• 2012-2013

    DISTANCE AND DISTRIBUTED EDUCATION
    ANNUAL REPORT 2012-2013

    FY 2012- 2013 Academic Year (Su12-Sp13)

    1) Name of department chairperson or director?
    Dr. Melanie Clay, Executive Director of Extended Degree Programs and USG eCore

    2) Email address of department chairperson or director?
    melaniec@westga.edu

    3) List departmental mission statement?
    The Distance & Distributed Education Center is a university-wide function at UWG which serves to develop and enhance the university's ability to deliver education to campus students, online students, and students at remote locations as well as to meet institutional distance learning goals. Through intercampus sharing of resources, the Distance and Distributed Education Center facilitates collaboration among university colleges, schools, and departments to deliver quality distance instruction, faculty and student services, and other distance learning initiatives

    4) List departmental goals for this reporting year.

    • Work with faculty to design, develop, implement, and evaluate distance learning environments that encourage and support excellence in a personal environment.
    • In collaboration with other campus and state departments, maintain the human and technical resources and network infrastructure necessary to successfully support and deliver distance and distributed learning.
    • Ensure that academic, faculty, and student services are appropriate to meet the needs of distance and distributed learners and instructors.
    • Conduct continuous evaluation of distance and distributed learning and support services to ensure the advancement of the University's mission and adherence to quality standards.
    • Support research, scholarship, and creative endeavors which promote knowledge of distance learning, teaching, and design.

    Assessment Information

    5) List assessments used to measure progress toward departmental goals.

    Enrollment reports, customer service surveys, course completion and retention reports, helpdesk reports, written student surveys at the end of each term, instructor summaries of student survey results, random phone surveys of students in online courses, informal discussions with students and faculty, Faculty Workshop evaluations.

    Most of these assessments and their results are provided publicly on our website at https://westga.edu/uwgonline/ (Look under About Us, under the heading Effectiveness)

    6) Based on the assessments of departmental goals, discuss any departmental improvements.

    1. Based on assessment data showing students' desire for more online offerings: 93% of students (Spring 2013) said that they would take another online course in the future and 58% of indicated that they would like to see more classes and programs offered entirely online.
      • The number of fully online programs (including degree programs and other online program offerings like eCore - which is not a degree program but a distinct offering) continues to grow. In FY09, UWG offered 9. By FY13, we had nearly doubled those offerings, reaching a total of 17 and fostering the development of 9 additional fully online programs to be offered in FY14. The array of UWG Online offerings that the DDEC supports includes undergraduate and graduate degree programs, certificates, and endorsements, in addition to serving as a host affiliate for the state-wide online eCore and WebMBA programs. Currently, we offer two of the three online doctorate programs offered in the state and a third online doctorate program is in development for FY14.
      • The demand for online courses seems to be particularly high during the Summer semesters, with 64% of all UWG students taking at least one online course during Summer 2012 (versus 60% in Summer 2011 and 23% on Summer 2010).
      • While the percent growth of the total number of distance courses (51-100% online) offered each year appears to be flattening off (FY13 saw a 10% growth (1275) over FY12, while FY12 (1143) offered a 20% growth over FY11 (908)), the enrollment in online courses continues to increase. This appears to be a result of more efficient scheduling (less course sections with more students enrolled).
      • Similarly, the number of fully online UWG courses offered, not counting eCore or WebMBA, saw an 18% increase from 544 in FY12 to 659 in FY13. FY12 saw a 25% increase from 410 in FY11 to 544 in FY12 (compared to a 17% increase the year prior).
      • The number of students enrolled in ONLY online classes rose from 846 in Fall 2011 (FY12) to 1189 in Fall 2012 (FY13).
    2. To meet the increase in online course offerings and online programs, the DDEC transitioned to support separate DDEC UWG|Online Faculty Success and Student Services Teams. The Faculty Success Team is centrally located on campus and provided faculty help desk, training, instructional design services, and program planning consultations. Just-in-time support via drop-in was also provided, as well as equipment checkout for online faculty. The Faculty Success Team provided a three-pronged approach in faculty training and development, including extended in-depth training, face-to-face topical workshops, and self-paced online tutorials; created and implemented a DDEC UWG|Online Certification model for online instructors; provided research analysis and basic training for content creation software; and researched nationally recognized institutional review processes which resulted in adding Quality Matters to our institutional memberships which already included SLOAN Consortium.
      • UWG|Online Faculty Success Team disseminated a newsletter aimed at UWG faculty interested in, or already involved in, teaching online. The newsletter brings up-to-date information and resources regarding designing, developing, teaching, and evaluating online/hybrid courses to faculty. The newsletter is disseminated via the ALL-FAC listserv. Four issues of the newsletter have been published in FY13 (http://uwgfdc.wiki.westga.edu/Newsletter).
      • The university formed a university-wide committee (Quality Control of Online Courses) to study and make recommendations. This committee is headed by Dr. Jason Huett and is composed of current online faculty and online program stakeholders. During FY13, the committee has addressed issues related to consistency in language used to identify online courses and programs, and recommendations for required elements in syllabi for online courses. Both issues are expected to be brought before Faculty Senate for approval.
      • As part of the Student Success Team. DDEC’s UWG Online Helpdesk staff responded to approximately 12502 help tickets (students and faculty) in FY13. Despite the high volume of calls, respondents to the helpdesk customer services survey rated overall support services an average of 9.7 out of 10 in FY13, compared to 9.6 in FY12.
      • The Faculty Success Team built upon their existing just-in-time support, helpdesk services, and existing menu of highly-rated topical workshops with ‘best practices’ topics in the form of “Did You Know”, custom workshops requested and designed at the program or departmental level, as well as quick self-paced topical video tutorials accessible on the DDEC UWG|Online web page increasing their offerings to faculty by 60% over FY12. The DDEC UWG|Online Faculty Development Center has conducted 109 workshops (excluding cohort sessions), an increase of over 50% over FY12. This equates to over 175 hours of face to face instructional time during the FY13. Total Attendance for the workshops for FY13 was 610 faculty (2,950% increase over FY12). Attendees rated the workshops as meeting and or exceeding their needs. The increase in attendance is attributed to the change in LMS systems.
      • In FY13, 69 faculty members received DDEC UWG|Online Certified Online Instructor certification and an additional 15 completed the requirements for DDEC UWG|Online Certified Online Course Developer. In addition, two individual colleges requested custom cohorts resulting in an additional 26 faculty members being awarded Online Instructor certification. The initial baseline completion rate for the UWG|Online Certified Online Instructor was established at 54% in FY12. By June13, the completion rate had risen to 70%. As of June13, 36% of identified online instructors have completed the initial certification course.
      • To increase awareness for BlackBoard Collaborate and to support iApollo and the development of collegial relationships, the DDEC UWG|Online Faculty Success Team developed a consistent calendar of one hour synchronous webinars presented live and then archived and made available on the UWG|Online web page. A total of 32 separate sessions have been conducted in FY13 through the end of May13 with an average attendance of 9 participants. This endeavor has been selected the 2013 Collaborate Innovators Award by the Blackboard Collaborate Users Group. Jan13, the UWG|Online Faculty Development Center reactivated and updated the iApollo ListServ and created a corresponding page in Google as a Social Media outlet to meet the needs of current online faculty located both on campus and those at a distance. There are 155 faculty members included in the ListServ.
      • The DDEC UWG|Online Faculty Success Team recorded 134 specialized one on one consultations (called Dr. D’s) (down 42) with a total duration of 169 hours for FY13 up to Mar13 (a 67% increase in time over FY12 indicating a more indepth consultation). Ticketing data specifically generated by UWG|Online Faculty Success Team from July12 through June13 indicates that faculty accessed the Faculty Success Team 2,387 times. Project requests were generated an average 99 times per month, with the remainder of tickets being generated for standard helpcalls.
    3. Ongoing reflective course evaluations completed by faculty and students at the end of every semester and research conducted on effective practices, indicated a need to increase knowledge of instructional design and pedagogy for the development of online courses, as well as instructors’ skill with various transformative online technologies.
      • The DDEC UWG|Online Faculty Development Center continued to provide continuous faculty training and support for emerging software, LMS integrated tools. and instructional best practices conducting 92 face to face group workshops integrating both ‘how to’ and effective best practices for online course development.
      • The DDEC UWG|Online Faculty Development Center increasedthe type and scope of training materials to faculty in FY13 by 60% over FY12.
      • The DDEC UWG|Online Faculty Development Center instituted a UWG|Online Certification program to increase faculty awareness of effective instructional design and content development that meets Federal requirements for accessibility and pedagogical standards. 69 (36%) faculty members identified as teaching online have completed the course as of June13.
      • To increase the number of exemplar courses for faculty and to further promote faculty recognized for developing exemplar online courses, DDEC UWG|Online Faculty Development Center increased the submission process for 5 Star Courses to bi-annual. Through FY13, 9 fully online courses have been awarded 5 Star distinctions (a 600% increase over FY12). Listings of 5 Star Courses with instructor contact information have been added to the UWG|Online Faculty web page.
      • As required by the USG in FY13, the DDEC assisted the university in upgrading from the Blackboard Vista 8 learning management system to the Desire2Learn 10 learning management system. During this migration, the DDEC helped more than 400 instructors migrate and/or redevelop more approximately 8000 online courses; helped instructors and students learn the new sytem; and redeveloped all training, support, and reference materials.
      • In FY13, the DDEC maintained support for the existing Wimba video-conferencing tools, while also introducing the newest version of the package called “Blackboard Collaborate”. During the transition to the new Desire2Learn LMS, however, the use of Wimba/Blackboard Pronto IM and some of the functionality of other Wimba Tools was diminished due to lack of integration with the new system. Re-integration will be a goal in FY14.
      • The DDEC also continued to be a leader in innovation and technology services by supporting a wide-array of tranformative online education tools - and in some cases providing the tools and their support for campus-wide use. See https://westga.edu/uwgonline/tools-and-software.php
    4. As a result of informal assessments regarding the need for more student support updates, as well as media driven orientations and tutorials integrated directly into CourseDen, the DDEC's Student Services team provided the use of our “FREE Optional Resources - How to Use CourseDen” course. This was built by our staff to provide all UWG students the tools needed to succeed in any online course regardless of the tools/software used by their instructors.
      • As of Spring 2013, 19215 users (students and some staff) were enrolled in the optional online orientation course.
      • The DDEC also utilized an online Ssudent listserv (UWG-Wolf - “Wise Online Learners Forum”) to provide upcoming news, updates, announcements, and helpful information specifically to those students enrolled in at least one fully online course (an average of 4200 each FY13 semester).
      • The DDEC Student Services Team created 20 new media driven, audio narrated instructional tutorials to give the user personalized orientations to tools/services supported by our department. The mutli-media was disseminated through various social-media anwd web outlets, including the UWG|Online YouTube channel.

    7) Attach additional assessment information (not related to student learning outcomes in academic programs which are input in another section of the system), consolidate information into one PDF document and upload it here. Assessment File Upload (View PDF file)


    Please discuss your department's initiatives toward the UWG Strategic Goals
    You only need to reply to the goals your department addressed this year

    8) Every undergraduate academic program will demonstrate a distinctive blending of liberal arts education, professional competencies, and experiential learning, preparing students to be ethically responsible and civically engaged professionals in the global economy of the 21st century.

    USG eCore and distance education are both noted as key components of Complete College Georgia (CCG) in Georgia’s Higher Education Completion Plan 2012. A main objective of CCG is to “Expand deployment of eCore™ (Georgia’s Core Curriculum Online) and online general education options to ensure that institutions have just-in-time capacity for students’ unrestricted progression through the core curriculum.”

    The eCore (USG core curriculum online) course-level learning outcomes (COLAs) continue to be mapped to the General Core Curriculum Learning Outcomes which include critical thinking, global and United States perspectives. The learning outcomes are measured each year during the Fall semester and published in the annual eCore Factbook. (Christy)

    Members of the UWG Online teams played critical roles in furthering UWG’s strategic plan document titled “Grow West: A Strategic Plan for the Targeted Advancement of Online Teaching and Learning at UWG.” This plan outlines seven recommendations to to help UWG further leverage the potential of online learning to better prepare all students for the 21st Century. This plan was unanimously approved by Faculty Senate, and online teaching and learning has been formally recognized as an integral part of our strategic planning and student success.

    9) Every undergraduate student will be advised to take advantage of one of multiple available learning communities. Learning communities that are available to students will include communities organized by living arrangement, by year in program, by other co-curricular associations - Honors Program, Advanced Academy, Band, Athletics, Debate, or program in the major.

    • The UWG Online Student Services Team offered face-to-face, live online, and asynchronous online, informal education opportunities for students to learn more about taking online courses. The Student Services Team collaborated with the New Student Programs and UWG Orientation staff, to provide approximately 44 of the live sessions and over 12 Ignite events around the Carrollton campus.
    • UWG Online established a vibrant presence on Facebook and Twitter in FY13, with over 300 and 700 followers respectively.
    • In FY13, DDEC helped build and support 38 distinct learning community course sites within our learning management system. Communities ranged from course sites for at-risk students (EXCEL Center) to History majors.

    10) The University will endeavor to increase enrollment in and graduation from graduate programs, including doctoral programs, that have as their mark a practical professional purpose, experiential learning opportunities, and an intellectual program informed by a foundation of liberal education.

    In addition to other online graduate programs in Education, Nursing, and Applied Computer Science, the UWG Online team members have been instrumental in helping to develop, transition, and support three online/hybrid doctoral programs over the last two years including the current operational Doctorate of Education in School Improvement and Nursing Education. The third program, the Doctorate of Education in Counseling, began development in FY13 and is expected to start enrolling students in FY14. These programs allowed UWG to obtain a Level VI classification. Level VI is the highest level of SACS classification.

    Annual enrollment numbers in our online B.S. in Criminology program grew by 61% from 993 students in FY12 to 1599 in FY13. FY14 enrollments look promising, with a 39% increase from 310 in Summer 2012 to 430 in Summer 2013. Across all undergraduate offerings, both the enrollment in fully online undergraduate courses and course sections grew by 5% from FY12 to FY13, while the variety of unique online courses grew by 15%. This growth supports the recommendation of our UWG Online Degrees Task Force that UWG develop additional 100% online degree programs at the undergraduate level in order to increase access and further the aim of Complete College Georgia. Though we have many undergraduate programs moving a wider array of upper-level courses online, the BS in Criminology remains our only officially online undergraduate program.

    11) The University will maintain an environment that is safe and conducive to learning.

    UWG's online offerings provide students the opportunity to complete undergraduate and graduate courses and degrees online at our accredited university, free from time and location limitations. Instructors receive high-quality training and support, including instructional design guidance including our own 5 Star Course Rubric for self-assessment of curse design and best practices of online teaching. Student support services, including enrollment counseling, bookstore, library services, tutoring, test proctoring and disability services are coordinated through the eCore Administration.

    12) The University community will provide a balanced variety of cultural, recreational, leisure, and informal education programming opportunities for faculty, staff, and students that enhance the quality of campus life.

    • Online faculty can participate in subject area and academia discussions via multiple virtual and face-to-face faculty development opportunities year-round. The DDEC UWG|Online delivered 97 face to face workshops, and seven separate UWG Certification opportunities to UWG faculty and staff. The average workshop length was typically 1.5 hours; with the certification courses lasting 9 weeks with 5 online modules and a minimum of 12 hours of face to face synchronous instruction.
    • Online faculty have been added to the iApollo ListServ which was revamped in Jan13 to include Collaborate synchronous sessions held on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays. Sessions are open to all, are archived, and added to the UWG|Online Faculty web page for easy access.
    • To further develop a positive culture of support throughout the campus, the DDEC UWG|Online Faculty Development Center in FY13 introduced the Faculty Success Team to the campus at-large, via video and a dedicated web page which is updated quarterly.
    • In FY13, the DDEC UWG|Online increased their efforts to acknowledge the exceptional work of our faculty by taking an active stance on promoting faculty via social media platforms and actively nominating and promoting faculty for various national, regional, and local awards. Jim Bellon, a member of the COSM faculty, was nominated and received recognition for the 2013 USG Collaborate Innovator of the Year Award by UWG|Online Faculty Development for his development of an online tutorial service for online math students using Blackboard Collaborate. UWG Online staff members, Matias Marabotto and Debra Robinson also won the same award for the UWG Online iApollo program.
    • The UWG Online Student Services Team offered face-to-face, live online, and asynchronous online, informal education opportunities for students to learn more about taking online courses. The Student Services Team collaborated with the New Student Programs and UWG Orientation staff, to provide approximately 44 of the live sessions and over 12 Ignite events around the Carrollton campus.
    • UWG Online established a vibrant presence on Facebook and Twitter, in FY13 with over 300 and 700 followers respectively.

