Online Steering Committee

November 22, 2002

The meeting was called to order at 10:45 a.m. in the Carriage House with committee members Matthew Clay, Janet Gubbins, Barbara McKenzie, Melanie Clay, Christy Talley, Elizabeth Bennett, Mike Russell, Kathy Kral, Tom Padgett, Mary O'Neill, Andrew Luna, Micheal Crafton, Shirley Lankford, John Fuller, and Will Lloyd, in attendance.

  1. Melanie Clay started the meeting and briefly reviewed the Agenda. Clay (Melanie) stated that were two items on the agenda for today’s committee meeting:
      1. Review and address DL Course Evaluation Summaries from Faculty for Summer 2002.
      2. Review and provide feedback to our second round of responses to SACS - re: Substantive Change for DE Program
  1. Melanie reviewed the overall analysis of faculty feedback from Summer 2002 DL Course Evaluation Summaries, what was problematic or should be improved, planned changes, and perception of support for faculty and students.
  2. Melanie asked for suggestions to address the most frequently cited need for improvement -- more ways for online students to get to know one another better. Janet Gubbins, Matthew Clay, and Barbara McKenzie introduced the idea of implementing a bio database for all students and possibly including electronic portfolios into the mix. The committee agreed that a sub-committee to explore this option should be formed, in order to explore e-Portfolio options; Barbara McKenzie, Janet Gubbins and Kathy Kral agreed to form the sub-committee and perform the research to present to the committee at a later date.

  3. Barbara McKenzie asked when HorizonLive (HL) would have two-way audio capabilities. Janet Gubbins explained that HorizonLive does have 2-way audio capabilities but that the option would regulate UWG to use the HL-owned server at a per-student/per-call charge that would be unaffordable. Janet Gubbins suggested another option in which the Board of Regents currently does its virtual training -- a simultaneous audio bridge with HL. Melanie Clay asked that Janet explore the costs of this option.

    Will Lloyd suggested that we all (support services and faculty alike) do a better job of informing students what to expect and not to expect in a distance course -- that the type of inter-personal interaction will always be different than a face-to-face course.

    Melanie Clay also said that the DDEC will prepare a template of information for students that faculty will be encouraged to use in their syllabus. This will include student services, DE course expectations, and list the DE Student Guide URL. (B) The DDEC will also re-design the WebCT login page to include weekly updated news flashes for student and faculty.

  4. Barbara McKenzie suggested that the WebCT Student Surveys be posted in the online courses earlier in the term -- approximately 2 or 3 weeks before finals. Christy Talley agreed to comply with the request.
  5. Barbara McKenzie and Elizabeth Bennett asked about the status of options for closed GSAMS sites and explained why the group videoconferencing sites were still a necessity for the media specialist track, even in light of the newer videoconferencing-over-IP to students' homes option. Live presentation skills and group face-to-face work relations were cited as the two reasons necessitating live group dynamics in that particular program. McKenzie asked if a distance education surcharge might pay for the acquisition of a site. Janet Gubbins suggested that the DDEC and the MIT explore how Jacksonville State is financing their sites. Janet also mentioned the possibility of using the new Polycom System to connect with the Dalton area. The UWG CIO, Mike Russell, stated that using Polycom over our existing network might be problematic since Polycom requires a constant frame-per-second rate and our network is already near maximum usage. Mike Russell said that he would explore the costs of installing a direct T1 line for use between UWG and Dalton, as well as options for getting more bandwidth.
  6. Melanie Clay led the group in reviewing our second round of responses to SACS - re: Substantive Change for DE Program -- and asked that the committee members send suggestions for improvement via e-mail.
  7. Elizabeth Bennett asked for clarification as to whether an off-campus GSAMS site is considered off-campus by the Graduate School or not. Janet Gubbins agreed to check on this issue and report back to Bennett.
  8. Melanie provided data for the Review of Outcomes. The committee agreed that goals were met, but problem areas included making sure students know about library special services, and meetings demanded for distance courses. Both problems will be further addressed in the February 2003 DDEC meeting.
  9. Melanie Clay adjourned the meeting at noon.