of delivery format, all course content is reviewed at the department level for consistency and links to defined student outcomes.  All courses are required to have a clearly defined syllabus posted within the course management system for review by students.

Educational content and student outcomes

In all cases, with the exception of the eCore and WebMBA programs, student learning outcomes for online and off-campus courses and programs are identical to their traditional counterparts. Courses and assessments are designed by faculty members with the same rigor for all delivery platforms, whether on-campus, off-campus, or through online technologies. In the vast majority of cases, these are full-time, tenure-track faculty members with Ph.D.s or terminal degrees. Course surveys and program exit interviews with UWG distance students have indicated that not only is the educational content comparable, but in the case of online courses, the experiences have been enriched through the use of technologies. A guiding principle of the UWG vision is “educational excellence in a personal environment,” and this is reflected in the emphasis on interaction in online courses. Faculty are encouraged to maintain daily contact with online students, and through course assessments, students have expressed high levels of satisfaction regarding the quality and timeliness of online interactions and responsiveness from faculty. Comparative evaluations of student course grades in online versus on-campus sections and traditional external degree program sections have also shown no significant differences in student course grades.

 

Appropriate technology

Faculty interact with campus instructional designers and peer groups to select from various technologies, including WebCT and HorizonWimba, appropriate for their courses. Some courses are designed as hybrid courses in which certain class sessions, assessments, and field experiences are scheduled face-to-face.

Instructional materials

All courses, with the exception of those delivered through eCore and the WebMBA program, are developed and delivered by UWG faculty. Some faculty members do integrate course components, developed by textbook publishers.

C.  Faculty

Training, professional development, and support

In order to coordinate training and professional development across campus and avoid duplication, the UWG Distance & Distributed Ed Center, central Information Technology Services department, Learning Resource Center, and the instructional technology support units within each of the three degree-granting colleges all collaborate to offer training and professional development for all faculty and staff. See http://www.westga.edu/~training. The university employs a distributed model of technical support, whereby college-based personnel provide just-in-time assistance to faculty and staff.

The DDEC also offers a broad menu of centralized training opportunities for faculty preparing to teach online, including formal workshops, one-on-one assistance in both training labs and in faculty offices, web-based tutorials, just-in-time assistance, lunch/learn sessions and peer mentoring programs. All faculty teaching distance courses are required to participate in a minimum of two hours of formal training (includes WebCT and good online teaching practices), or else have their department head certify that they are exempt from training due to prior experience in teaching through distance learning technologies.

The DDEC also ensures fiscal and logistical support by budgeting expenditures specifically for training incentives, travel for professional development and to off-campus sites, postage, appropriate technologies and hardware. Some academic departments choose to allocate release-time for faculty during the term prior to teaching an online course for the first time, as needed, in order to ensure ample time to participate in training and develop a quality online course.

Credentialing requirements, ratios, and processes

Distance and off-campus courses are developed and taught by the same faculty who teach them on campus, so there are no different qualifications. Those who develop and teach distance learning courses must meet all criteria related to faculty, including hiring procedures, guidelines, and credential requirements. The DDEC monitors the proportion of full-time and part-time faculty as well as the percentage of faculty holding a doctoral degree, to ensure that the rates are comparable to courses being taught on-campus and at off-campus locations. The proportion of part-time to full-time faculty at UWG has been within generally accepted parameters among peer institutions, at approximately 2 to 1, according to the BOR's 2002-2003 Information Digest. Also the percentage of faculty holding a doctoral degree was 86.5%, well above the University System of Georgia's average of 73.6%. (see http://www.usg.edu/usg_stats/info_digest/2002/5facstaff.pdf) Since the same faculty are used for both on-campus, off-campus, and DE courses, the rates are comparable. As explained in the online UWG Faculty Handbook, opportunities for professional growth and development, including participation ensuring quality of educational programs, are available to all faculty. Clear online criteria guide faculty through the tenure and promotion process at each level of the process ( see: http://www.westga.edu/~vpaa/handrev/103.html#103).

Distance education and off-campus faculty are included in policy decision-making and planning processes through informal surveys and discussion, a DE faculty listserv, the opportunity to serve on the UWG Distance and Distributed Education Steering Committee, the Faculty Senate, and faculty luncheon open-forums sponsored by the DDEC.

 

Evaluations

Faculty developing and teaching distance education or off-campus courses are evaluated in a variety of ways at many different levels. At the end of each course, campus-wide student evaluations are conducted. The evaluation form, known as the Student Evaluation Instrument, may be given in-person via a Scantron written format or online. These evaluations are designed to obtain feedback on a wide variety of issues, including teaching methods. Furthermore, these evaluations are a key component of annual faculty evaluations, which accompany promotion and tenure decisions as well as post-tenure reviews. In addition, departments use these evaluations in the assessment of courses as well as programs. Thus, experimentation with teaching methods is critically examined.

 

D.  Student Support

Library services

UWG students, whether enrolled in face-to-face or DL courses, are able to use the library services of any college or university within the University System of Georgia. Students who reside out-of-state are provided with delivery services and are also provided with access to the Galileo Interconnected Libraries System (http://gil.westga.edu/). UWG’s Office of Distance Learning Library Services (ODDLS) maintains a DL-support web page that outlines library services and resources available to students (http://www.westga.edu/~library/depts/offcampus/). Among the services are research consultation, check-out and delivery (by mail or courier) of books from the UWG collection, photocopying and delivery (by mail, fax, or courier) of journal articles or other library materials, and use of the interlibrary loan service for materials not held in the UWG collection. Links to the library’s DL services are included on each WebCT course home page and on the syllabi for all distance courses. The library employs a full-time individual dedicated to supporting distance and off-campus learning students.