    13) All units will strive to improve the compensation and working environment of faculty and staff in order to recruit and retain the best individuals.

    The DDEC provided limited stipends, travel, and equipment funds to faculty completing specified training and course development. Faculty consistently indicated their appreciation for these efforts. Members of the UWG Online team played critical roles furthering the goals of the UWG strategic plan document titled "Grow West: A Strategic Plan for the Targeted Advancement of Online Teaching and Learning at UWG." This plan outlines seven recommendations to help UWG further leverage the potential of online learning including a recommendation to Develop a "System to Incentivize, Train, Support, and Hire Faculty Involved with Online Teaching and Learning." This plan was unanimously approved by Faculty Senate, and should help us improve the compensation and working environment for faculty interested in online and teaching and learning as well as provide direction to recruit and retain the best online teachers.

    14) The University will endeavor to increase our overall enrollment to 14,500 by the year 2015.

    • Enrollment in distance courses (51-100% online) rose by 5%, from 22745 in FY12 to 23855 in FY13.
    • Enrollment in fully online courses courses has more than doubled in the last four years. Not counting eCore or WebMBA enrollments, fully online enrollment at UWG grew from 6,272 in FY09 to 15,979 in FY13.
    • The average number of students attending UWG exclusively through online classes each term rose by more than 20%, from 983 in FY12 to 1247 in FY13.

    15) With our enrollment growth, West Georgia will remain committed to the following targets of academic quality: student to faculty of 18 to 1; average class size of 29; full-time to part-time faculty ratio of 4.4 to 1.

    For Fall 2012, the average class size of online courses (courses 50% or more online) stayed low at 20, versus an average class size of 21 during Fall 2011.

    16) West Georgia will develop several new facilities to improve quality along with meeting capacity demands due to enrollment growth.

    DDEC personnel are housed centrally in the Lower Auditorium (enlarging and undergoing significant renovations), in addition to offices in the Honors House, the Education Building, and the UWG Newnan at the University of West Georgia. To meet local demand, graduate education courses are also offered at a site shared with Georgia Highlands College in Douglasville, Georgia.

    17) Capital Campaign: The Development Office will prepare for a capital campaign to assist in meeting the long-term needs of the University of West Georgia.

    In FY13, eTuition for fully online courses at UWG generated nearly $4.5 million (up from $3.4 million in FY12) for the institution, while providing scalable operations and faculty incentives for online growth.

    18) Communication and Marketing: The Office of University Communications and Marketing (UCM) will internally and externally promote the missions and goals of the strategic plan. This will be achieved by aligning the institution's integrated marketing plan (advertising, visual identity standards, web presence, media relations, etc.) with the strategic plan.

    Members of the UWG Online team played critical roles in furthering the UWG strategic plan document titled “Grow West: A Strategic Plan for the Targeted Advancement of Online Teaching and Learning at UWG.” This plan outlines seven recommendations to help UWG further leverage the potential of online learning including a recommendation to “Incorporate Distance Education into UWG’s Advertising and Brand Marketing.” This plan was unanimously approved by Faculty Senate, has already strengthened the working relationship with UCM, and resulted in new and improved marketing materials.

    In FY13, extensive marketing efforts were implemented:

    • The DDEC continued marketing "UWG Online" to identify UWG online programs and course offerings as a distinct part of UWG. Logos, wordmarks, and online badges, were all developed as a team effort with UCM.
    • A new database-driven website that is serving as as a template for Admissions, Graduate Studies, and later other academic units, was maintained. (see https://westga.edu/uwgonline/)
    • Web 2.0, newspaper advertisements, roadside and digital banners, Google Ad Words, and various SEO (Search Engine Optimization) marketing enhancements have been used. These efforts achieved steady progress in regards to UWG|Online's marketing position. Our Hubspot Marketing Grade ranking rose from the low 60's to a peak of 81 in Jan 2013, with an average ranking of 75 out of 100. The Google AdWords campaign, which ran from July to Sept. 2012, achieved the highest Click Thru Rate of .82% out of 1% in mid August 2012. Efforts are ongoing.
    • The team focuses on four primary goals: -Increasing enrollment (enhance social media and continue recruiting visits) -Enhancing reputation (by highlighting and publicizing the achievements of faculty members) -Increasing course completion rates (by maintaining course revisions and links) -Measuring ROI.

    19) Community Relations: The University will engage the local community educationally, culturally and recreationally.

    DDEC staff attended over twelve campus orientation events for FY13. These events afforded the opportunity to promote awareness and foster connections for future support opportunities to current and prospective students. The team also planned a one-day conference (The Complete Symposium) on education, including more than 70 representatives from all areas of higher-ed and P-12 education, including public and private schools and the UWG Board of Regents.

    20) Describe any notable achievements toward selected goals(s) during this reporting year.

    • UWG Online team members have been instrumental in helping to develop, transition, and support three online/hybrid doctoral programs over the last two years including the current operational Doctorate of Education in School Improvement and Nursing Education. The third program, the Doctorate of Education in Counseling, began development in FY13 and is expected to start enrolling students in FY14. These programs allowed UWG to obtain a Level VI classification. Level VI is the highest level of SACS classification.
    • Members of the UWG Online team played critical roles in furthering the goals of the UWG strategic plan document titled “Grow West: A Strategic Plan for the Targeted Advancement of Online Teaching and Learning at UWG.” This plan outlines seven recommendations to help UWG further leverage the potential of online learning. To support this plan, UWG|Online has developed a leveled training approach that includes a tiered UWG|Online Certification model for Online Instruction, Course Development, and Evaluation and Mentorship.
    • UWG's DDEC continues to be internationally recognized for the Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, the Distance Learning Administration Conference, and several certificate programs for distance educators. See http://www.westga.edu/~distance/ojdla/ and http://www.westga.edu/~distance/dla/.
    • The eTuition plan that the DDEC proposed, helped to develop, and assists in implementing each year, generated nearly $4.5 million in FY13 (compared to $3.4 million in FY12), while providing scalable operations and faculty incentives for online growth.

    21) List any resources that could have assisted your department with achieving/exceeding departmental goals and how they could have facilitated/improved the work of your the work of your department?

    The DDEC would benefit from advanced and automated student tracking and at-risk student software, as well as recruitment management tools. Operationally, the DDEC would benefit from a full-time project manager to serve as the single point of contact for data assessment and the transition and support of the new learning management system.

    Other Departmental Information

    22) List any changes to the structure or substructures of your department implemented during reporting year.

    No changes were made in FY13.

    23) List any additional comments about your department based on this reporting year.

    DDEC staff members sponsored the 14th Annual Distance Learning Administration Conference at Jekyll Island, Georgia, in June 2013. The conference was attended by more than 220 distance learning professionals representing approximately 31 states, Canada and Nigeria. Melanie Clay served as Conference Director, Dawn Senfeld as Conference Manager, Austin Janowski as Recreation Coordinator, and Christy Talley Smith as Technology Coordinator. All DDEC staff contributed to hosting the event.

    Since assuming administrative services responsibility in 2009, UWG continued to excel as the school now in charge of eCore Administrative Services. Though the eCore unit operates and is staffed as its own division, UWG?s DDEC staff continue to provide project management assistance, UWG eCore Advisors, and support specific to UWG?s eCore students. As eCore?s lead affiliate, UWG eCore?s registration and retention numbers for FY13 show that UWG has succeeded in increasing eCore enrollments and retention; UWG eCore continues to enroll more students than any other affiliate.

    Dr. Melanie N. Clay continued as Dean of USG eCore and Executive Director of Extended Degree Programs, and as Editor-in-Chief of the Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration and DLA2013 Conference Director. She was active at the system level with active membership on the Board of Regents Distance Education Task Force, the LMS Task Force, the Adult Learning Consortium Executive Committee and served as Chairperson of the Regent’s Advisory Committee on Distance Education. She also served on the the UWG Strategic Planning Committee and on UWG's Complete College Georgia Task Force. During 2012-2013, she successfully led, in partnership with Valdosta State, the implementation of a new USG online program - eMajor. She also hired a new director for continuing education (this department was added to extended degrees in January 2012), and focused efforts in leading this area to realize its full potential, including the conception and hands-on development of a successful online program in social media marketing. Among her presentations during the year was an invited keynote address at Union University in Tennessee. She also taught one section of American Government at the UWG Newnan (51 percent online).

    Dr. Jason B. Huett is the Associate Dean of Online Development and USG eCore; a tenured Associate Professor of Instructional Technology and Design at the University of West Georgia (UWG) in the department of Educational Technology and Foundations; and serves as the 2013 President of the Distance Learning Division of the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT). During FY 2012-13, he delivered six keynote addresses and invited talks concerning the future of education. Jason taught two fully online graduate courses titled Introduction to Distance Education and The Distance Education Professional. He has aided in the design of numerous online programs and classes from 6th grade through the doctoral level. He presented locally, nationally, and internationally at noted conference and served as a consultant for several virtual schools, universities, corporations, and the State of Georgia. His second book The Next Generation of Distance Education won second place for Information Age Publishing’s Distance Education Book of the Year and was one of the top 25% most downloaded eBooks in the Spring eBook Collection. He was also awarded the Outstanding eLearning Faculty Award: Distinguished Educator—by The Instructional Technology Council for 2013 and recognized by Linkedin as the top 1% most endorsed in the United States for Distance Learning. He also chaired multiple presidential panel sessions for AECT and integrated a MOOC on K-12 Online Learning into his courses.

    Janet Gubbins continued to serve as the director of UWG | Online’s Distance & Distributed Education Center and fill the role of co- administrator for CourseDen - D2L, overseeing the UWG | Online’s user helpdesk, prospective student outreach, marketing efforts through a new data-driven UWG|Online website (https://westga.edu/uwgonline/) and various social media efforts, as well as student-centered support initiatives. She also served as a project manager for eCore proposals to new affiliates, the primary GeorgiaOnMyLine/eCore

    GeorgiaVIEW and Southern Regional Electronic Board’s Electronic Campus (SREB/SREC) administrator, UWG’s representative on the BOR’s Change Advisory Board, USG’s representative on the Desire2Learn Advisory Board, and as an INGRESS administrator for USG collaborative programs at UWG. She contributed as an alternate on the Technology Coordination Council and the Regent’s Advisory Committee on Distance Education. She was a member of the UWG Faculty Senate Technology Committee and helped host the DLA 2013 conference. Together with Dr. Melanie Clay and Rebecca Smith, Janet is part of the team responsible for helping to ensure that all UWG online programs comply with all US state distance education authorization rules and that proper documentation is recorded online to share publicly. Janet attended the BOR's Rock Eagle Annual Computing Conference, the BOR Georgia Summit, and served as a presenter and host at the 2013 Distance Learning Administration Conference. She was an invited speaker at Nova Southeastern University’ 2013 Conference on Global Leadership, Learning, and Research. She also functioned as an online instructor in the Distance Learning Certificate Program, the Certified Trainer Program, and the eCore American Government course. In her latter role, Janet continued to win recognition for her student retention efforts.

    Matias Marabotto worked as an Instructional Designer in the Distance & Distributed Education Center, focusing on faculty development, up until his departure in late May 2013. Matias served as a co-administrator for CourseDen, primary administrator for our video-conferencing solutions, Wimba Classroom and Collaborate. Matias implemented the end-of-term CourseEval course evaluations for all distance courses; distributing results and information each term and as needed. He continued to help manage the Distance Education, eCore website, and associated databases when needed. He attended the USG Rock Eagle Annual Computing Conference, the Desire2Learn Fusion Conference 2012, and led the bi-monthly UWG iApollo faculty webinars. He assisted in providing end-user support for distance education technologies, including calls for assistance via phone help, face-to-face, and the web. He also served as an online team assistant in the Distance Learning Certificate Program, Advanced Technologies and the Certified Trainer Program; served as primary administrator for Blackboard IM, USG podcasting server, Respondus, Impatica, Wikispaces, Atomic Learning, Smarthinking and iTunesU.

    Jason Busbin continued serving as a Student Support Specialist of Distance & Distributed Education Center in September, managing and supervising the UWG Online Helpline staff and the Numara/Footprints Ticketing System Admin, up until his departure in mid-May 2013. He coordinated with various members within the department to build and maintain the helpdesk ticketing system and its layout. His responsibilities also included serving as co-administrator for CourseDen; managing and organizing our Annual Student Phone Survey; presenting live, in-person student orientations to new users/students; creating and maintaining the Online Orientation Course and Online Learners Listserv; as well as serving as the student Point-of-Contact for our Wikispaces server. He attended the USG Rock Eagle Annual Computing Conference, and the Desire2Learn Fusion Conference 2012. He worked extensively in developing program orientation cohorts to provide new, non-traditional students an intensive orientation covering program information, online learning essentials, and other institution specific information prior to beginning the Fully Online Program. He assisted in providing end-user support for distance education technologies, including calls for assistance via phone help, face-to-face, and the web. He also served as an online team assistant in the Advanced Technologies Course and helps to manage the USG Podcasting Server, Respondus, Atomic Learning, Smarthinking, iTunesU, and Wimba servers/services.

    David Lloyd now serves as Faculty Development Coordinator & Emerging Technologies Specialist . His responsibilities include creating and implementing training for faculty in the use of Desire2Learn and effective online instruction. David assists in providing end-user support in distance education technologies including CourseDen, Podcasting, CourseEval, Respondus and others. David also serves as the lead in pursuing new ways to effectively use technology including the use of various social networking tools such as Twitter, Google Apps, YouTube, etc. David serves as the Primary Administrator for CourseDen (Desire2Learn.) Working with Dr. Jason Huett, David also works on online program development. David was a feature presenter at the Heartland Elearning Conference in Edmond Oklahoma, where he taught workshops on “Using Technology to Enhance Education”. He attended the USG Rock Eagle Annual Computing Conference as well as the Desire2Learn Fusion Conference 2012. Debra Robinson, David and the entire Faculty Development team also developed the Complete Symposium.

    Debra Robinson continued serving as a full time staff member under the title of Instructional Coordinator for Program Compliance and Best Practices focusing on creating faculty professional development opportunities. Debra continued to revise and implement the UWG|Online Certified Online Instructor and UWG|Online Certified Online Course Developer cohort trainings to support and increase the effectiveness of online instruction. She was the initiator for developing and designing the three pronged training approach for faculty development. She is the Institutional Representative for Quality Matters and the secondary administrator for Blackboard Collaborate. Debra acted as the lead faculty trainer for the migration to the new learning management system, Desire 2 Learn by creating workshops, print and video tutorials. Debra presented at the DLA 2013 conference and worked with David Lloyd to develop the Complete Symposium directed at UWG|Online faculty and open to all higher ed and K-12 administrators. She also served as an online instructor for the Certified Trainer Program.

    Michael Post joined Distance and Distributed Education in July 2011 as an UWG eCore Academic Advisor and Marketing Assistant to UWG|Online. In his advisor role he advises an average of 850 UWG eCore students per semester. He is available to assist all eCore students with registration, access to courses, proctored exam questions, general advisement, among other issues primarily via phone calls to direct line, eCore help line and emails. He works collaboratively with co-advisors, affiliate institutions, eCore staff members and eCore instructors to contact “At-Risk” students to try to work with them in order to retain them in classes and keep them on the right track for success in their classes. He is a member of the UWG PAAA (Professional Association of Academic Advisors) group and attended the Desire2Learn Fusion Conference 2012. He also assist with the maintenance of the UWG eCore website. Another primary duty with eCore is the development of training materials for Success Team members, eCore students, and Acadmic Advisors across campus. Michael’s time with UWG|Online is focused on assisting with marketing. He worked with Janet Gubbins and UCM to develop various marketing pieces and campaigns to raise the awareness of UWG|Online and its programs; his work was key in raising our social media presence.

