DL Course Evaluation Summaries for Fall 2001

Overall analysis of student course evaluation summaries as prepared by faculty teaching distance courses.

What went well in Distance Learning Classes

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

What was problematic or should be improved

  1. Technical problems with GSAMS, firewalls with WebCT, browser problems with WebCT, and lack of EnVision support at remote sites, poor audio with EnVision.
  2. Some students need more structure or miss the face-to-face environment.
  3. Some students arenít taking advantage of available WebCT training sessions, help guides, or support.
  4. Increasing difficulty in getting GSAMS sites.
  5. Course specific complaints, such as assignments, projects, books, group work etc.
  6. Some students donít care for WebCT online chats.

Planned changes for future delivery of course

  1. Some reported that their class was not suitable for distance delivery or that they would have more face-to-face sessions in future sessions (or remote site visits).
  2. Some reported the need to make sure that students understand the demands of taking a distance course up front.
  3. Some teaching through WebCT said they would use other technologies more such as Horizon Live to have more live interaction.
  4. One said that she would have voluntary face-to-face meetings to supplement her fully online course.
  5. Improve coordination and reliability of EnVision or use other technology such as Horizon Live instead.
  6. Teach more courses online.
  7. Course specific changes not related to distance delivery such as textbook, assignments, etc.
  8. Provide more clear, detailed instructions to students.
  9. Respond to email every day instead of 3 times per week.
  10. Have students sign a sheet stating their responsibilities.

Biggest adjustments required for distance instructors

  1. Finding ways to test students securely.
  2. Finding enough time to develop class, answer emails, etc.
  3. Finding ways to "show things" that you would traditionally easily present in a traditional class.
  4. Dealing with EnVision challenges.
  5. Getting students engaged and participating in the GSAMS environment.
  6. Email overload.
  7. Challenge of small group work in GSAMS environment.
  8. Dealing with tudents who had been out of school for a long time and had poor basic tech skills.

Level of student services, DDEC, and instructor support

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