The institution monitors whether students make appropriate use of learning resources. Departments monitor student use of resources through project and paper bibliographies and other course interactions. The ODDLS coordinates with the DDEC for assessment of student library services, and Distance Education Student Evaluations include two questions related to whether students are aware of such library services and whether students make use of them (http://www.westga.edu/~distance/data/eval/). In addition, a postage-paid, anonymous response card is included with each shipment of materials to a student so that the user can evaluate the timeliness and appropriateness of materials received (http://www.westga.edu/~library/depts/offcampus/policies.shtml). The ODDLS conducts ongoing assessment by using these data to determine the level of user satisfaction and to identify areas for improvement.

 

Learning support and tutoring

The EXCEL Center for Academic Success, located at the University of West Georgia’s main campus, is devoted to the success and welfare of all UWG students. Distance students can email helpme@westga.edu or telephone the Excel Center in order to receive academic support and tutoring through electronic means such as email. The Excel Center web site (http://www.westga.edu/~EXCELCenter/ ) includes links to study skills, advice from tutors and a Frequently Asked Questions page.  The EXCEL center is exploring online tutoring options like AskOnline, to find additional mediums though which tutors could interact with students off campus. In the future the center hopes to be able to offer an online tutoring service that includes whiteboard mark-up capabilities, document and image sharing, desktop sharing, and audio or video if needed.

The EXCEL Center offers:

  • Free tutoring
  • Peer mentors
  • Career exploration in hundreds of fields
  • Training in study habits and basic computer knowledge

Distance and off-campus students may also telephone and email the Learning Support Center and Testing Office for academic and testing support services as well as the Writing Center. Furthermore, faculty members have online office hours in order to offer additional support to their distance and off-campus students. WebCT has also been an effective medium for faculty to provide learning support. If there are special requirements that students need at off-campus sites, such as the Newnan Center, arrangements are made for personnel from the main campus to be personally available on site. This is in addition to the regularly-scheduled office hours that faculty provide at off-campus locations.

Advising

The EXCEL Center for Academic Success has academic advisors who help students explore various options and help them choose a major best suited for them. Ask Andy is a way for students to get answers for all their college concerns. Andy is the "answer all" expert at UWG. If students have any questions about anything, Andy has the answer. The students simply type their question and point-click at http://www.westga.edu/~EXCELCenter/pages/AskAndy.htm to send him an e-mail.

The College of Education Academic Advisement Center provides guidance and information about the programs offered by the College of Education. The College of Education Academic Advisement Center

  • provides intensive advising support through regular contact with their advisees
  • helps students explore various fields of interest, select a specific academic major, research career options that relate to their programs
  • develops plans of study appropriate for students’ educational goals
  • refers students to other campus offices for assistance in academic, personal, and career counseling; academic skills development; and financial aid

Undergraduate and Post Baccalaureate / Certification students may contact the College of Education Academic Advisement Center (http://coe.westga.edu/advisement/) by telephone.
Additionally, other faculty and departments advise distance and off-campus students online via email, WebCT and by telephone. Also, faculty members provide initial advisement sessions at our off-campus locations.

 

Counseling

Counseling services are available to distance and off-campus students through the Student Development Center of Student Services. The Student Development Center (http://www.westga.edu/~sdev/) provides career, academic and mental-health counseling for all University of West Georgia students. Some of the areas of assistance include adjustment to college, person exploration/growth, relationships, substance abuse and psychotherapy. Additional support services for disabled, international and non-traditional students are also coordinated through the Center. Off-campus and distance students may contact the Student Development Center regarding counseling services by telephone or email. For off-campus and online students, the university offers counseling by telephone following one face-to-face visit. If an off-campus or distance student cannot come to campus, the Student Development Center may also refer the student to local counselors in the student’s locale.

 

Disability services

Students who have learning, psychological or physical disabilities may contact Disability Services at the University of West Georgia (http://www.westga.edu/~dserve). Students may contact coordinators from Disability Services by telephone or email. These coordinators in turn communicate with faculty to plan for the individual needs of students. The Distance & Distributed Education Center also provides technology options for students with disabilities. For example, Impatica On cue provides scrolling text for distance students with hearing disabilities. Impatica for PowerPoint provides audio for those students with sight disabilities and text for students with hearing impairment. Horizon Wimba has closed captioning ability. The DDEC also trains faculty on appropriate uses of technology to meet the needs of students with disabilities and to meet ADA guidelines.

Career guidance

The Department of Career Services offers a host of services for campus, off-campus, and distance students through its online Career Web at http://careerweb.westga.edu/. Career Web lists both on-campus and off-campus Job Fairs on the web site. The Department of Career Services offers four main services to students: Career Employment, Student Employment, Professional Practice, and the Volunteer Office. Career Employment is responsible for working with senior students and recent Alumni who are involved in job and career searches. Student Employment assists students and employers in meeting temporary, seasonal, and part-time employment needs. A variety of employers use these services to obtain part-time employees--from large corporations to individuals needing help babysitting and yard work. Professional Practice assists students in locating co-ops and internships. The Volunteer Office helps students find opportunities to volunteer and provide community service. For all career services, students can email, call or visit the office.

Distance Education Student Evaluations include a question that evaluates the availability of career services information on UWG’s web site (http://www.westga.edu/~distance/data/eval/). In the last three years, less than four percent of the students who submitted the distance evaluation felt that information regarding career services for UWG's distance students needed improvement. Also, the University of West Georgia’s Department of Career Services has a Career Services Student Survey online at http://careerweb.westga.edu/Resources/studentSurvey.php.

In addition, career counseling services are available to distance and off-campus students through the Student Development Center of Student Services (http://www.westga.edu/~sdev/). Students may contact the Student Development Center regarding career counseling services by phone or email.

 

Bookstore

Example: X institution bookstore offers online ordering 7 days a week, 24 hours a day with shipping to any location in the world.  See URL for details.  Online syllabus for each course includes bookstore URL.

Bookstore

Course materials may be purchased through the Online Bookstore at the University of West Georgia, and delivery is available via mail service (http://www.bookstore.westga.edu/). Students may order books and materials over the phone, request a buyback quote on their textbooks online, and receive email notifications when their books are added to the buyback listing. Students who buy books online may also return them for a refund. Bookstore services for distance and off-campus students are evaluated in the Distance Learning/off-campus evaluation form. According to results from the last three years, more than 85 percent of students agreed or strongly agreed that materials required for their courses were available for convenient purchase.