    Chris Spruck began his position as a Web Applications Developer in January 2012. He has taken on responsibility for numerous development-related tasks on multiple web sites within Distance Education and related units. He was involved with the development of the UWG Online web site upgrade and launch. He was also closely involved with development of the database and data entry tools for the VPAA’s program database and trained several faculty members on the use of those tools. This database is an integral component of multiple campus web sites, including UWG Online, Graduate Studies, Admissions, and future sites. Chris attended numerous professional development conferences and serves as a leader within his field.

    Departmental Annual Report - Part II
    (Achievements which are not applicable to our department were removed.)
     
    Number of Faculty  
    46) Number of part-time faculty in your department this year? 1
    Faculty Extracurricular Engagement with Students  
    47) Number of new course developments completed by faculty in your department this year? 1
    Faculty Research Productivity  
    54) Number of shorter works published by faculty in your department this year? 6
    55) Number of papers presented by faculty in your department this year? 1
    56) Number of other presentations delivered by faculty in your department this year? 10
    57) Number of in-house publications published by faculty in your department this year? 8
    60) Number of faculty that served in journal editing/reviewing positions this year? 1
    61) Number of faculty that participated in notable continuing education efforts this year? 1
    Faculty Public Service  
    64) Number of faculty that held positions in professional organizations this year? 1
    66) Number of faculty that participated in cooperative consulting efforts this year? 1
    67) Number of faculty that served on institution (UWG) wide committees this year? 1
    68) Number of faculty that served on USG system committees this year? 1
    69) Number of faculty that participated in public service activities this year? 1
     
  • 2011-2012

    DISTANCE AND DISTRIBUTED EDUCATION

    FY 2011- 2012 Academic Year (Su11-Sp12)

    1) Name of department chairperson or director?
    Dr. Melanie Clay, Executive Director of Extended Degree Programs and USG eCore

    2) Email address of department chairperson or director?
    melaniec@westga.edu

    3) List departmental mission statement?
    The Distance & Distributed Education Center is a university-wide function at UWG which serves to develop and enhance the university's ability to deliver education to campus students, online students, and students at remote locations as well as to meet institutional distance learning goals. Through intercampus sharing of resources, the Distance and Distributed Education Center facilitates collaboration among university colleges, schools, and departments to deliver quality distance instruction, faculty and student services, and other distance learning initiatives.

    4) List departmental goals for this reporting year.

    • Work with faculty to design, develop, implement, and evaluate distance learning environments that encourage and support excellence in a personal environment.
    • In collaboration with other campus and state departments, maintain the human and technical resources and network infrastructure necessary to successfully support and deliver distance and distributed learning.
    • Ensure that academic, faculty, and student services are appropriate to meet the needs of distance and distributed learners and instructors.
    • Conduct continuous evaluation of distance and distributed learning and support services to ensure the advancement of the University's mission and adherence to quality standards.
    • Support research, scholarship, and creative endeavors which promote knowledge of distance learning, teaching, and design.

    Assessment Information

    5) List assessments used to measure progress toward departmental goals.

    Enrollment reports, customer service surveys, course completion and retention reports, helpdesk reports, written student surveys at the end of each term, instructor summaries of student survey results, random phone surveys of students in online courses, informal discussions with students and faculty, Faculty Workshop evaluations.

    Most of these assessments and their results are provided publicly on our website at https://westga.edu/uwgonline/ (Look under About Us, under the heading Effectiveness)

    6) Based on the assessments of departmental goals, discuss any departmental improvements.

    1. Based on assessment data showing students' desire for more online offerings(71.2% of students (Fall 2011) said they'd like to take more courses in the future that are completely online (compared to 62.8% in Fall 2009), the department has helped make distance courses and online programs accessible to a growing number of students and potential students.
      • At the start of FY12, the DDEC supported the offering of 17 fully online degree programs, certificates, and endorsements, in addition to serving as a host affiliate for the state-wide online eCore program. This is nearly double the number of programs offered in FY09. This number includes one of only two online doctorate programs offered in the state and our first online Bachelors degree.
      • In Summer 2010 alone, distance education credit hours accounted for 36% of all UWG credit hours.
      • The total number of distance courses (51-100% online) offered increased by 20% in FY 12 (up from a 12% increase the year prior), with 1143 course sections offered (up from 908 in FY11).
      • The number of fully online UWG courses offered, not counting eCore or WebMBA, saw a 25% increase from 410 in FY11 to 544 in FY12 (compared to a 17% increase the year prior).
      • The unduplicated head count of UWG students enrolled in at least one online course during FY11 was 8,081, indicating that 60.65% of all students enrolled at UWG during the FY took at least one online course. These figures are up from FY10 totals of 7,695 (51.6%).
      • The number of students enrolled in ONLY online classes during the entire fiscal year was 1,207.
    2. To meet the increase in online course offerings and online programs,the DDEC continued to support a Faculty Development Team, centrally located on the campus; expanded student assistant and graduate assistant support staff in multiple locations on campus; created a UWG Certified Tiered model of trainings to support the development and evaluation of online programs and courses; developed a three pronged approach in faculty development offerings that include extended in-depth training, face to face workshops, and self-paced online courses; and provided hardware and software recommendations and training resources for online faculty.
      • The DDEC hired a new Director of Online Faculty Development, brought on a new Dean of Online Faculty Development and USG eCore in July 2011, and continued highly-rated workshop series, just-in-time support, and helpdesk services.
      • The Faculty Development team created and disseminated a monthly newsletter aimed at faculty interested in, or already involved in, teaching online. The newsletter brings up-to-date information and resources regarding designing, developing, teaching, and evaluating online/hybrid courses to faculty.
      • The university is currently in the process of forming a university-wide committee to study and make recommendations about online faculty development and quality control of online courses.
      • The DDEC's UWG Online Helpdesk staff responded to approximately 5395 helpcalls (students and faculty) in FY12. Despite the high volume of calls, respondents to the helpdesk customer services survey rated our overall support services an average of 9.6 out of 10.
      • The DDEC conducted 52 hours of face to face workshops through 26 individual workshop trainings for faculty through December, 2011. Approximately 20 faculty attended. Attendees rated the workshops as meeting and exceeding their needs however, comments indicated that they would prefer a longer period of time to digest the material covered.
      • In response to faculty comments, researched best practices, and declining workshop numbers, The Faculty Development Center redesigned their training menu to include a more diversified training model focused on Social Learning. In January 2012, they launched their initial UWG|Online Certified Online Instructor cohort. Over 60 faculty members requested participation. 34 were accepted into three different co hort groups and at completion, UWG|Online certified 32 new online instructors. This course was conducted over 10 weeks and included both online and face to face components. Participants completed five online modules and attended four two hour face to face trainings with their group that included presentations by existing online faculty. Participant evaluations indicated that the the course needed to be split into two sections and shortened. As a result, the initial course was redesigned into two separate courses. 46 faculty were accepted out of 52 applications for the summer sessions set to begin in early July.
      • To increase awareness for the BlackBoard Collaborate and to maintain the collegial relationships developed in the initial cohort over the summer break, the DDEC began conducting one hour synchronous webinars. 15 separate sessions were conducted for with approximately 10 faculty attending each session.
      • The DDEC offered 156 Dr. D's (one-on-one consultations) with a total duration of 114 hours.
    3. As a result of reviewing their course evaluations, faculty continuously indicate the need to more easily incorporate use of multimedia in their courses, including audio and video.
      • The DDEC responded by upgrading its Wimba server, which allows for two-way video and introducing Blackboard Collaborate through the cohort trainings; by further promoting the use of Wimba Pronto instant messenger that integrates seamlessly with our learning management system and provided virtual helpdesks for various student support units across campus; by upgrading various other software licenses to allow for mobile access and for archives to be downloaded as offline mobile files; and by further supporting the campus-wide collaborative wikispaces service that integrates with our campus myUWG portal; by identifying and supporting media creation tools that meet the needs for Section 508 compliance; by increasing technology resources available for faculty checkout.
      • In FY12, the Wimba/Collaborate system was used a total of 23156 times, (up from 10942 in FY11) including instruction and support, with 3933 (up from 2562 in FY11) events accounting for advisement and virtual office hours. The total advisement hours via Wimba Live Classroom was 20 hours,(up from 14 in FY11) with an average advisement session of 25 minutes.
    4. As a result of informal assessments regarding the need for more student support updates, as well as media driven orientations and tutorials integrated directly into CourseDen, the DDEC's Student Services team provided the use of our "FREE Optional Resources - How to Use CourseDen" course. This was built by our staff to provide fully online students the tools needed to succeed in any online course regardless of the tools/software used by their instructors.
      • In Spring 2012, 4032 students were enrolled in the optional online orientation course as well as our Online Student Listserv (UWG-Wolf - "Wise Online Learners Forum") to provide upcoming news, updates, announcements, and helpful information.
      • The DDEC Student Services Team created 18 media driven, audio narrated instructional tutorials to give the user personalized orientations to tools/services supported by our department.

    7) Attach additional assessment information (not related to student learning outcomes in academic programs which are input in another section of the system), consolidate information into one PDF document and upload it here. Assessment File Upload (No file uploaded)


    Please discuss your department's initiatives toward the UWG Strategic Goals
    You only need to reply to the goals your department addressed this year

    8) Every undergraduate academic program will demonstrate a distinctive blending of liberal arts education, professional competencies, and experiential learning, preparing students to be ethically responsible and civically engaged professionals in the global economy of the 21st century.

    In today's world, online learning in and of itself promotes professional competencies, experiential learning, preparing students to be engaged professionals in the global economy of the 21st century. For UWG online eCore offerings: The eCore (USG core curriculum online) course-level learning outcomes (COLAs) are mapped to the General Core Curriculum Learning Outcomes which include critical thinking, global and United States perspectives. eCore faculty provide the first step of course-level learning outcome evaluation, through a system in which selected outcomes are assessed with a system of "exceeds expectations, meets expectations, or did not meet expectations," in addition to the numerical student grade. Areas identified for improvement in meeting outcomes by eCore faculty are documented, and acted upon, usually as course-specific improvements. This data is also used to inform the process of major course revisions (readings, multimedia, learning activities, texts) by a team of three or more USG faculty members. The eCore curriculum contains core level classes in Areas A, B, C, D and E. For other UWG offerings: Course-level learning outcomes and program outcomes are articulated and assessed by the individual academic units over said offerings.

    Members of the UWG Online team played critical roles in crafting a strategic plan document titled "Grow West: A Strategic Plan for the Targeted Advancement of Online Teaching and Learning at UWG." This plan outlines seven recommendations to to help UWG further leverage the potential of online learning to better prepare all students for the 21st Century. This plan was unanimously approved by Faculty Senate, and online teaching and learning has been formally recognized as an integral part of our strategic planning and student success.

    9) Every undergraduate student will be advised to take advantage of one of multiple available learning communities. Learning communities that are available to students will include communities organized by living arrangement, by year in program, by other co-curricular associations - Honors Program, Advanced Academy, Band, Athletics, Debate, or program in the major.

      • The UWG Online Student Services Team offered face-to-face, live online, and asyncronous online, informal education opportunities for students to learn more about taking online courses. The Student Services Team collaborated with the New Student Programs and UWG Orientation staff, to provide many of the live sessions around the Carrollton campus.
      • UWG Online established a vibrant presence on Facebook and Twitter, in FY12.
      • In FY12, DDEC helped build and support 31 distinct learning community course sites within our learning management system. Communities ranged from course sites for at-risk students (EXCEL Center) to History majors.

    10) The University will endeavor to increase enrollment in and graduation from graduate programs, including doctoral programs, that have as their mark a practical professional purpose, experiential learning opportunities, and an intellectual program informed by a foundation of liberal education.

    UWG Online team members have been instrumental in helping to develop, transition, and support three online/hybrid doctoral programs over the last two years including fully online doctorates in School Improvement (450% increase in applications in the first year with 32 students accepted into the first cohort and 25 in the second) and Nursing Education (new program beginning August 2012 with 17 current commitments). These programs allowed UWG to obtain a Level VI classification. Level VI is the highest level of SACS classification.

    11) The University will maintain an environment that is safe and conducive to learning.

    UWG's online offerings provide students the opportunity to complete undergraduate and graduate courses and degrees online at our accredited university, free from time and location limitations. Instructors receive high-quality training and support, including instructional design guidance including our own 5 Star Course Rubric for self-assessment of curse design and best practices of online teaching. Student support services, including enrollment counseling, bookstore, library services, tutoring, test proctoring and disability services are coordinated through the eCore Administration.

    12) The University community will provide a balanced variety of cultural, recreational, leisure, and informal education programming opportunities for faculty, staff, and students that enhance the quality of campus life.

    • Online faculty can participate in subject area and academia discussions via multiple virtual and face-to-face faculty development opportunities year-round. The DDEC delivered 26 face to face workshops, and seven separate course sections using the new UWG Certification model to UWG faculty and staff in FY12. The average workshop length was typically two hours; with the certification courses lasting 6 - 12 weeks with 4 online modules and a minimum of 12 hours of face to face synchronous instruction.
    • To further develop a positive culture of support through out the campus, the DDEC focused on developing peer relationships between online faculty by sponsoring social events as part of the cohort trainings.
    • The UWG Online Faculty Development Team created the Faculty Success Team and introduced members to the campus at-large, via video and a dedicated web page.
    • Faculty Success Team members attended trainings with full time staff to provide additional opportunities for online faculty to meet members of the support team.
    • One of our online faculty, whom we nominated and supported, won the prestigious Outstanding eLearning Faculty Award from the Instructional Technology Council (ITC). Ms. Kim Huett, also a doctoral candidate in our fully online EdD in School Improvement program, received the honors and a complimentary registration to the ITC's annual conference in California. The DDEC covered Ms. Huett's other travel expenses so that she could attend the conference and award luncheon.
    • The UWG Online Student Services Team offered face-to-face, live online, and asyncronous online, informal education opportunities for students to learn more about taking online courses. The Student Services Team collaborated with the New Student Programs and UWG Orientation staff, to provide many of the live sessions around the Carrollton campus.
    • UWG Online established a vibrant presence on Facebook and Twitter, in FY12.

    13) All units will strive to improve the compensation and working environment of faculty and staff in order to recruit and retain the best individuals.

    The DDEC provided limited stipends, travel, and equipment funds to faculty completing specified training and course development. Faculty consistently indicated their appreciation for these efforts. Members of the UWG Online team played critical roles in crafting a strategic plan document titled "Grow West: A Strategic Plan for the Targeted Advancement of Online Teaching and Learning at UWG." This plan outlines seven recommendations to help UWG further leverage the potential of online learning including a recommendation to Develop a "System to Incentivize, Train, Support, and Hire Faculty Involved with Online Teaching and Learning." This plan was unanimously approved by Faculty Senate, and should help us improve the compensation and working environment for faculty interested in online and teaching and learning as well as provide direction to recruit and retain the best online teachers.

    14) The University will endeavor to increase our overall enrollment to 14,500 by the year 2015.

    • Enrollment in distance courses (51-100% online) jumped by 19%, from 18,415 in FY11 to 22,745 in FY12.
    • Enrollment in fully online courses courses has more than doubled in the last three years. Not counting eCore or WebMBA enrollments, fully online enrollment at UWG grew from 6,272 in FY09 to 9,072 in FY10, and from 9,489 in FY11 to 14,215 in FY12.
    • The number of students attending UWG exclusively through online classes during the entire fiscal year rose from 1,136 in FY10 to 1,207 in FY11.

    15) With our enrollment growth, West Georgia will remain committed to the following targets of academic quality: student to faculty of 18 to 1; average class size of 29; full-time to part-time faculty ratio of 4.4 to 1.

    For Fall 2011, the average class size of online courses (courses 50% or more online) was 21.

    16) West Georgia will develop several new facilities to improve quality along with meeting capacity demands due to enrollment growth.

    DDEC personnel are housed centrally in the Lower Auditorium (enlarging and undergoing significant renovations), in addition to offices in the Honors House, the Education Building, and the UWG Newnan at the University of West Georgia. To meet local demand, Graduate education courses are also offered at a site shared with Georgia Highlands College.

    17) Capital Campaign: The Development Office will prepare for a capital campaign to assist in meeting the long-term needs of the University of West Georgia.

    In FY 12, eTuition for fully online courses at UWG generated $3.4 million for the institution while providing scalable operations and faculty incentives for online growth.

    18) Communication and Marketing: The Office of University Communications and Marketing (UCM) will internally and externally promote the missions and goals of the strategic plan. This will be achieved by aligning the institution's integrated marketing plan (advertising, visual identity standards, web presence, media relations, etc.) with the strategic plan.

