Distance Learning Steering Committee
Minutes of the Meeting
October 29, 2004
Members Present: Andy Leavitt, Mary O’Neill, Diane Williamson, Kathy Kral, Mike Russell, Melanie Clay, Janet Gubbins, Christy Talley, and Stacey Rowland.
The meeting was called to order at 11:00 AM in the Carriage House.
Summary of Decision Items
We will request to be able to test WebCT CE 6.0,
which uses the same database as
We will continue to monitor issues with
3. The committee recommended that the VPAA provide leadership and directive in determining which full programs should go online.
1. In the last
Distance Learning Steering Committee meeting the committee recommended, based
on the concerns and wishes of UWG faculty, that UWG stay on WebCT
CE for the 2005-2006 school year. This decision was made based on issues
of stability, performance, and administration. There are still many
concerns about migrating to
Andy Leavitt (eCore faculty currently using
Vista), stated that
b. Janet Gubbins acknowledged the improvement in performance and functionality, over CE. She shared the BOR responses to the Known Issues brought up at the last meeting. See response document here: http://www.westga.edu/~distance/steeringcommittee/concerns_sept04_KnownIssues3.0_Response.htm . She also expressed the BOR’s advisement that UWG should not attempt to migrate all courses at once, come Fall 2006.
c. Gubbins noted that remaining concerns included:
(1) There is no way for faculty to backup a course section for archiving or re-use/ copy to next term... administrators can copy a section up to a template but this has to be do one at a time and copying a template can take an hour or more per course section (depending on size) and all student data/ messages are lost in this case.
(2) There is no separate archive server or thus any way to efficiently or effectively archive the courses in their entirety, including student work, messages, tracking, etc…; the current archive workaround is to leave courses up for period of time; for us that would mean one year for most course and six years for CS courses; there is no way to hide archived courses from users; thus, faculty would see every single course section they had taught over past year or 6 years; students would see every single course section taken over past year and every CS course for 6 years.
According to Gubbins,
the conclusion that Kennesaw State has come to, based on these and other
reasons, is that Vista currently lacks scalability and has higher costs in
terms of resources ... (see KSU document shared: http://www.westga.edu/~distance/steeringcommittee/KSU_vista_itac_oct04.htm).
If one section takes an hour to copy up then our current 800 would take 800
hours – it is just not possible to do this for faculty; even eCore faculty are being told that ALT cannot do this,
they'll have to do it themselves or re-build each term and it's far harder than
CE's backup/ restore function and far more time-consuming. The only people whom
we have talked with that are happy with
Russell added that he believed the
member May O’Neill stated that she would like to explore the
Christy Talley mentioned that
brought up the fact that the future version of WebCT
CE 6.0 appears to be moving to the same database system that
h. Other concerns mentioned were a history of system collapse, little progress in the resolution of bugs, and issues regarding faculty autonomy.
2. Melanie Clay brought up Vice President Hynes’ request for us to explore the possibility of offering a complete online program to benefit Teacher Education, specifically for K-12 Math or Science teachers. As Clay explained that incentives for developing or teaching online courses varied from department to department; and that we as a service entity, cannot dictate or force a program that the department does not want to offer.
a. Gubbins explained that while
b. The committee recommended that, if UWG is to offer a complete online program to benefit Teacher Education, the directive and supporting resources would most likely have to come from the VPAA and deans.