 

Testing and evaluation

Distance and off-campus students benefit from the testing services of the Learning Support and Testing Office of the University of West Georgia. Students can arrange services by calling or emailing the Testing Office. The Testing Office provides a variety of test registration materials and also administers a series of national and institutional exams. The Testing Office also provides a supervised environment for students with documented physical and/or learning disabilities who are eligible to receive accommodations, such as extended time, for their classroom tests. The Testing Office also provides test proctoring for a small fee.

Off-campus students often take exams administered by their professors at their off-campus locations. The Newnan Center also provides test proctoring on site. Off-campus and distance students can also use approved proctoring sites at other university libraries. In addition, exams and quizzes are administered via WebCT either online at a location convenient to the student or a designated computer lab. Some students who take their WebCT exams in a computer lab use Securexam as an additional means of security and integrity.

 

Technical support

Computer resources have been greatly enhanced, both on-campus and off campus, in recent years. ITS provides technical support for software including myUWG, Banweb, and technical resources. Students can contact the ITS Helpdesk by phone or by email. The Department of Learning Resources (http://www.westga.edu/~lrc/ provides equipment rental, technical support for problems with audio/visual equipment, and graphic services. Students can contact LRC by phone or email. The Distance and Distributed Education Center DDEC) provides technical support to students utilizing WebCT and related technologies in distance, hybrid, or technologically-enhanced courses. Students may contact the DDEC for support by telephone or email.

Technology resources are coordinated with off-campus sites through the technology directors of each UWG college. In addition, the associate director of extended degree programs is represented on the university’s Technology Coordinating Council, which meets bi-weekly to facilitate communication and consistency.

 

Curriculum, course & degree requirements

Available online, the requirements for each degree are published in the Undergraduate Catalog or the Graduate Catalog. Individual departments also list their degree requirements online at http://www.westga.edu. Degree and course requirements for distance, off-campus and on-campus students are equivalent.

The curriculum is established by academic departments in accord with broad guidelines set forth by the University System of Georgia. Curricular offerings are approved through faculty committees at the level of the colleges and the University. The approval process involves faculty members, administration, and the University System Board of Regents. Specifically, the Faculty Senate’s Undergraduate Academic Programs Committee is responsible “to recommend policy and procedures concerning undergraduate degrees and academic programs (including majors, concentration and minors, continuing education, core curriculum, and individual undergraduate courses; to approve all undergraduate course additions or deletions from the curriculum and any reorientation of existing programs.”

Every course, including those offered through distance modalities, offered by the University of West Georgia has defined learning outcomes, as listed in the syllabi that are available on academic departmental Web sites. The methods of instruction and evaluation are chosen with these goals in mind.

 

Costs and payment policies

Undergraduate Fee information for all undergraduate students is available and contains an Off-Campus Fee section at http://www.westga.edu/~admiss/index.php?id=feestuition.

Graduate Fee information is available for all graduate students and contains an Off-Campus Fee section at http://www.westga.edu/~gradsch/admis/

Students can refer online to The Scoop for specific term important dates, deadlines, directions to off-campus sites, and fee schedules at http://www.westga.edu/~registra/. The Scoop is easily found as a major link from the university’s “current student” website (http://www.westga.edu/index_students.php), and is also clearly visible in the portal (myUWG) where students access their email and courses. The Scoops is also available at the Registrar’s web site, and printed copies are located at the Registrar’s office and at all off-campus locations. Additional information is provided online by the Student Accounts Office. All students may contact the Office of Student Accounts (http://www.bf.westga.edu/SFS/Stuaccts/) by phone or visit their offices located on the first floor of Aycock Hall. All students can make payments online, over the phone or in person.

Mandatory fees, such as student health fees, are assessed for “on-campus” courses. If the course is an off-campus course, mandatory fees, except for the technology fee, are not assessed. A Total Distance Course (those which meet at least 95 percent through videoconferencing, WebCT, or other technologies, instead of face-to-face) must not have more than one face-to-face meeting, in addition to a final proctored exam if desired. The location need not be the Carrollton campus. Mandatory fees, except for the technology fee, are not assessed for total distance courses. Fees for distance courses were established through traditional University processes with final approval by the Vice President for Academic Affairs. However, eCore and WebMBA course fees are established University System of Georgia Collaborative Programs offices. The process included faculty and staff from the Distance and Distributed Education Center, the Office of the Registrar, Student Services, the Business Office, and the Graduate School.

 

Faculty/student interaction

See “off campus” and “distance” sections.

Communications

The University’s catalogs contain all of the information regarding academic programs. These catalogs are updated annually. In addition to hard-copy versions, catalogs and numerous other official publications are available on the University’s Web site at http://www.westga.edu. The Undergraduate Catalog is located at http://www.westga.edu/assets/docs/UG-full-2006.pdf, and the Graduate Catalog is located at http://www.westga.edu/assets/docs/Grad-full-2006.pdf. Information useful to current and prospective students regarding academic calendar, general announcements, class periods, exam schedules, registration deadlines, financial aid, advisement information, and similar items is available in the The Scoop at http://www.westga.edu/~registra/scoop.htm.

 

·  Course information

Course information, including prerequisite technology competencies and skills and equipment requirements are included in the online Undergraduate Catalog and the Graduate Catalog. Furthermore, full course syllabi, for on-campus, off-campus, and distance courses, are posted online. Services for students, organizations, activities, and policies are available in the online Student Handbook located at http://www.westga.edu/assets/docs/studentHandbook-2006.pdf.The readiness of students to take courses is ensured either via admission requirements for introductory courses or via the enforcement of prerequisites for advanced courses.