    Members of the UWG Online team played critical roles in crafting a strategic plan document titled "Grow West: A Strategic Plan for the Targeted Advancement of Online Teaching and Learning at UWG." This plan outlines seven recommendations to help UWG further leverage the potential of online learning including a recommendation to "Incorporate Distance Education into UWG's Advertising and Brand Marketing." This plan was unanimously approved by Faculty Senate, has already strengthened the working relationship with UCM, and resulted in new and improved marketing materials.

    In FY12, extensive marketing efforts were implemented:

    • The DDEC began marketing "UWG Online" to identify UWG online programs and course offerings as a distinct part of UWG. Logos, wordmarks, and online badges, were all developed as a team effort with UCM.
    • A new database-driven website that is serving as as a template for Admissions, Graduate Studies, and later other academic units, was unveiled. (see https://westga.edu/uwgonline/)
    • Web 2.0, newspaper advertisements, roadside and digital banners, Google Ad Words, and various SEO (Search Engine Optimization) marketing enhancements have been used.
    • The team focuses on four primary goals: -Increasing enrollment (enhance social media and continue recruiting visits) -Enhancing reputation (by highlighting and publicizing the achievements of faculty members) -Increasing course completion rates (by maintaining course revisions and links) -Measuring ROI.

    19) Community Relations: The University will engage the local community educationally, culturally and recreationally.

    DDEC staff will be in attendance at several local high school college and career fairs and events for FY13.

    20) Describe any notable achievements toward selected goals(s) during this reporting year.

    • UWG Online team members were instrumental in helping to develop, transition, and support two online doctoral programs over the last two years including fully online doctorates in School Improvement (450% increase in applications in the first year with 32 students accepted into the first cohort and 25 in the second) and Nursing Education (new program beginning August 2012 with 17 current commitments). These programs allowed UWG to obtain a Level VI classification. Level VI is the highest level of SACS classification.
    • Members of the UWG Online team played critical roles in crafting a strategic plan document titled "Grow West: A Strategic Plan for the Targeted Advancement of Online Teaching and Learning at UWG." This plan outlines seven recommendations to help UWG further leverage the potential of online learning. To support this plan, UWG|Online has developed a leveled training approach that includes a tiered UWG|Online Certification model for Online Instruction, Course Development, and Evaluation and Mentorship.
    • Retention rates in UWG online courses continue to be high and comparable to rates in traditional face-to-face classes (95% in Summer 2011, 93.1 % in Fall 2011, and 92.3 % in Spring 2012)
    • UWG's DDEC continues to be internationally recognized for the Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, the Distance Learning Administration Conference, and several certificate programs for distance educators.
    • The eTuition plan that the DDEC proposed, helped to develop, and assists in implementing each year, generated $3.4 million in FY12, while providing scalable operations and faculty incentives for online growth.
    • One of our online faculty, whom we nominated and supported, won the prestigious Outstanding eLearning Faculty Award from the Instructional Technology Council (ITC). Ms. Kim Huett, also a doctoral candidate in our fully online EdD in School Improvement program, received the honors and a complimentary registration to the ITC's annual conference in California. The DDEC covered Ms. Huett's other travel expenses so that she could attend the conference and award luncheon.

    21) List any resources that could have assisted your department with achieving/exceeding departmental goals and how they could have facilitated/improved the work of your the work of your department?

    The DDEC would benefit from advanced and automated student tracking and at-risk student software, as well as recruitment management tools. Operationally, the DDEC would benefit from a full-time project manager to serve as the single point of contact for data assessment and the transition and support of the new learning management system.

    Other Departmental Information

    22) List any changes to the structure or substructures of your department implemented during reporting year.

    In FY12 (January 2012) the DDEC became part of the rewly re-organized and renamed Extended Learning division, under the leadership of the Executive Director of Extended Learning and Dean of USG eCore, Dr. Melanie Clay. Continuing Education now falls under this division.

    23) List any additional comments about your department based on this reporting year.

    DDEC staff members sponsored the 14th Annual Distance Learning Administration Conference at Jekyll Island, Georgia, in June 2012. The conference was attended by more than 220 distance learning professionals representing approximately 33 states, Canada and England. Melanie Clay served as Conference Director, Dawn Senfeld as Conference Manager, Austin Janowski as Recreation Coordinator, and Christy Talley as Technology Coordinator. All DDEC staff contributed to hosting the event.

    Since assuming administrative services responsbility in 2009, UWG continued to excel as the school now in charge of eCore Administrative Services. Though the eCore unit operates and is staffed as its own division, UWG?s DDEC staff continue to provide project management assistance, UWG eCore Advisors, and support specific to UWG?s eCore students. As eCore?s lead affiliate, UWG eCore?s registration and retention numbers for FY12 show that UWG has succeeded in increasing eCore enrollments and retention; UWG eCore continues to enroll more students than any other affiliate.

    Dr. Melanie N. Clay was promoted from Associate Dean to Dean of USG eCore and Executive Director of Extended Degree Programs and USG eCore. She continued to serve as Editor-in-Chief of the Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, DLA2012 Conference Director, and as Chairperson of the Regent's Advisory Committee on Distance Education and the Board of Regents Distance Education Task Force. She also served on the the UWG Strategic Planning Committee and UWG Master Facilities Planning Committee. During 2011-2012, she successfully led the development and approval efforts of a partnership with Valdosta State to provide for administrative services to a new USG online program - eMajor. She also taught one section of American Government at the UWG Newnan (51 percent online).

    Dr. Jason B. Huett began his position as the Associate Dean of Online Development and USG eCore in July 2011. He is also a tenured Associate Professor of Instructional Technology and Design at the University of West Georgia (UWG) in the department of Educational Technology and Foundations, and the 2012 President-elect of the Distance Learning Division of the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT). During FY 2011-12, he helped lead efforts to craft the strategic plan document titled "Grow West: A Strategic Plan for the Targeted Advancement of Online Teaching and Learning at UWG." This plan outlines seven recommendations to help UWG further leverage the potential of online learning, and it received a unanimous endorsement from Faculty Senate. Jason teaches two online graduate courses each year titled Introduction to Distance Education and The Distance Education Professional. He was lead designer on a new online doctorate in School Improvement that launched its first cohort in summer 2011 and has aided in the design of numerous online programs and classes from 6th grade through the doctoral level. He published several articles and book chapters this year and edited a new book: The Next Generation of Distance Education: Unconstrained Learning. He served on numerous committees at all levels, is currently a contributing editor for the new Journal of Applied Instruction Design, serves on five other journal editorial and review boards, functions as lead for online faculty development and university-wide initiatives such as quality control for online courses and new cohort training models to prepare faculty to design, develop, implement, evaluate and revision online/hybrid courses, and he has been a keynote speaker three times this year at various conferences and gatherings. He also serves as a consultant for several virtual schools, universities, corporations, and the State of Georgia.

    Janet Gubbins continued to serve as the director of Distance & Distributed Education Center and fill the role of primary administrator for CourseDen Vista. She also served as a project manager for eCore proposals to new affiliates, the primary GeorgiaOnMyLine/eCore GeorgiaVIEW administrator, UWG's representative on the BOR's Change Advisory Board and as an INGRESS administrator for USG collaborative programs at UWG. She contributed as an alternate on the Technology Coordination Council and the Regent's Advisory Committee on Distance Education. She was a member of the UWG Faculty Senate Technology Committee and helped host the DLA 2012 conference. Janet attended the BOR's Rock Eagle Annual Computing Conference, the BOR Georgia Summit, and was an invited panelist at the Adult Learning Consortium Spring 2011 meeting. She also served as an online instructor in the Distance Learning Certificate Program, the Certified Trainer Program, and the eCore American Government course.

    Matias Marabotto started the fiscal year serving as a Student Support Specialist of Distance & Distributed Education Center managing and supervising the Helpline and the Student Assistants and Graduate Assistants, and also with their respective trainings. Starting in September Matias took a position as an Instructional Designer in the Distance & Distributed Education Center, focusing on the Faculty side. Matias continued as tertiary administrator for CourseDen (WebCT) Vista, and he is the secondary Admin for Desire to Learn (D2L). In addition, Matias is the Admin for Wimba Classroom and for Collaborate, the newest version of Wimba that will be deployed and distributed to faculty in the next months to selected faculty members and open to campus in Fall 2012. Matias implements the end-of-term CourseEval course evaluations for all distance courses; distributing results and information each term and as needed. He continued to manage the Distance Education and eCore website and databases when needed. He contributed to the DLA 2012 conference, attended to BOR's virtual Rock Eagle Annual Computing Conference. He also attended and presented in Blackboard World, Collaborate Summit and Oklahoma City Conference for eLearning. He assisted in providing end-user support for distance education technologies, including calls for assistance via phone help, face-to-face, and the web.
    He also served as an online Team assistant in the Distance Learning Certificate Program, Advanced Technologies and the Certified Trainer Program. In addition, he serves as primary administrator for CoureEval, Wimba, Collaborate, BB IM, USG podcasting server, Respondus, Impatica, Wikispaces, Atomic Learning, Smarthinking and iTunesU.

    Jason Busbin began serving as a Student Support Specialist of Distance & Distributed Education Center in September. He currently manages and supervises the Distance Helpline and also serves as the Numara/Footprints Ticketing System Admin. He coordinates with various members within the department to build and maintain the helpdesk ticketing system and its layout. His responsibilities also include managing 7 Student Helpdesk Assistants, serving as tertiary administrator for CourseDen (WebCT) Vista, managing and organizing our Annual Student Phone Survey, presenting live, in-person student orientations to new users/students, creating and maintaining the Online Orientation Course and Online Learners Listserv, as well as serving as the student Point-of-Contact for our Wikispaces server. He served as a Tech Team Leader for the the DLA 2012 conference, attended to BOR's Rock Eagle Annual Computing Conference, and presented at the Oklahoma City Conference for eLearning. He helped Pilot 2 online program orientation cohorts to provide new, non-traditional students an intensive orientation covering program information, online learning essentials, and other institution specific information prior to beginning the Fully Online Program. He assists in providing end-user support for distance education technologies, including calls for assistance via phone help, face-to-face, and the web. He also served as an online Team assistant in the Advanced Technologies Course and helps to manage the USG Podcasting Server, Respondus, Atomic Learning, Smarthinking, iTunesU, and Wimba servers/services.

    David Lloyd Continues to serve the distance learning team as Director of Online Faculty Development. His responsibilities include managing the DDEC Faculty Development Center and administration of faculty training opportunities. David assists in providing training and end-user support in distance education technologies including CourseDen, Podcasting, CourseEval, Respondus and others. David also offers training in the use of the educational aspects of various social networking tools such as twitter, Google Docs, YouTube, etc. David serves as the secondary administrator for GaView (Vista 8) and serves as the Primary administrator of Desire2Learn. Working with Dr. Jason Huett, David also works on online program development.

    Debra Robinson started the semester serving as casual labor position as an Instructional Designer in the Distance & Distributed Education Center, focusing on the Faculty side. She became a full time staff member in February and continued as the lead designer for faculty workshops, trainings, and cohort course development. Debra designed and implemented the UWG|Online Certified Online Instructor and UWG|Online Certified Online Course Developer cohort trainings to support and increase the effectiveness of online instruction and was the initiator for developing and designing the three pronged training approach for faculty development. She is the Institutional Representative for Quality Matters and the secondary administrator for Blackboard Collaborate. Debra will act as the lead faculty trainer for the migration to the new learning management system, Desire 2 Learn. Debra will present at the DLA 2012 conference and attended the GaETC Conference. She was able to use her networking in the K-12 arena to establish a relationship with the Georgia Virtual School which enabled students in the MEDT 7475 course to work with both the design and instructional components of this institution. She also served as an online instructor for the Certified Trainer Program.

    Michael Post joined Distance and Distributed Education in July 2011 as an UWG eCore Academic Advisor and Marketing Assistant to UWG|Online. In his advisor role he advises an average of 300 UWG eCore students per semester. He is available to assist all eCore students with registration, access to courses, proctored exam questions, general advisement, among other issues primarily via phone calls to direct line, eCore help line and emails. He works collaboratively with co-advisors, affiliate institutions, eCore staff members and eCore instructors to contact "At-Risk" students to try to work with them in order to retain them in classes and keep them on the right track for success in their classes. He is a member of the UWG PAAA (Professional Association of Academic Advisors) group. He also assist with the maintenance of the USG eCore website. Another primary duty for eCore is the development of training materials for both Success Team members and eCore students. Michael's time with UWG|Online is focused on assisting with marketing. He assisted in the implementation of a temporary/transition website for UWG|Online while the final version was being developed. After helping with the final website deployment, he worked with Janet Gubbins and UCM to develop various marketing pieces and campaigns to raise the awareness of UWG|Online and its programs.

    Chris Spruck began his position as a Web Applications Developer in January 2012. He has taken on responsibility for numerous development-related tasks on multiple web sites within Distance Education and related units. He was involved with the development of the UWG Online web site upgrade and launch. He was also closely involved with development of the database and data entry tools for the VPAA's program database and trained several faculty members on the use of those tools. This database is an integral component of multiple campus web sites, including UWG Online, Graduate Studies, Admissions, and future sites.

    Departmental Annual Report - Part II
    (Achievements which are not applicable to our department were removed.)
     
    Number of Faculty  
    46) Number of part-time faculty in your department this year? 1
    Faculty Extracurricular Engagement with Students  
    47) Number of new course developments completed by faculty in your department this year? 1
    Faculty Research Productivity  
    51) Number of books and/or monographs published by faculty in your department this year? 1
    52) Number of book chapters published by faculty in your department this year? 2
    53) Number of peer-reviewed articles published by faculty in your department this year? 1
    54) Number of shorter works published by faculty in your department this year? 4
    55) Number of papers presented by faculty in your department this year? 3
    56) Number of other presentations delivered by faculty in your department this year? 16
    57) Number of in-house publications published by faculty in your department this year? 8
    60) Number of faculty that served in journal editing/reviewing positions this year? 1
    62) Number of faculty that traveled abroad for research purposes this year? 1
    Faculty Public Service  
    64) Number of faculty that held positions in professional organizations this year? 1
    65) Number of faculty that served as advisors to student organizations this year? 1
    66) Number of faculty that participated in cooperative consulting efforts this year? 1
    67) Number of faculty that served on institution (UWG) wide committees this year? 1
    69) Number of faculty that participated in public service activities this year? 1
     
  • 2010-2011

    DISTANCE AND DISTRIBUTED EDUCATION
    ANNUAL REPORT 2010-2011

    (FY 2011- July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011)

    1. Mission

    The Distance & Distributed Education Center is a university-wide function at UWG which serves to develop and enhance the university's ability to deliver education to students at remote locations and to meet institutional distance learning goals. Through intercampus sharing of resources, the Distance and Distributed Education Center facilitates collaboration among university colleges, schools, and departments to deliver quality distance instruction, faculty and student services, and other distance learning initiatives.

    2. Goals

    Goals and functions of this department mirror the institutional distance learning goals (http://www.westga.edu/~distance/):

    • Work with faculty to plan and create distance learning environments that encourage and support excellence in a personal environment
    • In collaboration with other campus and state departments, maintain the human and technical resources and network infrastructure necessary to successfully support and deliver distance and distributed learning.
    • Ensure that academic and student services are appropriate to meet the needs of distance and distributed learners.
    • Conduct continuous evaluation of distance and distributed learning and support services to ensure the advancement of the University's mission and adherence to quality standards.
    • Support research, scholarship, and creative endeavors which promote knowledge of distance learning.

    In the past, these goals were reviewed annually by the VPAA's Distance and Distributed Education Steering Committee and revised as appropriate. Beginning in Fall 2008, the VPAA's DE Taskforce replaced the Distance and Distributed Education Steering Committee. In Spring 2010, the VPAA's DE Taskforce was revised to include new members (one from each College, the Library, as well as Distance Ed admin staff) and renamed the VPAA's DL Advisory Committee. In Spring 2011, the VPAA’s DL Advisory Committee once again morphed into the VPAA’s Online Development Taskforce (http://od-taskforce.wiki.westga.edu/).