 

·  Access to resources

Access to resources is communicated to students through the course syllabi, university websites, e-mail announcements, face-to-face and online student orientations, myUWG portal announcements, the UWG Student Handbook (http://www.westga.edu/assets/docs/studentHandbook-2006.pdf.), UWG On-Line Connection (http://www.westga.edu/~online/ ), and the UWG Distance Student Guide (http://www.westga.edu/~distance/distancestudents/).

E.  Administrative, Fiscal, and Operational Support

Cross-department planning and coordination

Through dedicated UWG funding, a centralized academic-based support unit for distance education and off-campus delivery known as the Distance and Distributed Education Center ensures effective planning and coordinating of distance education and off-campus programming across multiple departments. Under the direction of the Vice President for Academic Affairs and the Director of External Degree Programs, the DDEC is a premier organization that is highly visible to the University community, and recognized as a one-stop shop for the support of distance and off-campus students and faculty. The group’s organizational status as a centralized, academic-based support unit enables it to effectively collaborate with the campus community yet balance the competing agendas of the various colleges, technology services, the library, and student support functions. This structure has been effective not only in minimizing duplication, but in creating an environment that promotes online and off-campus courses of the highest possible quality, delivered in a timely, customer-oriented and cost-efficient manner.

Distance and off-campus programs are driven by faculty and student needs, rather than technology. The DDEC director and instructional design team meet regularly with academic deans and faculty who teach distance courses to discuss new and existing policies, procedures and issues. In addition, the UWG Distance Education Steering Committee (DDESC) provides direction and counsel to the DDEC on various issues, and meets regularly in order to collaboratively plan and assess progress in distance education. The DDESC includes faculty, department chairs, deans, and staff from the Registrar’s office, Student Services, and Admissions. Applicable sub-committees are formed, when necessary to address specific needs and concerns. The DDESC communicates all recommendations to the Vice President for Academic Affairs and the Faculty Senate when appropriate. Meeting minutes, findings, and resulting policy changes are communicated on the DDEC website and through the distance education faculty listserv.

The fact that the DDEC is tied to the university’s mission and included in the University’s Bread and Butter goals, strategic plan, long-term planning and enrollment committees, illustrates the commitment of university budget processes to distance education and off-campus obligations.


Additionally, the Coweta County Commission has been extraordinarily financially supportive of the University’s efforts at the Newnan Center. It purchased the Center from Georgia Power seven years ago for $1,200,000 and leases it to the University for a Nominal Fee provided that the University offers courses and programs needed in the area. At the end of ten years of the University’s operation of the Center, the agreement between the County and the University provides that the Center be turned over to the USG. Also, the Coweta County Commission provided approximately $500,000 in start-up funds over a three year period for our undergraduate degree in nursing.

 

Operational plan

UWG's Vision Statement emphasizes the University’s goal to remain a leader within the University System of Georgia in technology throughout the entire undergraduate and graduate curriculum. Incorporating information technology into academic programs and becoming a leader in the use of asynchronous learning environments to support Distance Education are specifically detailed in the Vision Statement and various university long-range plan reports (http://www.westga.edu/~spc/phase3/3x5.html).

The University's "bread and butter" goals are also supportive of external relations, regional collaboration for economic and community development, and information technology (http://www.westga.edu/~spc/phase3/BB.html). Specifically, the operational plan for achieving the identified University goals illustrates the University’s commitment to ensuring that adequate equipment, software, and hardware infrastructure will be available to support both instructional delivery and the necessary levels of communication among students, faculty, staff, and administrators.

 

Budget

UWG’s Resident Instruction Budget (RIB) is funded from state appropriations, student tuition and fees, and dedicated funds received from sources external to the University System of Georgia. Through dedicated RIB funding, a centralized academic support unit for distance education and off-campus delivery courses and programs known as Extended Degree Programs ensures a base monetary investment in promoting and supporting off-campus and distance education programs throughout the University.

All costs associated with distance and off-campus courses and programs housed in Extended Degree Programs are monitored to ensure they are generally offset through tuition revenue generated by student enrollments and/or saved energy costs. In addition, any new specific distance education course or program proposal would follow the same guidelines and procedures as those followed for non-distance or off-campus courses and programs.

 

F.  Other

Compliance with law and policy

The University of West Georgia requires all faculty members to comply with copyright and intellectual property laws and with USG and institutional intellectual property policies, procedures, and guidelines. UWG has established a comprehensive education program designed to ensure that faculty members understand applicable laws. This includes a web reference which provides links to information on the TEACH Act, University of West Georgia’s intellectual property and copyright policies, the USG Guide to Understanding Copyright and Education Fair Use, information from the Copyright Clearance Center, and copyright and intellectual property information from the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions. In order to ensure availability of this information, the DDEC staff also provides it to the faculty through course development workshops, printed handouts, and notices via a listserv. Because the course development tool (WebCT) is a secure environment, materials are protected by passwords. A link to the USG Guide to Understanding Copyright and Education Fair Use policies is also provided as an announcement on each faculty’s WebCT homepage. The University counsel also is available to provide legal advice on copyright and intellectual property issues as needed.

 

Security

The University of West Georgia uses its Campus Security Plan (http://policy.westga.edu/sphtml/page_04.htm) to identify, create and maintain appropriate IT policies and standards in conformance with the Campus Security Policy objectives and in compliance with the Policy Manual of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia (http://www.usg.edu/regents/policymanual/). These policies apply to all UWG faculty, staff and students, in addition to any guests who are authorized to use the University’s computers and/or data network. Use of the University’s computing and network resources is understood to constitute an acceptance of these policies. These policies are available on the web at http://policy.westga.edu.

A combination of physical security, personnel security, and system security mechanisms is used to control access to the UWG enterprise network. The principal instruments of access control are a combination of personal user login identification and a unique password authentication. These are created in a manner consistent with the guidelines established by our policies. A system of Discretionary Access Control is also used in order to restrict network users only to those privileges or access necessary for their work and thereby provide a secure network.

The UWG Security Policy maintains that certain specific types of data transactions are to be protected during transmission and that some or all of these data may need to be stored in an encrypted form. Proven standard algorithms as outlined in the security plan are used as the basis for this encryption. All critical assets are located and housed in a securable area with independent environmental controls and with access restricted to those with direct responsibility for proper operation and system health.

One exception is the hardware for the course management tool known as WebCT Vista. UWG’s Vista instance now resides on one of the University System of Georgia’s central servers and falls under their managed care and security.

Contracts, licenses, and policies

Through its extensive experience in the delivery of distance and off-campus programs through the administrative support provided by its Office of Special Programs, the University has established systematic processes which enable proactive response to issues related to distance and off-campus programs. As a member of the Vice President for Academic Affairs’ Deans’ Council and the University’s PAC (President’s Advisory Council), the Director of Extended Degree Programs collaborates directly with both heads of academic units and the leaders of other campus administrative entities on issues affecting distance and off-campus programs. Policy or procedural changes which directly affect faculty, courses and programs are processed through traditional University governance mechanisms.

Distance programs and courses present unique challenges. For this reason, the Distance Education Steering Committee was created in 1997. Consisting of appropriate faculty and staff members, it has become the principal forum for discussion of policy issues concerning distance education. It advises the DDEC on a regular basis, and recommends appropriate changes in University policies when necessary. It also thoroughly discusses and makes recommendations through traditional University processes about the purchase of major educational products or software which oftentimes require extended licensing or contractual agreements. UWG follows established USG protocols and shared licensing agreements when and if applicable.

 

Safety

See “off-campus programs” section.

G.  Evaluation and Assessment

Evaluation methods

Evaluation of student learning outcomes of courses offered at off-campus sites is identical to that of traditional, campus-based programs, and is the responsibility of academic departments. Evaluation of student learning outcomes of distance courses is the shared responsibility of academic departments and the DDEC (Distance & Distributed Education Center). Assessment methods include student evaluation surveys at the end of each academic term, annual telephone surveys with distance students, course evaluation surveys completed by faculty, and department-specific reviews.

 In addition to these survey results, the quality of instructional materials and examinations are included in teaching portfolios that are a part of evaluation for promotion, tenure, and for post-tenure review. Thus, there is a built-in system of peer evaluation within a department that ensures adherence to current practices within the discipline. Accrediting bodies also conduct periodic reviews of academic programs. They may ask for copies of syllabi and examinations as evidence of evaluation methods, thereby adding another measure of quality control by experts in the discipline. All faculty are also required by the office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs to post their syllabi online for public review.

 

Data collection and reporting

See “off campus” and “distance” sections

Retention and participation

See “off-campus” section and “distance” section”

Program review

Program review of all external degree programs is conducted by individual academic departments and colleges on an annual basis in the same manner as traditional, on campus programs. Distance programs are evaluated annually by both appropriate academic departments and also by the DDEC and the Distance Learning Steering Committee each August. The academic departmental evaluations focus on learning outcomes, course quality, processes, and enrollment patterns, and are part of the annual departmental effectiveness evaluations posted on the University website. The Distance Learning Steering Committee reviews distance courses and programs in light of specific institutional goals and outcomes including technical resources and infrastructure, educational excellence within courses, retention, and academic and student support services. Summaries of these reviews and actions taken are posted on the DDEC’s website and publicized appropriately. When necessary, new policies are recommended through traditional University processes.

 

 


Infrastructure and Services Unique to Off-campus Programs

Outline information about infrastructure and services unique to off-campus programs.  Site actual process, policy, procedure, or practice for each component. 

If there are differences by specific location in the way services are rendered, discuss them.  However, if services are managed in a uniform way, then address all off-campus programs together.

B.  Curriculum and Instruction

Site(s):  ALL

Degree(s): All Off-Campus

Educational content and student outcomes

See “Infrastructure and Services Common to All External Programs.”

Appropriate technology

See “Infrastructure and Services Common to All External Programs.”

Instructional materials

See “Infrastructure and Services Common to All External Programs.”

C.  Faculty

Site(s):  ALL

Degree(s): All Off-Campus

Training, professional development, and support

Example:  All faculty who teach at off-campus locations are required to attend one session that reviews all of the procedures surrounding delivery of instruction away from campus.  Topics include relevant campus policies on how to address student issues that might arise, who to contact for help, services provided on-site and online, travel reimbursement, etc.

Training, professional development, and support

See “Infrastructure and Services Common to All External Programs.”

Credentialing requirements, ratios, and processes

See “Infrastructure and Services Common to All External Programs.”

Evaluations

See “Infrastructure and Services Common to All External Programs.”

D.  Student Support

Site(s):  ALL

Degree(s): All Off-Campus

Library services

In addition to the services such as Galileo as described in a previous section, additional library services are available at off-campus locations. For the Newnan Center, the Newnan Coweta Library provides stacks for up to 10,000 volumes of material from the Ingram Library on the main campus. Academic departments review and update these holdings to insure students have access to required library references. In addition, the Newnan Center makes a minimum of two courier runs per week for interlibrary loans. Comparable arrangements for library services exist at Highlands College and our Dalton nursing program facility.

 

Learning support and tutoring

See “Infrastructure and Services Common to All External Programs.”

Advising

The Newnan Center provides advisement for students taking the core curriculum, and arranges for students to see department advisors for counseling for upper level courses. Graduate professors provide advisement to students in the Masters degree programs. A dedicated nursing advisor is available four hours a week at the Newnan campus, and can be available at other times by prior arrangements. Comparable advising services are available to students at our offices at Highlands College and at our Dalton facility.

 

Counseling

See “Infrastructure and Services Common to All External Programs.”

Disability services

See “Infrastructure and Services Common to All External Programs.”

Career guidance

See “Infrastructure and Services Common to All External Programs.”

Bookstore

See “Infrastructure and Services Common to All External Programs.”

Testing and evaluation

See “Infrastructure and Services Common to All External Programs.”

Technical support

See “Infrastructure and Services Common to All External Programs.”

Curriculum, course & degree requirements

See “Infrastructure and Services Common to All External Programs.”