    Statement of Outcomes, Processes to Assess These Outcomes, and Assessment Results Where Appropriate

    Goal 1. Plan and create distance learning environments that encourage and support excellence in a personal environment. Accomplishing this goal will ensure that:

    • Student and faculty satisfaction with distance and distributed education courses is high.
      • Summer 2010 evaluations showed that 87.6% of distance students agreed that their attitude toward online learning was positive at the beginning of the term (compared to 87% in Summer 2009). 84.9% agreed in Spring 2011. 87.7% in Fall 2010.
      • Summer 2010 evaluations showed that 88.7% of distance students agreed that their attitude toward online learning was positive at the end of the term. 84.6% agreed in Spring 2011. 86.2% in Fall 2010.
      • 72.2% of students (Fall 2010) said they'd like to take more courses in the future that are completely online (compared to 62.8% in Fall 2009).
      • 91.8% (Summer 2010) said that their instructor was positive about the online component of their course (compared to 93% in Summer 2009).
      • Enrollment in distance courses (51-100% online) has grown dramatically over the years, with an FY11 all-time high of 18,415 up from 14,826 just two years ago (FY09).
    • Student retention distance and distributed education courses is comparable to or higher than that of traditional courses.
      • Summer 2010 retention for Distance students was 95.4% for distance students excluding eCore, compared to 94.4% for non-Distance students. Fall 2010 retention for Distance students was 92.5% for distance students excluding eCore, compared to 92.1% for non-Distance students. Spring 2011 retention for Distance students was 94.1% excluding eCore, compared to 92.4% for non-Distance students.
      • Thanks to additional advisement and student mentoring resources, the eCore (courses delivered through the statewide consortium and administered through the UWG DDEC beginning Feb 2009) retention for UWG students improved remarkably to an average of 86.12% for FY2011. Here are some comparatives:
        Summer 2010 91.41% Summer 2009 87.6% Summer 2008 85.2%
        Fall 2010 84.12% Fall 2009 78.9% Fall 2008 79.7%
        Spring 2011 83.99% Spring 2010 83.2% Spring 2009 76.3%
      • Students enrolled in distance courses have access to student services.
      • The UWG Online Connection (http://www.westga.edu/~online/) provides easy web access for distance students to access student services.
    • Student learning outcomes are comparable to those in traditional courses. (ex. http://www.westga.edu/~ncate/)
      • These are generally the same as traditional and are evaluated on a departmental basis.
      • For Spring 2011, students were asked to rank on a 1-5 scale whether or not they felt more comfortable participating in a class online than in a f2f meeting. Only 25.6% of students reported in their distance learning evaluations that they felt more comfortable participating in a face-to-face course than in an online course. Summer 2010 - 28.1%; Fall 2010 - 26.1%.
    • Interaction among student-faculty, and student-student are at least as high as in a traditional course.
      • Faculty demonstrate competence in developing distance courses whose academic standards and student learning are the same as those for other courses delivered.
      • All faculty MUST complete technical and pedagogical training prior to teaching a distance course or certify that previous training or experience meets standards.
      • Academic standards and student learning are evaluated on a departmental basis. The DDEC reviews student surveys, class by class, to assure that overall student satisfaction with the faculty and the course are adequate. Since 1998, there have only been three cases in which the faculty competence seemed questionable based on student complaints. These were referred to the appropriate department head and dean. The faculty members have since left the institution.
    • The number of courses developed and offered through distance media meets the demand of the region’s students.
      • A number of students mentioned in their open-ended responses on the written survey that they need more online courses and online degree programs.

    Assessment methods: Written student surveys at end of each term, annual focus group with distance students, informal discussions with Distance Learning Steering Committee and distance faculty. Student learning outcomes are assessed by academic units offering instruction.

    Goal 2. Maintain the human and technical resources and network infrastructure necessary to successfully support and deliver distance and distributed learning. Accomplishing this goal will ensure that:

    • Faculty are trained and prepared to teach distance and distributed courses.
      • All faculty MUST complete technical and pedagogical training prior to teaching a distance course or certify that previous training or experience meets standards.
      • Students and faculty are able to receive immediate technical assistance through telephone or email, as well as face-to-face assistance when possible.
      • The DDEC staff provide immediate response to technical questions from students weekdays from 8 am until 6 pm weekdays. Students may contact a toll-free statewide support line after-hours, 24-hours a day/365 days a year.
      • Satisfaction surveys indicate that callers in July 2010 – June 2011 ranked the amount of time it took them to get help from our student-assistant staffed helpline an average of 9.89 on a scale of 1 to 10. They ranked "overall support" as 9.87
      • In FY11, the DDEC employed nine Graduate Assistants and rotated between the centrally-located Faculty Development Center and an office located in the College of Education so that they would be in closer proximity to the faculty and students needing help with mostly online courses. In FY11, the GAs provided approximately 158 hours of face-to-face contact hours with distance faculty and students (this includes Dr. D’s; Drop-ins; Workshops). There were a total of 502 hours worked by the GAs in FY11.
    • Students and faculty are able to receive assistance through a central point-of-contact .
      • The DDEC provides a central point of contact for support for all UWG distance courses.
    • A variety of delivery methods are available.
      • In addition to the primary online mode of CourseDen (WebCT) Vista, distance courses may also utilize videoconferencing, Web 2.0 technologies, Wimba’s Live Classroom and additional tools for synchronous or archived delivery of lectures featuring voice and visuals, Impatica for simple audio-visual online presentations, Camtasia for more advanced video, audio, and interactive productions.
      • Technology resources were expanded to include an online course evaluation system known as CourseEval, a local audio/video streaming server system, as well as campus-wide license for Respondus (to make CourseDen (WebCT) Vista assessment development easier for faculty), StudyMate (to make the development of interactive Flash modules easier for faculty), Respondus Lockdown Browser and SecureExam (for online exam security), Wikispaces (for online collaboration), Bomgar (for live app share/troubleshooting), VoiceThread (integrates audio/video collaboration/feedback to a presenter's online presentation), and various other online instruction tools. We also collaborated with central ITS to test and purchase a new Helpdesk ticketing system that will be accessible online.
    • Distance courses are easily accessible to a growing number of students and potential students.
      • In Summer 2010 alone, distance education credit hours accounted for 36% of all UWG credit hours.
      • Enrollment in distance courses (51-100% online) jumped by 25% in just two years, from 14,833 in FY09 to 18,415 in FY11.
      • Enrollment in fully online courses courses continues to grow. Not counting eCore or WebMBA enrollments, fully online enrollment at UWG grew from 6,272 in FY09 to 9,072 in FY10 and 9,489 in FY11.
      • The total number of distance courses (51-100% online) offered increased by 12% in FY11, with 908 course sections offered, compared with 808 in FY10, FY09’s 642, FY08's 485, FY07’s 422, a FY06 total of 375, a FY05 total of 292, 243 in 2004, 132 in 2003, and 144 in 2002.
      • The number of fully online UWG courses offered, not counting eCore or WebMBA, saw a 17% increase from 350 in FY10 to 410 in FY11 (up from 181 in FY09).
      • Counting eCore and WebMBA, the number of fully online course offered rose by 24%, from 521 in FY10 to 644 in FY11.
      • The unduplicated head count of UWG students enrolled in at least one online course during FY11 was 8,081, indicating that 60.65% of all students enrolled at UWG during the FY took at least one online course. These figures are up from FY10 totals of 7,695 (51.6%).
      • The number of students enrolled in ONLY online classes during the entire fiscal year also rose slightly from 1,136 in FY10 to 1,207 in FY11.
      • Except for scheduled maintenance, the CourseDen (WebCT) Vista system has functioned without significant interruption since January 2002. Downtime for courses residing on UWG servers is non-existent or minimal, with backup plans in place and utilized as needed. Faculty use CourseDen (WebCT) Vista and Wimba Live Classroom as the primary delivery tools.
      • All former online courses utilize CourseDen (WebCT) Blackboard's Vista 8 Enterprise System as their primary authenticated course portal. The system is housed on a centralized USG server, under the direction of the Board of Regent's GeorgiaVIEW Initiative, their contracts and service level agreements.

    Assessment methods: Written student surveys at end of each term, annual focus group with distance students, informal discussions with Distance Learning Steering Committee (pre-Fall 2008), the VPAA's DE Taskforce (Fall 2008- Speing 2010), the VPAA's DL Advisory Committee (March 2010 - Spring 2011), the VPAA’s Online Development Taskforce (http://od-taskforce.wiki.westga.edu/) and distance faculty’s departmental annual self-review.

    Goal 3. Ensure that academic and student services are appropriate to meet the needs of distance and distributed learners. Accomplishing this goal will ensure that:

    • Each distance course or program provides students with clear, complete and timely information on the curriculum, course and degree requirements, nature of faculty/student interaction, prerequisite technology competencies, technical requirements, availability of academic support service, financial aid resources and costs and payment policies. See: http://www.westga.edu/~distance/distancestudents/
      • Information available on web and syllabi for all distance courses and programs.
      • Information also available in online student handbook, and other online points of access for students.
    • Students express satisfaction with the level of academic and student services received when taking distance and distributed courses.
      • In FY 11 distance course evaluations, students expressed general satisfaction. The majority of complaints were course specific.
    • Students are aware of and utilize online resources available to them for academic and student support.
      • According to a telephone survey conducted in April 2011, most students were satisfied with support services (advising, financial aid, career services, registration, and book purchase) or said "did not apply.” 73% of distance students surveyed in April 2011 reported that they used library services, and 79% were satisfied or very satisfied with these services.
      • Enrolled students have reasonable and adequate access to the range of student services and resources appropriate to support their learning.
      • Distance students have access to the range of student services and resources that traditional students do, and also special services such as support from the DDEC, and special services from the library. In FY11, the DDEC provided the Wimba Live Classroom tool for EXCEL and Computer Science virtual advisement, resulting in approximately 2000 hours of virtual advisement.

    Assessment methods: Written student surveys at end of each term, annual focus group with distance students, informal discussions with steering committees, advisory boards, and VPAA Online Taskforce members, distance faculty, departmental annual self-review.

    Goal 4. Conduct continuous evaluation of distance learning and support services to ensure the advancement of the University's .mission. Accomplishing this goal will ensure that:

    • Faculty use results of evaluations to improve courses.
      • All distance faculty must complete the Distance Evaluation Summary form, documenting what changes they will make in future distance courses based on their student surveys.
      • Departments use the results of the campus-wide Student Evaluation Instrument (SEI) as one means of reviewing the instructor’s performance, as well as retention rates.
    • Distance learning staff uses results of evaluations to improve programs and services as a whole.
      • The DDEC staff reviews evaluations and completes an annual effectiveness evaluation each June. A staff retreat is also held annually to assess staff quality standards, issues and plan for the next year.
    • The technologies selected are appropriate to meet course or program objectives.
      • The DDEC selects technologies for campus use and support based on student need, recommendations from other institutions and faculty, as well as cost-benefit analysis.
      • Individual departments and instructors select from combinations of the various institutional technologies (for example, CourseDen (WebCT) Vista, videoconferencing, Wimba Live Classroom) based on the program and course objectives.
    • Documentation of evaluations for each course and the overall distance program is available and accessible via the web.
    • Beginning Spring 2008, a new online course evaluation tool called Course Eval was rolled-out, allowing easier access to course-specific data and more granular comparative analysis.
      • Overall evaluations for student written surveys, focus groups, phone surveys, retention and other data is available at the DDEC website
      • Raw survey data is also maintained by the DDEC and each department offering distance courses.

    Assessment methods: Faculty summary of evaluations each term, written student surveys at end of each term, annual focus group with distance students, informal discussions with Distance Learning Steering Committee and distance faculty, departmental annual self-review.

    Goal 5. Support research, scholarship, and creative endeavors which promote knowledge of distance learning. Accomplishing this goal will ensure that:

    • Our journal, conference, and certificate programs maintain excellent reputations among distance learning administrators in the United States and worldwide.
    • The journal is required reading for many institutional programs, including University of Nebraska's doctoral program in Higher Education, and is referenced in many papers and books.
    • The conference attracts a growing international audience of practitioners in the field.
    • Our Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration continues to increase in readership.
    • The journal's average hits per edition was 15,000 in FY11, up from 8,800 in FY10.
    • In its fourteenth year of production, the OJDLA has built an international following, with readers spanning 87 countries in FY11 (compared to 49 countries in FY07). As of July 2011, the journal's home page has been accessed nearly 604,683 times.
    • UWG faculty conduct research to enhance distance courses at UWG and to provide scholarly information to their field .
    • UWG faculty and staff regularly present research at the DLA Conference and other conferences, including SITE, Educause, and other professional meetings. Many UWG faculty articles and books on distance learning are linked from the distance website.

    Assessment methods: Certificate program and conference evaluations , readership data of journal , feedback from readers and participants .

    3. Examples of Using of Assessment of Goals and Outcomes to Improve a Process

    • Delivery methods: As a result of reviewing their course evaluations, faculty continuously indicate the need to more easily incorporate use of multimedia in their courses, including audio and video. The DDEC responded by upgrading its Wimba server, which allows for two-way video; by adding a new Wimba Pronto instant messenger that integrates seamlessly with our learning management system and provided virtual helpdesks for various student support units across campus; by upgrading various other software licenses to allow for mobile and for archives to be downloaded as offline mobile files; and by rolling-out a campus-wide collaborative wikispaces service that integrates with our campus myUWG portal. In FY11, the Wimba Live Classroom server was used 10942 times within CourseDen for online instruction, with 6597 hours of instruction taking place in the virtual classroom. In addition, we made available a new suite of products which integrates with CourseDen (WebCT) Vista, enabling audio voice boards, podcasting, and rapid creation of audio files. These enhancements, unlike some several years ago, are seamlessly integrated and have a very low learning curve for both faculty and students. We have also purchased a campus-wide license for a rapid elearning product called StudyMate to enable a content expert to more readily develop professional-looking, interactive content. Some instructors are also beginning to explore podcasting as a way to deliver course content to learners.
    • Faculty training: As a result of formal and informal needs assessments, the DDEC offered “Dr. D housecalls” to faculty who need assistance with distance learning. Support staff were available to visit faculty in their offices, by appointment. Visits were mostly limited to 60-minutes, and support was limited to providing assistance with CourseDen (WebCT) Vista course tools, demos of technologies and software (such as Wimba Live Classroom, Impatica , etc.) and basic course evaluation and improvement. 235 housecalls, totalling more than 232 hours of assistance, were conducted in FY2011 (compared to 225 housecalls and 221 hours in FY2010, 261 housecalls and 220 hours in FY09 and 243 housecalls and 200 hours in FY08). Also, online resources for those instructors who are primarily self-directed are continually developed and updated, group workshops, and webinars offered. Graduate Assistants, funded through eTuition, provided approximately 158 hours of face-to-face contact hours with distance faculty and students (this includes Dr. D’s; Drop-ins; Workshops). There were a total of 502 hours worked by the GAs in FY11.
    • Facilitated Virtual Advisement, Tutoring, and Helpdesk support: As a result of informal assessments regarding the need for virtual advisement, tutoring, and helpdesk support for online or partially online students, the DDEC provided the use of our Wimba Live Classroom and new Pronto Helpdesk features to the UWG Excel Center, Computer Science tutors, Math Department tutors, and for use by our own DDEC helpdesk staff. The DDEC helped set up the initial Live Classrooms, trained one administrative representative from each unit to further create additional rooms, provided training for the tutor presenters, and support for the student users. The result has been the offering of a student service that did not exist before FY09 at UWG - a virtual advisement service with integrated whiteboard, application sharing, text chat, full motion video, audio over IP, an available phone bridge for back-up audio, and archiving of sessions for later playback. In FY11, the system was used a total of 10942 times, including instruction and support, with 2562 events accounting for advisement and virtual office hours. The total advisement hours via Wimba Live Classroom was 14 hours, with an average advisement session of 25 minutes.
    • eCore retention: Resources are increasingly being directed towards meeting the unique advisement and support needs of those engaged in online learning through eCore. With the decision for UWG to administer the eCore program, many of the prior process improvements identified and implemented by UWG have been successfully implemented statewide. Here are current eCore processes and support mechanism for eCore students:
      • All students who want to take an eCore course are required to complete the online orientation (unique to the student’s institution) followed by a quiz that covers all points raised. Students must complete this before being allowing registration into eCore courses.
      • The eCore at-risk intervention program is in place to identify students who are experiencing issues in the eCore classoom. Students are contacted and provided access to resources which may be helpful for course completion and success.
      • The eCore program has expanded its social media presence as another means of staying in touch with students.
      • The UWG eCore retention continues to improve significantly:
        Summer Semester 2010 improved to 91.41%, up from Summer 2009 87.6% and Summer 2008 85.2%.
        Fall Semester 2010 improved to 84.12%, up from Fall 2009 78.9% and Fall 2008 79.7%
        Spring Semester 2011 improved to 83.99%, up from Spring 2010 83.2% and Spring 2009 76.3%.