Costs and payment policies

See “Infrastructure and Services Common to All External Programs.”

Faculty/student interaction

Off-campus students are able to interact with faculty during regular off-campus office hours and during class time. Off-campus faculty members provide office hours at all of the off-campus locations. In addition, off campus, on-campus and distance faculty offer opportunities for interaction with students via telephone, email, WebCT, and other online media.

Communications

See “Infrastructure and Services Common to All External Programs.”

·  Course information

See “Infrastructure and Services Common to All External Programs.”

·  Access to resources

See “Infrastructure and Services Common to All External Programs.”

E.  Administrative, Fiscal, and Operational Support

Site(s):  ALL

Degree(s): ALL Off-Campus

Cross-department planning and coordination

See “Infrastructure and Services Common to All External Programs.”

Operational plan

See “Infrastructure and Services Common to All External Programs.” For information specific to the Newnan Center, also see its Effectiveness Evaluation: http://www.nc.westga.edu/newnan/effective.htm

Budget

See “Infrastructure and Services Common to All External Programs.”  For information specific to the Newnan Center, also see its Effectiveness Evaluation: http://www.nc.westga.edu/newnan/effective.htm

F.  Other

Site(s):  ALL

Degree(s): ALL Off-Campus

Compliance with law and policy

See “Infrastructure and Services Common to All External Programs.”

Security

See “Infrastructure and Services Common to All External Programs.”

Contracts, licenses, and policies

See “Infrastructure and Services Common to All External Programs.”

Safety

The Newnan Center is an independent site that maintains sufficient staff during all hours of operation.
In addition, the University has a contract with an independent security firm that provides a security guard from 5 PM until closing on those weekdays that classes are in session at the Newnan Center. The guard is also present on Saturdays when the Center conducts classes.

All buildings at the Newnan Center have electronic security monitors that protect resources during periods when the facility is not staffed. This system connects directly to the public safety office on the main campus. Through arrangements with the Coweta County Sheriff’s office, patrolmen include the Newnan Center in their periodic patrols and respond to calls of suspicious activity or security system alarms. Similar security arrangements exist at Highlands College and our Dalton facility. Security considerations will be part of any site considerations for offerings provided with partners in Douglasville and Douglas County.

 

G.  Evaluation and Assessment

Site(s):  ALL

Degree(s): ALL

Evaluation methods

Student surveys are administered to students at off-campus courses in the same way that they are in the traditional environment. They are distributed personally, usually on the last day of the course, by a designated assistant while the faculty member leaves the room.

Data collection and reporting

Evaluations are collected at the off-campus sites and mailed or couriered to the main campus’ department heads. Data is reported the same as traditional courses, with reports going to the department heads and deans.

Retention and participation

The off campus programs enrollment for Dalton and Georgia Highlands College is measured and assessed each year in the External Degree program annual report. The Nursing RN-BSN Programs at Dalton and Georgia Highlands College in Rome have generally equivalent retention rates to the those of the main campus. Most all students graduate from the RN-BSN programs eventually. The Nursing department calculates the 3 year graduate rate for students in the RN-BSN program;  between 2000 and 2005 it was 69% in Dalton, 65% in Rome and 57% at the main campus. In addition, The Newnan Center Director maintains a continuous process for evaluating courses and participation levels at the Newnan Center. The Director evaluates courses to insure that students can maintain a flow of study consistent with achieving a degree. For those degree programs on the Newnan Campus, the Director reviews courses to insure that students can complete their study in the period specified. Courses at the Newnan Center are also evaluated for cost viability to insure that program revenues generally exceed program costs. Deviations are reported to academic department chairs for evaluation and decisions to continue or cancel classes based upon enrollment. This evaluation also indicates the strength of programs and the suitability of program offerings. Comparable processes are in place at Highlands College and our facility in Dalton.

 

Program review

See “Infrastructure and Services Common to All External Programs.”

 


Infrastructure and Services Unique to Distance Education

Outline information about infrastructure and services unique to distance education.  Briefly site actual process, policy, procedure, or practice for each component. 

If there are differences tied to specific technologies or to specific academic programs, address them individually.  Otherwise, explanation can address all distance education programs.

B.  Curriculum and Instruction

All DE programs?  YES

Specific Technologies:  All

Specific Degree(s): All Distance

Educational content and student outcomes

See “Infrastructure and Services Common to All External Programs.”

Appropriate technology

At the institutional level, all faculty are required to complete an application for each online course, and must certify that they have already received technological/pedagogical training for online teaching, or agree to receive training in online delivery prior to teaching the course. This training helps faculty to acquire the skills to match the appropriate technology with the program objectives. The Distance and Distributed Education Center’s evaluation forms also provide information relative to the appropriateness of the technologies used in distance courses. Furthermore, faculty must review feedback from student surveys and document opportunities for improvement. Thus, through training and regular student and faculty feedback, the institution ensures that the technology used is appropriate to program objectives.

Instructional materials

See “Infrastructure and Services Common to All External Programs.”

C.  Faculty

All DE programs?  YES

Specific Technologies:  All

Specific Degree(s): All Distance

Training, professional development, and support

Example:  All faculty who teach online are required to have participated in an online teaching course offered by our IT staff or to show evidence of experience teaching online prior to coming to our institution. The course covers topics such as managing instruction, communicating with students, and setting appropriate expectations. More information about this course is located at URL.

Training, professional development, and support

The Distance and Distributed Education Center (DDEC), a centralized, academic-based support unit for distance education and off-campus delivery, ensures appropriate training for faculty who develop and teach distance education courses by requiring that the faculty complete training on the technologies used, pedagogical best practices, policies, and procedures. This requirement was established by the UWG Distance Education Steering Committee (DDESC), ratified by the Faculty Senate, and is enforced by the online course proposal form that explains to faculty that their course websites will not be listed as distance courses in the course offerings until the training requirement is completed. The form also requires the instructors to certify that they meet minimum technical proficiencies, understand the policies and procedures that govern the offering of a distance education course, and understand their responsibilities to maintain course records.

As a way of ensuring continued professional development and quality of support, the Evaluation Summary for Distance Courses (ESDC) form is also required of faculty. Approved by the UWG Faculty Senate in Fall 2001, the ESDC form is sent to all instructors along with the results of their distance course surveys, at the completion of each distance course (see http://www.westga.edu/~distance/data/eval ). The form requires that faculty provide written documentation reflecting their DE course evaluation results, how the students' feedback will be used for course improvement, and the quality of support the instructors received. DE faculty must complete this form and return it to the UWG Distance and Distributed Education Center before they are permitted to deliver another distance education course.
In addition, the centralized UWG Distance and Distributed Education Center provides a myriad of innovative professional development and training opportunities including: pre-determined and custom group workshops; one-on-one assistance via phone, e-mail, and online conferencing; web-based short courses; self-paced tutorials; training “house calls” to instructor offices; DE faculty peer mentoring programs; a tri-annual newsletter; and a faculty list-serve.

To facilitate a community of learners among the DE faculty and recognition for professional development efforts, the DDEC sponsors: the Apollo Café Program (Monthly informal discussions); discussion blogs; the Apollo Program’s Amazing Online Teacher Awards (awarded annually to those instructors who attend at least three group DDEC workshops in a fiscal year, certify that they have used the information gained, teach at least two distance courses in a fiscal year, and provide a 10-15 minute presentation in one of the DDEC group workshops); the Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration (a free peer-reviewed journal); and the annual UWG Distance Learning Administration conference.

 

Credentialing requirements, ratios, and processes

See “Infrastructure and Services Common to All External Programs.”

Evaluations

In order to strengthen UWG’s distance and distributed education programs, separate evaluations have been developed for distance courses. These evaluations specifically address issues to ensure that the technology used is appropriate, and that students are satisfied with their learning experiences. Each term a Student Evaluation is distributed to all students enrolled in distance learning courses – in addition to the institution’s Standard Evaluation Instrument. The evaluation are made available online to those enrolled in web-based courses. Evaluation results, including a compilation of student comments, are reported to each academic department chair, and then forwarded to the respective faculty.

Approved by the UWG Faculty Senate for Fall 2001, all distance faculty are sent a form along with the results of their distance course surveys. The Evaluation Summary for Distance Courses form asks that the faculty provide written documentation reflecting on their DE course evaluation results and how the students' feedback will be used for improvement.

D.  Student Support

All DE programs?  YES

Specific Technologies:  All

Specific Degree(s): All Distance

Library services

Information for Library Services is provided on the syllabi of all distance courses as of Fall 2007.

Learning support and tutoring

See “Infrastructure and Services Common to All External Programs.”  Also, If there are special requirements that students need at off-campus sites, such as the Newnan Center, arrangements are made for personnel from the main campus to be personally available on site.

Advising

In addition to advising services previously described for all students, the DDEC provides specific advising services for students enrolled in eCore courses. eCore courses which have a particularly low retention rate or significantly lower grade outcomes are flagged such that students must consult with the eCore advisor (by telephone, email or in person) before registering. The eCore advisor ensures that the potential eCore student understands the unique demands and requirements (such as where to get books and differences from the regular academic calendar) before allowing the student to register.

Counseling

See “Infrastructure and Services Common to All External Programs.”

Disability services

Contact information for Disability Services is provided on the syllabi of all distance courses as of Fall 2007.

Career guidance

See “Infrastructure and Services Common to All External Programs.”

Bookstore

eCore students are provided with an online bookstore via the USG eCore office  Students may order online or via phone. eCore students are notified of this service via their welcome letter from the USG eCore office, via the central eCore website as well as UWG’s own eCore website, and reminded via e-mails to all eCore students from the UWG eCore Advisor.

Testing and evaluation

See “Infrastructure and Services Common to All External Programs.”

Technical support

The Distance and Distributed Education Center (DDEC) serves as the University's central point-of-contact for all activities associated with University distance and distributed education offerings. The Distance and Distributed Education Center provides support to distance, on-campus and off-campus students through training, dissemination of information, and operation of a telephone helpline. The DDEC provides technical support for WebCT, myUWG, HorizonWimba, and other supporting technologies. Students may contact the DDEC for support by telephone or email.

The DDEC produces an online Distance Student Guide at http://www.westga.edu/~distance/handbook.html that delineates equipment requirements and provides instruction on the use of various DL technologies. The DDEC also provides a variety of support services for students who are taking online courses, including an online WebCT tutorial, an online troubleshooting guide, and one-on-one orientations and troubleshooting support by phone, in person, or via email. Links to these services and the helpline telephone number are redundantly provided in the Distance Student Guide, all WebCT courses, and syllabi. In January 2002, the DDEC began offering face-to-face orientations to supplement its extensive online bank of information for DL students. The DDEC also offers a comprehensive online orientation at http://www.westga.edu/~distance/webct2/students/. Some departments also conduct an orientation session for all new students that includes a component on the effective use of distance technologies and available student services. During the first class sessions, DL instructors acquaint students with the operation of the technology resources and how they will be used in their courses. Moreover, an in-depth orientation center for WebCT users is available online at http://distance.westga.edu/webct2/students/helpquestions.php#tryvista

 

Students also have WebCT Vista support available via the web, live chat, or  a toll-free phone call, 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  This 24-hr service is provided by the University System of Georgia’s Online Support Center at  http://help.view.usg.edu.

Curriculum, course & degree requirements

See “Infrastructure and Services Common to All External Programs.”

Costs and payment policies

See “Infrastructure and Services Common to All External Programs.”

Faculty/student interaction

UWG distance technologies employ a variety of synchronous and asynchronous technologies to support interaction between students and faculty, and among students. Horizon Wimba Live Classroom, a technology introduced at UWG in December 2001, provides synchronous audio transmission, supported by computer presentation, whiteboard, and interactive chat and polling, between an on-campus instructor and students at their home computers. WebCT, an online course development and delivery application, enables instructors to post course notes, stream video presentations, and interact synchronously through text-based chat rooms and asynchronously through discussion boards and private email. To ensure the quality of instruction in distance courses - interaction between students and faculty and among students via electronic bulletin boards, chat rooms, phone calls, or email is strongly suggested as an important part of all courses.