    Though existing UWG DDEC staff have been working on the eCore transition since February 2009, UWG officially took over administration of the state-wide program, as of July 1, 2009. As a result, our gated-registration and other improved processes have been rolled out to all eCore affiliates within the USG.

    4. Department Condition

    Students: Student satisfaction with distance and distributed courses continues to be high. In Spring 2011, retention for distance courses excluding eCore was 94.1 percent; and overall retention in distance courses (excluding eCore) was higher than or comparable to retention in non-distance courses during every FY11 term. Eighty-seven percent of students reported that they had a positive attitude about distance learning after taking a course in Fall 2010. Eighty-nine percent reported that they found CourseDen (WebCT) Vista easy to use and understand.

    Course Offerings: The total number of distance courses (51-100% online) offered increased by 12% in FY11, with 908 course sections offered, compared with 808 in FY10, FY09’s 642, FY08's 485, FY07’s 422, a FY06 total of 375, a FY05 total of 292, 243 in 2004, 132 in 2003, and 144 in 2002.

    The number of fully online UWG courses offered, not counting eCore or WebMBA, saw a 17% increase from 350 in FY10 to 410 in FY11 (up from 181 in FY09).

    Counting eCore and WebMBA, the number of fully online course offered rose by 24%, from 521 in FY10 to 644 in FY11.

    In Summer 2010 alone, distance education credit hours accounted for 36% of all UWG credit hours (compared to 25.6% during Summer 2008).

    Resources: As the demand for distance learning courses and services has increased, so has the need for human resources. Student assistants, funded by eTuition have continued to be vital in providing first-level telephone support for distance students. The eCore program provides additional SA support for increasing eCore retention of UWG students, in particular providing assistance for the at-risk intervention program. In FY11, nine Graduate Assistants were rotated between an office in the centrally-located Faculty Development Center and an office located in the College of Education so that they would be in closer proximity to the faculty and students needing help with mostly online courses. In FY11, the GAs provided 158 face-to-face contact hours of service to distance faculty and students. GAs also worked an additional 502 hours on media and other special projects to support online instruction. The GAs provided faculty and student support and training, as well as exam proctoring, digital media production and assistance teaching a fully online Media and Instructional Technology course. As the number of distance course offerings and enrollment continues to climb, department has a highly critical need to add additional full-time support personnel to support existing distance learning courses and expand its programmatic offerings to meet the requirements of university system initiatives. In Summer 2010 alone, distance education credit hours accounted for 36% of all UWG credit hours.

    5. Department Achievements, Awards, and Distinctions

    • At the start of FY11, the DDEC supported the offering of nine fully online degree programs, certificates, and endorsements, in addition to serving as a host affiliate for the state-wide online eCore program. In FY11, that number doubled, as a record number of eight new programs in one year, committed to going online. This number includes one of only two online doctorate programs offered in the state and our first online Bachelors degree.
    • The University of West Georgia continued to serve as eCore Administrative Services for the University System of Georgia’s state-wide online core program, thanks to the DDEC team's past success in supporting eCore, proposed changes for an improved administrative model, and winning proposal. The transition from the University of Georgia's Georgia Center to UWG occurred over Spring 2009, with DDEC staff helping to lay the groundwork for the new eCore unit. UWG assumed full responsibility Summer Semester 2009. As a result, the move brought seven new jobs to the Carrollton area in 2009, with an additional position added in FY11.. UWG continues to improve upon administrative processes, student services, and retention to all UWG eCore affiliates. The number of eCore affiliates has increased in FY2011 from three to six.
    • The number of credit hours delivered via distance exceeds goals: In FY11, the percent of credit hours earned via distance education (offered more than 50% online) at UWG far exceeded the Chancellor’s goal of reaching 8% by 2012, with 36% of all UWG credit hours offered via distance in Summer 2010 and an average of 15% in Fall and Spring.
    • Increased enrollment, with three out of five UWG students taking at least one online course and over 1200 students attending UWG completely online during the span of FY11. The percent of all UWG students taking at least one distance education course (more than 50% online) went from 52% (7695) in FY10 to 61% (8081) in FY11. The number of students enrolled in only online classes during the entire FY11 was 1,207.
    • The DDEC continued to make multiple operational improvements, particularly in the area of evaluation and student services for UWG distance students. We conducted 18 face-to-face student orientations for a total of 64 hours, in FY11. As a result, retention in UWG online courses remains comparable to on-campus counterparts; and eCore retention continues to rise. The DDEC faciliated the use of its Wimba Live Classroom tool, to deliver virtual advisement and tutoring services online.
    • With the help of eTuition funds, the DDEC continued to support a Faculty Development Center, centrally located on the campus, brought in expert workshop leaders including ones from the USG Digital Innovation Group, and provided hardware and software resources for online faculty. The DDEC also hired a new Director of Online Faculty Development and will bring on a new Dean of Online Faculty Development and eCore in July 2011.
    • The DDEC delivered a wide-variety and high number of training sessions, professional development opportunities, avenues for support, and scholarly research:
      • The DDEC conducted 54 in-house, one-on-one faculty and staff training sessions. The average training session lasted 1.5-2 hours. This does not include the “Dr. D Housecalls” described below.
      • The DDEC offered “Dr. D Housecalls” to faculty who need assistance with distance learning. Support staff were available to visit faculty in their offices, by appointment. Visits were mostly limited to 60-minutes, and support was limited to providing assistance with CourseDen (WebCT) Vista course tools, demos of technologies and software (such as Wimba Live Classroom, Impatica , etc.) and basic course evaluation and improvement. 235 housecalls, totaling more than 232 hours of assistance, were conducted in FY2011.
      • The DDEC and eCore responded to approximately 4821 Level 1 and Level 2 helpcalls (students and faculty) in FY11. This accounted for more than 40 percent of all technology-support helpcalls on campus in FY11.
      • Published four quarterly editions of the Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration. Average number of visits to the site each month is 15,000.
      • The DDEC delivered 64 workshops to UWG faculty and staff in FY11. The average workshop length was typically two hours. Through the DDEC workshops, 251 different faculty and staff were served in FY11.
      • In FY11, delivered three sections of the Distance Learning Certificate Program to 34 participants from 17 states.
      • Delivered two sections of the Distance Education Certified Trainer Program to 16 participants from 7 states and 1 country.
      • Delivered one section of the Advanced Technologies in Distance Education Program to 7 participants from 6 states and 1 country.
      • With the USG eCore program now in its eleventh year, University of West Georgia continues to lead the way in FY '11. This is the second year with UWG as the hosting institution of the eCore program, and the program has grown remarkably. During FY ‘11, UWG’s portion of eCore enrollment is leveling as more eCore affiliates are brought on board. UWG accounted for an average of 53.3% enrollment across three semesters in FY ‘11 (continues to be the largest affiliate), compared to 63% in FY ‘10 and 46% in FY ‘09. UWG eCore enrollment averaged 900 across the three semesters, compared with 888 in FY ‘10 and 659 in FY ‘09/ Resources have been allocated to support the UWG eCore students, providing the unique advisement and support needed of those engaged in this online learning program. A multi-phase evaluation and improvement process has been successful in increasing enrollment and improving retention. For FY ‘11, UWG retention is at an average of 86.1% across three semesters, improving from 83.3% in FY ‘10 and 80.3% in FY ‘09. UWG shares its enrollment and retention processes with all eCore affiliate institutions to foster improvement in the overall program.
      • An amended version of our “What to Expect from an Online Course” orientation and quiz, originally developed to help raise eCore retention, are now being used campus-wide by advisors, to help prepare students for non-eCore online courses at UWG. Customized versions are now being adopted at other USG eCore affiliate schools.
      • Selected for a national program sponsored by MERLOT (http://taste.merlot.org/) and in collaboration with UWG faculty Jeff Rooks, the USG Board of Regents and Georgia Public Broadcasting; the ELIXR project recognizes, records, and shares online multi-media presentations on best practices in instructional technology.
      • Research related to our programs has been published in top tier journals and presented at noted international conferences.

    Staff Productivity

    DDEC staff members sponsored the 13th Annual Distance Learning Administration Conference at Savannah, Georgia, in May 2011. The conference was attended by more than 220 distance learning professionals representing approximately 33 states, Canada and England. Melanie Clay served as Conference Director, Dawn Senfeld as Conference Manager, Austin Janowski as Recreation Coordinator, and Christy Talley as Technology Coordinator. All DDEC staff contributed to hosting the event.

    Based on the merits of the UWG DDEC’s proposal and our previous record of success within the program, UWG continued to excel as the school now in charge of eCore Administrative Services. Though the eCore unit operates and is staffed as its own division, UWG’s DDEC staff continue to provide project management assistance, UWG eCore Advisors, and support specific to UWG’s eCore students. As eCore’s lead affiliate, UWG eCore’s registration and retention numbers for FY11 show that UWG has succeeded in increasing eCore enrollments and retention; UWG eCore continues to enroll more students than any other affiliate.

    Dr. Melanie N. Clay continued to serve as Associate Dean of Extended Degree Programs and USG eCore. She continued to serve as Editor-in-Chief of the Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, DLA2011 Conference Director, and as UWG’s representative on the Regent’s Advisory Committee on Distance Education and the Board of Regents Distance Education Task Force. She served on the the UWG Enrollment Management Committee, and the Learning Resources Sub-committee of the Faculty Senate. During 2010-2011, she successfully led instituional initial and ongoing efforts to comply with new state approvals for distance education regulations, and worked with the Board of Regents to streamline processes for the approval of online degree programs. She also taught one section of American Government at the UWG Newnan (50 percent online). She served as secretary on the Board of Directors for the Carroll County Women’s Shelter.

    Janet Gubbins continued to serve as the director of Distance & Distributed Education Center and fill the role of primary administrator for CourseDen (WebCT) Vista. She also served as a project manager for eCore proposals to new affiliates, the primary GeorgiaOnMyLine/eCore GeorgiaVIEW administrator, UWG’s representative on the BOR’s Change Advisory Board and as an INGRESS administrator for USG collaborative programs at UWG. She managed UWG's site on the USG Podcasting Server and UWG’s Georgia Public Broadcasting’s United Streaming Service. She contributed as an alternate on the Technology Coordination Council and the Regent’s Advisory Committee on Distance Education. She assisted the UWG Strategic Enrollment Committee, the DLA 2011 conference, and attended the BOR's virtual Rock Eagle Annual Computing Conference. She was an invited presenter at the BOR’s Collaborative Digital Education Summit in Macon, where she presented, “ Campus Strategies for Collecting DE Data For ZORELCA.” She also served as an online instructor in the Distance Learning Certificate Program, the Certified Trainer Program, and the eCore American Government course.

    Matias Marabotto continued serving as a Student Support Specialist of Distance & Distributed Education Center managing and supervising the Helpline and the Student assistants and Graduate Assistants. Matias continued as tertiary administrator for CourseDen (WebCT) Vista, and implements the end-of-term CourseEval course evaluations for all distance courses; distributing results and information each term and as needed. He continue to manage the Distance Education and eCore website and databases. He contributed to the DLA 2011 conference, attended to BOR’s virtual Rock Eagle Annual Computing Conference. He assists in providing end-user support for distance education technologies, including calls for assistance via phone help, face-to-face, and the web. He also serve as an online Team assistant in the Distance Learning Certificate Program, Advance Technologies and the Certified Trainer Program. In addition, he serves as primary administrator for Wimba, USG podcasting server, Respondus, Wikispaces, Atomic Learning, Smarthinking and iTunesU.

    Until his departure in February of 2011, Kevin Mobbs served as Coordinator of Faculty Development. His responsibilities include managing the newly established DDEC Faculty Development Center and administration of faculty training opportunities. In addition, he served as primary administrator for Wimba, the USG podcast server, Respondus, and Wikispaces. Kevin was the secondary administrator for GaView (Vista 8) and implemented the end-of-term CourseEval course evaluations for all distance courses; distributing results and information each term and as needed. He assisted in providing end-user support for distance education technologies, including calls for assistance via phone help, face-to-face, and the web.

    In April 2011, David Lloyd joined the distance learning team as Director of Online Faculty Development. His responsibilities include managing the DDEC Faculty Development Center and administration of faculty training opportunities. David assists in providing training and end-user support in distance education technologies including CourseDen, Podcasting, CourseEval, Respondus and others. David also offers training in the use of the educational aspects of various social networking tools such as twitter, Google Docs, YouTube, etc. David serves as the secondary administrator for GaView (Vista 8) and implements the end-of-term CourseEval course evaluations for all distance courses; distributing results and information each term and as needed.

    Carlos Araya served as an Instructional Designer as well as offered faculty support in the area of online learning. Carlos worked with various applications including CourseDen, Podcasting, Wimba, Respondus and others. He also assisted in providing end-user support for distance education technologies, including calls for assistance via phone help, face-to-face, and the web.

    Julili Fowler continued serving as a UWG eCore Academic Advisor, splitting an average 900 enrollment per semester in FY2011. She supports the eCore student base across the semester cycle and participates in the program’s at-risk intervention activities. She performs eCore data analysis for at-risk, withdrawal and grade comparison studies, as well as departmental data analysis support. She serves as project manager for the eCore annual Fact Book, and she authored academic data sections. She co-authored the eCore presentation for the DLA2011 Conference (instructor effectiveness study), and she delivered the advisor’s presentation for the eCore annual faculty meeting (top 5 things). She provides administrative support for the UWG eCore website and student email notifications. She participates in the UWG campus PAAA Advising group and was elected to Secretary/Treasurer beginning FY2012. She is a member of the NACADA advisor’s national organization and attended the NACADA R4 Conference. She attended the VSU Online Lifeline Conference (2/11). She assisted in DLA2011 Conference support. She is based at UWG UWG Newnan.

    Dawn Senfeld continued to serve as UWG eCore Academic Advisor in 2011. She advises an average of 300 UWG eCore students per semester. She assists students with registration, access to courses, proctored exam questions, general advisement, among other issues primarily via phone calls to direct line, eCore help line and emails. She works collaboratively with co-advisors, affiliate institutions, eCore staff members and eCore instructors to contact “At-Risk” students to try to work with them in order to retain them in classes and keep them on the right track for success in their classes. She is a member of the UWG PAAA (Professional Assocation of Academic Advisors) group. She is the coordinator of DDEC’s 3 certificate programs: Distance Education Certificate Program, Distance Education Certified Trainer Program and Distance Education Advanced Technologies Program. Dawn also serves as Managing Editor of the Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration. Dawn also serves as Conference Manager at our annual conference on Distance Learning Administration. This year’s conference, DLA2011, was held at the Savannah Hilton DeSoto Hotel in Savannah, GA May 20-25, 2011.

     
  • 2009-2010

    I. DISTANCE AND DISTRIBUTED EDUCATION
    ANNUAL REPORT 2009-2010

    (FY 2010- July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2010)

    1. Mission

    The Distance & Distributed Education Center is a university-wide function at UWG which serves to develop and enhance the university's ability to deliver education to students at remote locations, and to meet institutional distance learning goals. Through intercampus sharing of resources, the Distance and Distributed Education Center facilitates collaboration among university colleges and departments to deliver quality distance instruction, faculty and student services, and initiatives.
     
    2. Goals
    Goals and functions of this department mirror the institutional distance learning goals (http://www.westga.edu/~distance/):

    • Work with faculty to plan and create distance learning environments that encourage and support excellence in a personal environment
    • In collaboration with other campus and state departments, maintain the human and technical resources and network infrastructure necessary to successfully support and deliver distance and distributed learning.
    • Ensure that academic and student services are appropriate to meet the needs of distance and distributed learners.
    • Conduct continuous evaluation of distance and distributed learning and support services to ensure the advancement of the University's mission and adherence to quality standards.
    • Support research, scholarship, and creative endeavors which promote knowledge of distance learning.

    In the past, these goals were reviewed annually by the VPAA's Distance and Distributed Education Steering Committee and revised as appropriate. Beginning in Fall 2008, the VPAA's DE Taskforce replaced the Distance and Distributed Education Steering Committee. Beginning Spring 2010, the VPAA's DE Taskforce was revised to include new members (one from each College, the Library, as well as Distance Ed admin staff) and renamed the VPAA's DL Advisory Committee (http://docs.google.com/View?id=df3d99fx_111nj9j97gs).

    Statement of Outcomes, Processes to Assess These Outcomes, and Assessment Results Where Appropriate

    Goal 1. Plan and create distance learning environments that encourage and support excellence in a personal environment. Accomplishing this goal will ensure that:

    • Student and faculty satisfaction with distance and distributed education courses is high.
      • Summer 2009 evaluations showed that 87% of distance students agreed that their attitude toward online learning was positive at the beginning of the term (compared to 86% in Summer 2008). 87% agreed in Spring 2010. 87% in Fall 2009.
      • Summer 2009 evaluations showed that 91% of distance students agreed that their attitude toward online learning was positive at the end of the term. 88% agreed in Spring 2010. 86% in Fall 2009.
      • 73% of students (Summer 2009) said they'd like to take more courses in future mostly online (compared to 74% in Summer 2008).
      • 62% (Summer 2009) of students said they'd like to take courses in the future completely online (compared to 63% a year earlier). (Spring 2010- 72%; Fall 2009- 63%).
      • 93% (Summer 2009) said that their instructor was positive about the online component of their course (compared to 93% in Summer 2008). (89% in Spring 2010; 90% in Fall 2009).
      • Enrollment in distance courses (51-100% online) has grown dramatically over the years, with this year's total estimated at an all-time high of 14,836, up from 10,293 in FY08. Unique headcount in students taking distance courses also rose from an average of 2633 in FY08 to 5112 on FY10.
    • Student retention distance and distributed education courses is comparable to or higher than that of traditional courses.
      • Summer 2009 retention for Distance students was 96.2% for distance students excluding eCore, compared to 94.9% for non-Distance students.  Fall 2009 retention for Distance students was 93.2% for distance students excluding eCore, compared to 92.3% for non-Distance students. Spring 2010 retention for Distance students was 92% excluding eCore, compared to 91.8% for non-Distance students.
      • Thanks to additional advisement and student mentoring resources, eCore (courses delivered through the statewide consortium and administered through the UWG DDEC beginning Feb 2009) retention improved at 87.6 for Summer 2009 versus 85.2% for Summer '08 and 82% for Summer '07; 83.2% for Spring 2010 versus 76.3% for Spring '09 and 73% for Spring '08; and 78.9% for Fall 2009 versus 79% for Fall '08 and 72.9% for Fall '07.
    • Students enrolled in distance courses have access to student services.
      • The UWG Online Connection (http://www.westga.edu/~online/) provides easy web access for distance students to access student services.
    • Student learning outcomes are comparable to those in traditional courses. (ex. http://coe.westga.edu/mit/outcomes/index.html )
      • These are generally the same as traditional and are evaluated on a departmental basis.
      • For Spring 2009, students were asked to rank on a 1-5 scale whether or not they felt more comfortable participating in a class online than in a f2f meeting. Only 27% of students reported in their distance learning evaluations that they felt more comfortable participating in a face-to-face course than in an online course. Summer 2009 - 27%; Fall 2009 - 26%. 
    • Interaction among student-faculty, and student-student are at least as high as in a traditional course.
      • Faculty demonstrate competence in developing distance courses whose academic standards and student learning are the same as those for other courses delivered.
      • All faculty MUST complete technical and pedagogical training prior to teaching a distance course.
      • Academic standards and student learning are evaluated on a departmental basis. The DDEC reviews student surveys, class by class, to assure that overall student satisfaction with the faculty and the course are adequate. Since 1998, there have only been two cases in which the faculty competence seemed questionable based on student complaints. These were referred to the appropriate department head and dean. Both faculty members have since left the institution.
    • The number of courses developed and offered through distance media meets the demand of the region’s students.
      • A number of students mentioned in their open-ended responses on the written survey that they need more online courses and online degree programs.

    Assessment methods: Written student surveys at end of each term, annual focus group with distance students, informal discussions with Distance Learning Steering Committee and distance faculty. Student learning outcomes are assessed by academic units offering instruction.

    Goal 2. Maintain the human and technical resources and network infrastructure necessary to successfully support and deliver distance and distributed learning. Accomplishing this goal will ensure that:

    • Faculty are trained and prepared to teach distance and distributed courses.
      • All faculty MUST complete technical and pedagogical training prior to teaching a distance course.
    • Students and faculty are able to receive immediate technical assistance through telephone or email, as well as face-to-face assistance when possible.
      • The DDEC staff provide immediate response to technical questions from students weekdays from 8 am until 6 pm weekdays. Students may contact a statewide support line after hours.
      • Satisfaction surveys indicate that callers in July 2009 – June 2010 ranked the amount of time it took them to get help from our student-assistant staffed helpline an average of 9.88 on a scale of 1 to 10. They ranked "overall support" as 9.82.
      • In FY10, seven new Graduate Assistants were hired and rotated between the centrally-located Faculty Development Center and an office located in the College of Education so that they would be in closer proximity to the faculty and students needing help with mostly online courses. In FY10, the GAs provided approximately 662 hours of face-to-face contact hours with distance faculty and students.  There were a total of 4,160 hours worked by the GAs in FY10. 
    • Students and faculty are able to receive assistance through a central point-of-contact .
      • The DDEC provides a central point of contact for support for all UWG distance courses.
    • A variety of delivery methods are available.
      • In addition to the primary online mode of CourseDen (WebCT) Vista, distance courses may also utilize videoconferencing, and Wimba’s Live Classroom and additional tools for synchronous or archived delivery of lectures featuring voice and visuals, Impatica for simple audio-visual online presentations, Camtasia for more advanced video, audio, and interactive productions.
      • Technology resources were expanded to include an online course evaluation system known as CourseEval, a local audio/video streaming server system, as well as campus-wide license for Respondus (to make CourseDen (WebCT) Vista assessment development easier for faculty), StudyMate (to make the development of interactive Flash modules easier for faculty), Respondus Lockdown Browser and SecureExam (for online exam security), Wikispaces (for online collaboration), Bomgar (for live app share/troubleshooting), VoiceThread (integrates audio/video collaboration/feedback to a presenter's online presentation), and various other online instruction tools. We also collaborated with central ITS to test and purchase a new Helpdesk ticketing system that will be accessible online.
    • Distance courses are easily accessible to a growing number of students and potential students.
      • The number of FY10 credit hours earned by students who took distance education courses accounted for an average of 20.9% of the UWG's total generated credit hours; that percentage is up from the average of 16.8% in FY09. In Summer 2009 alone, distance education credit hours accounted for 34.6% of all UWG credit hours.
      • Enrollment in distance courses (51-100% online) jumped by 23%, from 14,833 in FY09 to 18,222 in FY10. Unique headcount in students taking distance courses rose from an average of 4908 per term in FY09 to 5933 in FY10.
      • Enrollment in fully online courses courses continues to grow. Not counting eCore or WebMBA enrollments, fully online enrollment at UWG grew by 44% increase, from 6,272 in FY09 to 9,072 in FY10.
      • The total number of distance courses (51-100% online) offered increased by 26% in FY10, with 808 course sections offered, compared with 642 courses offered in FY09 courses, compared to FY08's 485, FY07’s 422, a FY06 total of 375, a FY05 total of 292, 243 in 2004, 132 in 2003, and 144 in 2002.
      • The number of fully online UWG courses offered, not counting eCore or WebMBA, saw a 93% increase to 350 in FY10 (up from 181 in FY09). The number of partial distance courses (those offered 51-94% online) increased by 33% to 286 in FY10 (up from 215 in FY09, 197 in FY08 and 173 in FY07).
      • Except for scheduled maintenance, the CourseDen (WebCT) Vista system has functioned without significant interruption since January 2002. Downtime for courses residing on UWG servers is non-existent or minimal, with backup plans in place and utilized as needed. Faculty use CourseDen (WebCT) Vista and Wimba Live Classroom as the primary delivery tools.
      • All former online courses utilize CourseDen (WebCT) Blackboard's Vista 8 Enterprise System as their primary authenticated course portal. The system is housed on a centralized USG server, under the direction of the Board of Regent's GeorgiaVIEW Initiative, their contracts and service level agreements.

    Assessment methods: Written student surveys at end of each term, annual focus group with distance students, informal discussions with Distance Learning Steering Committee (pre-Fall 2008), the VPAA's DE Taskforce (as of Fall 2008), and the VPAA's DL Advisory Committee (as of March 2010) and distance faculty, departmental annual self-review.
    Goal 3. Ensure that academic and student services are appropriate to meet the needs of distance and distributed learners. Accomplishing this goal will ensure that:

    • Each distance course or program provides students with clear, complete and timely information on the curriculum, course and degree requirements, nature of faculty/student interaction, prerequisite technology competencies, technical requirements, availability of academic support service, financial aid resources and costs and payment policies. See: http://www.westga.edu/~distance/distancestudents/
      • Information available on web and syllabi for all distance courses and programs.
      • Information also available in online student handbook, and other online points of access for students.
    • Students express satisfaction with the level of academic and student services received when taking distance and distributed courses.
      • In FY 10 distance course evaluations, students expressed general satisfaction.  The majority of complaints were course specific.
    • Students are aware of and utilize online resources available to them for academic and student support.
      • According to a telephone survey conducted in April 2010, most students were satisfied with support services (advising, financial aid, career services, registration, and book purchase) or said "did not apply.”  51% of distance students surveyed in April 2010 reported that they used library services, and 60% were satisfied or very satisfied with these services.
    • Enrolled students have reasonable and adequate access to the range of student services and resources appropriate to support their learning.
      • Distance students have access to the range of student services and resources that traditional students do, and also special services such as support from the DDEC, and special services from the library. In FY10, the DDEC provided the Wimba Live Classroom tool for EXCEL and Computer Science virtual advisement, resulting in 2446 hours of virtual advisement. Information regarding services is available at http://www.westga.edu/~online   

    Assessment methods: Written student surveys at end of each term, annual focus group with distance students, informal discussions with Distance Learning Steering Committee (pre-Fall 2008) and the VPAA's DE Taskforce (as of Fall 2008) and distance faculty, departmental annual self-review. Goal 4. Conduct continuous evaluation of distance learning and support services to ensure the advancement of the University's .mission. Accomplishing this goal will ensure that:

    • Faculty use results of evaluations to improve courses.
      • All distance faculty must complete the Distance Evaluation Summary form, documenting what changes they will make in future distance courses based on their student surveys.
    • Distance learning staff uses results of evaluations to improve programs and services as a whole.
      • The DDEC staff reviews evaluations and completes an annual effectiveness evaluation each June. A staff retreat is also held annually to assess staff quality standards, issues and plan for the next year.
    • The technologies selected are appropriate to meet course or program objectives.
      • The DDEC selects technologies for campus use and support based on student need, recommendations from other institutions and faculty, as well as cost-benefit analysis.
      • Individual departments and instructors select from combinations of the various institutional technologies (for example, CourseDen (WebCT) Vista, videoconferencing, Wimba Live Classroom) based on the program and course objectives.
    • Documentation of evaluations for each course and the overall distance program is available and accessible via the web.
    • Beginning Spring 2008, a new online course evaluation tool called Course Eval was rolled-out, allowing easier access to course-specific data and more granular comparative analysis.
      • Overall evaluations for student written surveys, focus groups, phone surveys, retention and other data is available at the DDEC website
      • Raw survey data is also maintained by the DDEC and each department offering distance courses.

    Assessment methods: Faculty summary of evaluations each term, written student surveys at end of each term, annual focus group with distance students, informal discussions with Distance Learning Steering Committee and distance faculty, departmental annual self-review.

    Goal 5. Support research, scholarship, and creative endeavors which promote knowledge of distance learning. Accomplishing this goal will ensure that:

    • Our journal, conference, and certificate programs maintain excellent reputations among distance learning administrators in the United States and worldwide.
    • The journal is required reading for many institutional programs, including University of Nebraska's doctoral program in Higher Education, and is referenced in many papers and books.
    • The conference attracts a growing international audience of practitioners in the field.
    • Our Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration continues to increase in readership.
    • The journal's average hits per edition was 8,800 in FY10, up from 8,500 in FY09.
    • In its thirteenth year of production, the OJDLA had a significant increase in international readers, from a span of  49 countries in FY07, 71 in FY08, 76 in FY09, and 87 countries this past FY2010. As of June 2010, the journal's home page has been accessed nearly 500,000 times.
    • UWG faculty conduct research to enhance distance courses at UWG and to provide scholarly information to their field .
    • UWG faculty and staff regularly present research at the DLA Conference and other conferences, including SITE, Educause, and other professional meetings. Many UWG faculty articles and books on distance learning are linked from the distance website.

    Assessment methods: Certificate program and conference evaluations , readership data of journal , feedback from readers and participants .

    3. Examples of Using of Assessment of Goals and Outcomes to Improve a Process

    • Delivery methods: As a result of reviewing their course evaluations, faculty continuously indicate the need to more easily incorporate use of multimedia in their courses, including audio and video. The DDEC responded by upgrading its Wimba Live Classroom server, which allows for two-way video; and by upgrading the campus-wide license for Impatica, to allow for narrated presentations to be produced using Office 20007, to be easily delivered mobile via capable phones, Ipods, and Blackberrys, and for archives to be downloaded as offline mobile files. In FY10, the Wimba Live Classroom server was used 5154 times within CourseDen for online instruction, with 4249 hours of instruction taking place in the virtual classroom. In addition, we made available a new suite of products which integrates with CourseDen (WebCT) Vista, enabling audio voice boards, podcasting, and rapid creation of audio files. These enhancements, unlike some several years ago, are seamlessly integrated and have a very low learning curve for both faculty and students. We have also purchased a campus-wide license for a rapid elearning product called StudyMate to enable a content expert to more readily develop professional-looking, interactive content. Some instructors are also beginning to explore podcasting as a way to deliver course content to learners.
    • Faculty training: As a result of formal and informal needs assessments, the DDEC offered “Dr. D housecalls” to faculty who need assistance with distance learning. Support staff were available to visit faculty in their offices, by appointment. Visits were mostly limited to 60-minutes, and support was limited to providing assistance with CourseDen (WebCT) Vista course tools, demos of technologies and software (such as Wimba Live Classroom, Impatica , etc.) and basic course evaluation and improvement. 275 housecalls, totalling more than 251 hours of assistance, were conducted in FY2010 (compared to 261 housecalls and 220 hours in FY09 and 243 housecalls and 200 hours in FY08). Also, online resources for those instructors who are primarily self-directed are continually developed and updated, group workshops, and webinars offered. Graduate Assistants, funded through eTuition, provided 217 training housecall appointments totaling approximately 216 hours.
    • Facilitated Virtual Advisement and Tutoring: As a result of informal assessments regarding the need for virtual advisement and tutoring for online or partially online students, the DDEC provided the use of our Wimba Live Classroom server to the UWG Excel Center and Computer Science tutors. The DDEC helped set up the initial Live Classrooms, trained one administrative representative from each unit to further create additional rooms, provided training for the tutor presenters, and support for the student users. The result has been the offering of a student service that did not exist before FY09 at UWG - a virtual advisement service with integrated whiteboard, application sharing, text chat, full motion video, audio over IP, an available phone bridge for back-up audio, and archiving of sessions for later playback. The server was upgraded in FY10, to allow for multiple 2-way video and downloading of archives as mobile .mp4 files. In FY10, the system was used a total of 7359 times, including instruction and support, with 1708 events accounting for advisement and virtual office hours. The total advisement hours via Wimba Live Classroom was 2446, with an average advisement session of 87 minutes.
    • eCore retention: Resources are increasingly being directed towards meeting the unique advisement and support needs of those engaged in online learning through eCore. The first phase of a multi-pronged evaluation and improvement process was completed in Spring 2007. The first phase included a statistical analysis of eCore retention and grades, on a course-by-course basis (as compared to on-campus counterparts) and interviews with eCore students who had withdrawn from class. Based on this data, several suggestions were made to the system office, and the DDEC has implemented new processes and support mechanisms specifically for eCore students:
      • In order to register for six "high-risk" courses, students who had not previously passed an eCore course with a grade of C or better were required to complete an online orientation (which addressed basic information which had proved to be problematic to surveyed students) followed by a quiz that covered all of the points raised. An amended version of our “What to Expect from an Online Course” orientation and quiz are now being used campus-wide by advisors, to help prepare students for non-eCore online courses at UWG.
      • An eCore mentor (student assistant) was hired to assist UWG faculty teaching eCore courses in identifying students who were having problems, and assisting them.
      • A Learning Community Leader (student assistant) was hired to set up a social network (utilizing FaceBook) for UWG eCore students. This forum provided reminders about deadlines, success tips, and enabled students to dialogue "off-the-record" about their course experiences and concerns.
      • Summer 2007 marked the first semester in which all UWG-based improvements included gated registration were made. During this semester, UWG broke the 80% retention mark for the first time. Because of these results, we expanded the required online orientation/quiz to include all eCore courses. Students who have successfully completed an eCore course with a C or better do not have to take the orientation test. FY '09- and FY '10 retention data shows that the improvements that UWG made seem to continue to result in higher retention rates for UWG eCore students:

    Summer Semester 2009 improved from 85.2% in Summer 2008 to 87.6% in Summer 09.
    Fall Semester 2009 retention went from 79.7% in Fall 08 to 78.9% in Fall 09.
    Spring Semester 2010 retention improved from 76.3% Spring 09 to 83.2% Spring 10.