Department chair surveys indicate that faculty members regularly utilize most of these strategies, as well as telephone and occasional instructor travel to remote sites, to maintain interaction. Student surveys indicate that faculty are readily accessible via email or telephone (http://www.westga.edu/~distance/data). This feedback illustrates that distance programs at UWG do provide for timely and appropriate interaction.

 

 

Communications

See “Infrastructure and Services Common to All External Programs.”

·  Course information

See “Infrastructure and Services Common to All External Programs.”

·  Access to resources

See “Infrastructure and Services Common to All External Programs.”

E.  Administrative, Fiscal, and Operational Support

All DE programs?  YES

Specific Technologies:  All

Specific Degree(s): All Distance

Cross-department planning and coordination

See “Infrastructure and Services Common to All External Programs.”

Operational plan

Regarding the quality of instructional delivery and the necessary levels of communication among students, faculty, staff, and administrators, a plan for online courses (http://distance.westga.edu/steeringcommittee/1997report.htm) was developed in 1997 by the UWG Distance and Distributed Education Steering Committee and approved by the Academic Affairs Committee, the Committee on Graduate Studies, and the Faculty Senate to be adopted institution-wide.

These initial recommendations were implemented, and the DDEC has a series of evaluation processes in place to guarantee that the distance program is monitored and revised as needed (http://www.westga.edu/~distance/data/eval).

At the end of each term, distance course evaluations survey students on their experience, asking questions pertaining to the ease, use, and location of access, as well as the level of interaction in each course. The results of these surveys, as well as an annual random phone survey, are tabulated and reviewed by the UWG Distance Education Steering Committee. Further recommendations are made and implemented as appropriate. The DDEC reports on the effectiveness in an annual Effectiveness Report and in the year-end Annual Report, all of which are posted publicly online at: http://distance.westga.edu/~distance/distanceeffectiveness/

To supplement the services to students and faculty who access the WebCT online course management system outside of the normal work week, DDEC’s helpdesk staff works evening hours and on-call during the weekends. The DDEC also has a 24-hour emergency beeper for use by UWG students, faculty, or staff. In addition, as part of USG’s WebCT licensing agreements, online students and faculty have access to additional extended-hours help services offer assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days per week, 365 days a year.

 

Budget

See “Infrastructure and Services Common to All External Programs.”

F.  Other

All DE programs?  YES

Specific Technologies:  All

Specific Degree(s): All Distance

Compliance with law and policy

See “Infrastructure and Services Common to All External Programs.”

Security

See “Infrastructure and Services Common to All External Programs.”

Contracts, licenses, and policies

See “Infrastructure and Services Common to All External Programs.”

Safety

Not applicable.

G.  Evaluation and Assessment

All DE programs?  YES

Specific Technologies:  All

Specific Degree(s): All Distance

Evaluation methods

Distance students complete end-of-course evaluations, which are reviewed by faculty and department chairs. The DDEC reviews the data and comments compiled from these surveys, class by class, to ensure course quality and student satisfaction. Since 1998, there have only been two cases in which evaluations indicated significant concerns regarding online course quality or faculty competency. Each of these cases was referred to the respective academic department chairs and deans for further investigation. In 2001, the UWG Faculty Senate approved the mandatory use of the Course Evaluation Summary form for online faculty whereby instructors review student data and personal experience to identify course weaknesses and strengths and to determine areas for course improvements. Since the beginning of the 2002 academic year the DDEC and the Distance Education Steering Committee has regularly reviewed data from the surveys provided by online professors in order to improve training and policies aimed at ensuring student learning and satisfaction. In addition, a telephone survey of UWG distance students is conducted annually in January and February by the DDEC. Between 80 and 90 percent of students surveyed over the past four years indicate that they believe they learn as much or more in online courses as they do in traditional, campus-based courses.

 

Data collection and reporting

For online courses, evaluations are posted through WebCT on the course website. Students are sent reminders by the DDEC through WebCT to complete these surveys, and they are informed of the importance of the surveys in improving course and program quality. The results are sent to academic department heads for review and distribution to faculty. As outlined in previous sections, each faculty member is responsible for the careful review of his or her evaluations and the completion of a form which outlines course strengths and weaknesses and plans for future improvements. Copies of this form, along with the compiled evaluation data, must be sent to the distance education administrator in the DDEC before the instructor can teach another online course.

Telephone surveys are administered each January and February to a random sample of approximately 100 students who enrolled in distance courses during the prior term. The survey, administered by the DDEC, includes both quantitative questions and open-ended questions regarding both perceived course quality and availability and quality of student services for online students. The overall results of both the telephone surveys and the faculty course summaries are posted on the University website, and they are used in the annual reporting and planning process. The results are also reviewed by the Distance Education Steering Committee to make programmatic and policy improvements.

 

Retention and participation

Enrollments for distance courses are recorded by the Registrar’s office and verified by the USG system office. The DDEC reviews enrollment reports for accuracy, and reviews the course bulletin prior to publication to make sure that distance courses are properly designated. Each semester the DDEC collects retention data from the Registrar’s office and reports this information to the Distance Education Steering Committee. The retention rates for UWG’s online courses (not including eCore classes) have ranged from 85 to 89 percent, a percentage range which is comparable to retention rates for traditional, on-campus courses. Enrollment limits for courses are set by the individual academic departments. Monitoring of participation levels in online courses is the responsibility of the faculty member teaching the course. However, faculty are encouraged through DDEC and peer training to clearly define participation expectations for students and link these to course grades as appropriate.

 

Program review

See “Infrastructure and Services Common to All External Programs.”

 

The 2006 IDP can be found here

The 2007 IDP previous version can be found here

Original 2007 IDP Submitted and BOR Approved