    Though existing UWG DDEC staff have been working on the eCore transition since February 2009, UWG officially took over administration of the state-wide program, as of July 1, 2009. As a result, our gated-registration and other improved processes have been rolled out to all eCore affiliates within the USG.

    4. Department Condition

    Students: Student satisfaction with distance and distributed courses continues to be high. In Summer 2009, retention for distance courses exclusing eCore was 96 percent; and overall retention in distance courses (excluding eCore) was higher than for non-distance courses during every FY10 term. Eighty-six percent of students reported that they had a positive attitude about distance learning after taking a course in Fall 2009. Ninety-three percent reported that they found CourseDen (WebCT) Vista easy to use and understand. The number of FY10 credit hours earned by students who took distance education courses accounted for an average of 20.9% of the UWG's total generated credit hours; that percentage is up from the average of 16.8% in FY09.

    Course Offerings:  The total number of distance courses (51-100% online) offered increased by 26% in FY10, with 808 course sections offered, compared with 642 courses offered in FY09 courses, FY08's 485, FY07’s 422, a FY06 total of 375, a FY05 total of 292, 243 in 2004, 132 in 2003, and 144 in 2002. The number of fully online UWG courses offered, not counting eCore or WebMBA, saw a 47% increase to 339 in FY10 (up from 181 in FY09). The number of FY10 partial distance courses (those offered 51-94% online) increased by nearly 33% to 286 (up from 215 in FY09 and 197 in FY08). The total number of course sections using any distance education technology rose by 24%, from 2424 in FY09 to 2997 in FY10. In Summer 2009 alone, distance education credit hours accounted for 34.6% of all UWG credit hours (compared to 25.6% during Summer 2008). 

    Resources: As the demand for distance learning courses and services has increased, so has the need for human resources. Student assistants, funded by eTuition have continued to be vital in providing first-level telephone support for distance students. Additionally, two eCore Student Assistants (an eCore Mentor and eCore Learning Community Leader) were instrumental in the success we’ve experienced in increasing eCore retention rates. In FY10, seven new Graduate Assistants were hired and rotated between an office in the centrally-located Faculty Development Center and an office located in the College of Education so that they would be in closer proximity to the faculty and students needing help with mostly online courses. In FY10, the GAs provided 662 face-to-face contact hours of service to distance faculty and students. A total of 4,160 hours were worked by the GAs in FY10. The GAs provided faculty and student support and training, as well as exam proctoring, digital media production and assistance teaching a fully online Media and Instructional Technology course. As the number of distance course offerings and enrollment continues to climb, department has a highly critical need to add additional full-time support personnel to support existing distance learning courses and expand its programmatic offerings to meet the requirements of university system initiatives. In Summer 2009 alone, distance education credit hours accounted for 34.6% of all UWG credit hours.

    5. Department Achievements, Awards, and Distinctions

    • The University of West Georgia was awarded the eCore Administrative Services contract in February 2009, thanks in part to the DDEC team's past success in supporting eCore and our proposed changes for an improved administrative model. The transition from the University of Georgia's Georgia Center to UWG occurred over Spring 2009, with DDEC staff helping to lay the groundwork for the new eCore unit. UWG assumed full responsibility Summer Semester 2009. As a result, the move brought seven new jobs to the Carrollton area and will allow UWG to roll out improved administrative processes, student services, and retention to all USG eCore affiliates.
    • We facilitated and supported the growth of credit hours offered via distance education, in line with the USG's and UWG's strategic goals, the number of FY09 credit hours earned by UWG students who took distance education courses accounted for an average of 20.9% of the UWG's total generated credit hours (up from the average of 16.8% in FY09).
    • The DDEC continued to make multiple operational improvements, particularly in the area of evaluation and student services for UWG distance students. We conducted 32  student orientations in the classroom and one-on-one, in FY10. The student orientations averaged over 60 minutes per session. As a result, retention in UWG online courses remains comparable to on-campus counterparts; and eCore retention continues to rise. The DDEC faciliated the use of its Wimba Live Classroom tool, to deliver virtual advisement and tutoring services online.
    • With the help of eTuition funds, the DDEC opened a new Faculty Development Center, centrally located on the campus, brought in expert workshop leaders including ones from the USG Digital Innovation Group, and provided hardware and software resources for online faculty.
    • The DDEC delivered a wide-variety and high number of training sessions, professional development opportunities, avenues for support, and scholarly research:
      • The DDEC conducted 40 in-house, one-on-one faculty and staff training sessions. The average training session lasted 2 hours. This does not include the “Dr. D Housecalls” described below.
      • The DDEC offered “Dr. D Housecalls” to faculty who need assistance with distance learning. Support staff  were available to visit faculty in their offices, by appointment. Visits were mostly limited to 60-minutes, and support was limited to providing assistance with CourseDen (WebCT) Vista course tools, demos of technologies and software (such as Wimba Live Classroom, Impatica , etc.) and basic course evaluation and improvement. 275 housecalls, totaling more than 251 hours of assistance, were conducted in FY2009 (compared to 245 housecalls and 220 hours in FY09). Graduate Assistants, funded through eTuition, provided 217 training housecall appointments totaling approximately 216 service hours.
      • The DDEC responded to approximately 5579 in FY10, up from 4221 helpcalls in FY09 (25% increase) and constitutes approximately one-third of all helpcalls logged on campus.
      • Published four quarterly editions of the Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration. Average number of visits to the site each month is 8,800.
      • The DDEC delivered 40 workshops to UWG faculty and staff in FY10. The average workshop length was typically two hours. Through the DDEC workshops, 208 different faculty and staff were served in FY10.
      • In FY10, delivered two sections of the Distance Learning Certificate Program to 17 participants from 19 states and 1 country.
      • Delivered two sections of the Distance Education Certified Trainer Program to 12 participants from 8 states.
      • Delivered two sections of the Advanced Technologies in Distance Education Program to 10 participants from 8 states.
        • With the USG eCore program now in its tenth year, the University of West Georgia has been leading the way in FY '10.  This is the first year with UWG as the hosting institution of the eCore program.  And during FY ‘10, UWG continued to lead in eCore enrollment, for all eCore affiliate institutions, accounting for an average of 63% enrollment across the three semesters, compared to 46% in FY '09.  UWG eCore enrollment averaged 888 across the three semesters, with 659 average in FY '09.  Resources have been allocated to support the UWG eCore students, providing the unique advisement and support needed of those engaged in this online learning program.  A multi-phase evaluation and improvement process has been successful in increasing enrollment and improving retention.  For FY '10,  UWG retention is at an average of 83.3% across the three semesters, improving from 80.3% average in FY '09.  UWG shares its enrollment and retention processes with all eCore affiliate institutions to foster improvement in the overall program.  
        • An amended version of our “What to Expect from an Online Course” orientation and quiz, originally developed to help raise eCore retention, are now being used campus-wide by advisors, to help prepare students for non-eCore online courses at UWG. Customized versions are now being adopted at other USG eCore affiliate schools
        • Selected for a national program sponsored by MERLOT (http://taste.merlot.org/ ) and in collaboration with UWG faculty Jeff Rooks, the USG Board of Regents and Georgia Public Broadcasting; the ELIXR project recognizes, records, and shares online multi-media presentations on best practices in instructional technology.

    Staff Productivity

    DDEC staff members sponsored the eleventh-annual Distance Learning Administration Conference at Jekyl Island, Georgia,  in June 2010. The conference was attended by more than 185 distance learning professionals representing more 28 states, and Canada. Melanie Clay served as conference director, Dawn Senfeld as conference manager, Austin Janowski as recreation/entertainment coordinator, and Christy Talley as technology coordinator. All DDEC staff contributed to hosting the event.

    Competing with other institutions, the DDEC staff helped prepare UWG's response to a USG Board of Regents' RFP calling for the state's collaborative online eCore program to be moved from it's original administrative home at the UGA Georgia Center. Based on the merits of the proposal and our previous record of success within the program, UWG was selected as the school now in charge of eCore Administrative Services. Beginning in February 2009, existing DDEC staff took on the additional eCore workload and grew student and faculty services, until new staff could be hired to fill the new positions within the eCore unit. This practice carried over into early FY10. Together with the BOR, the DDEC staff, ITS, and the Registrars office, worked to transition eCore to UWG, capitalizing on using the BOR's new GeorgiaOnMyLine (GOML) registration system to make registration and student information processing more scalable. Early eCore registration numbers for Fall 2010 show that UWG has succeeded in increasing eCore enrollments, as a result.

    Dr. Melanie N. Clay continued to serve as Associate Dean of Extended Degree Programs and USG eCore. She was the keynote speaker for the Online Lifeline Conference in Valdosta, Georgia, and continued to serve as Editor-in-Chief of the Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, DLA2010 Conference Director, and as UWG’s representative on the Regent’s Advisory Committee on Distance Education and the Board of Regents Distance Education Task Force. She served on the USG’s OIIT Strategic Planning Committee, the UWG Enrollment Management Committee, and the Learning Resources Sub-committee of the Faculty Senate. During 2010, she developed comprehensive assessment processes for eCore learning outcomes and the UWG Newnan. She also taught one section of American Government at the UWG Newnan (50 percent online). She served as secretary on the Board of Directors for the Carroll County Women’s Shelter.

    Janet Gubbins began serving as the director of Distance & Distributed Education Center and continued her role as primary administrator for CourseDen (WebCT) Vista.  She also continued to assist with the eCore transition and proposals to new affiliates, served as the primary GeorgiaOnMyLine/eCore GeorgiaVIEW administrator, managed UWG's site on the USG Podcasting Server and UWG’s Georgia Public Broadcasting’s United Streaming Service. She contributed as an alternate on the Technology Coordination Council, and the Regent’s Advisory Committee on Distance Education. She contributed to the UWG Strategic Enrollment Committee and the DLA 2010 conference, attended the BOR's virtual Rock Eagle Annual Computing Conference, the Collaborative Digital Education Summit in Macons, and Valdosta State's Online Learning Conference 2010.  She was an invited presenter at the annual USG Vista Admin Retreat, held virtually this year, and presented, "UWG's Wimba Pronto Powerlink Pilot."  She also served as an online instructor in the Distance Learning Certificate Program, the Certified Trainer Program, and the eCore American Government course.

    Matias Marabotto began serving as the Student Support Specialist of Distance & Distributed Education Center and began his role as tertiary administrator for CourseDen (WebCT) Vista. He began to manage the Distance Education and eCore website and database. He contributed to the DLA 2010 conference, attended to BOR’s virtual Rock Eagle Annual Computing Conference. He assists in providing end-user support for distance education technologies, including calls for assistance via phone help, face-to-face, and the web. He also serve as an online Team assistant in the Distance Learning Certificate Program, Advance Technologies and the Certified Trainer Program.

    Kevin Mobbs is Coordinator of Faculty Development. His responsibilities include managing the newly established DDEC Faculty Development Center and administration of faculty training opportunities. In addition, he serves as primary administrator for Wimba, the USG podcast server, Respondus, and Wikispaces. Kevin is the secondary administrator for GaView (Vista 8) and implements the end-of-term CourseEval course evaluations for all distance courses; distributing results and information each term and as needed. He assists in providing end-user support for distance education technologies, including calls for assistance via phone help, face-to-face, and the web.

    Julili Fowler began serving as an eCore Academic Advisor for the UWG students, supporting a semester average of 315 students in FY '10.  She assists in the eCore Help Line, email and walk-in inquiries.  She performs data analysis work in retention, at-risk, and grades.  She served as project manager for the UWG eCore team's first Fact Book compilation and was responsible for the grades, withdrawal, at-risk, and course evaluation scoring sections.  She performed background administrative support with the UWG eCore website, front-end gating, and coordinating student communications.  She participates in the UWG PAAA (Professional Assocation of Academic Advisors) group.  She worked as part of the support team for the DLA2010 Conference.  She sits at the UWG UWG Newnan (primary) and UWG Carrollton Campus.

    Dawn Senfeld continued to serve as UWG eCore Academic Advisor in 2010. She advises an average of 300 UWG eCore students per semester. She assists students with registration, access to courses, proctored exam questions, general advisement, among other issues primarily via phone calls to direct line, eCore help line and emails. She works collaboratively with co-advisors, affiliate institutions, eCore staff members and eCore instructors to contact “At-Risk” students to try to work with them in order to retain them in classes and keep them on the right track for success in their classes. She is a member of the UWG PAAA (Professional Assocation of Academic Advisors) group. She is the coordinator of DDEC’s 3 certificate programs: Distance Education Certificate Program, Distance Education Certified Trainer Program and Distance Education Advanced Technologies Program. Dawn also serves as Managing Editor of the Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration. Dawn also serves as Conference Manager at our annual conference on Distance Learning Administration. This year’s conference, DLA2010, was held at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel on Jekyll Island, GA June 6-9, 2010.

    2009-2010 Annual Report of Institutional Progress
    University of West Georgia at Newnan

    UWG Newnan Mission

    • The UWG Newnan of the University of West Georgia will serve the regional constituencies by providing leadership in higher education and stewardship of state and university resources. 
    • The UWG Newnan will promote a regional perspective on higher education that attends to the current and developing needs of the community, its citizens and students, and relates them effectively to the University System and its institutions.
    • The UWG Newnan will act as steward of higher education resources by managing fiscal resources through university policies and procedures, overseeing facility maintenance and renovation activities, coordinating faculty and curriculum, using technology to advance learning, and evaluating the performance of the Center.

    UWG Newnan Goals

    Goal 1. Program & Enrollment Growth. The UWG Newnan will continue to serve the region by providing and strengthening its programs in early childhood education, MBA, graduate education, and nursing programs, and by exploring the feasibility of establishing new programs in high need areas.

    Subgoal: Achieve annual growth in all program areas.

    • The total annual enrollment in FY2010 was 1171(unduplicated).  This was a 14% decrease over FY2009, due to a loss of graduate students that occurred when changes were made at the state level to the Educational Leadership program.  Annual undergraduate enrollment, however, increased 21% in FY2010.
    • In fall of 2009, graduate enrollment dropped to 233 from 474 in fall of 2008.  Undergraduate enrollment increased in fall of 2009 to 400, up from 345 in fall of 2008.
    • A comparison of fall enrollment in major programs shows an increase in undergraduate enrollment and a decrease in graduate enrollment.

    Undergrad

    ECED

    Pre-ECED

    NURS

    Pre-NURS

    Pre-MGNT

    Other

    Fall 2008

    29

    37

    129

    9

    16

    125

    Fall 2009

    57

    40

    144

    16

    11

    132

    Graduate

    EDLE

    ECED

    MGED

    SPED

    MBA

    Other

    Fall 2008

    211

    28

    23

    49

    43

    120

    Fall 2009

    48

    28

    11

    45

    42

    59

    Subgoal: Integrate mostly hybrid/online courses to appeal to the needs of adult learners.
    Of the 183 courses offered in FY2010, 43 courses or 23% were distance (section D) and online (section N) courses. 

    Subgoal: Provide student services appropriate to the needs of the Newnan student population.

    • Academic advising is provided in Newnan for ECED students one day per week by a COE advisor.  General academic advising is provided daily by a Newnan staff member.  An eCore advisor is housed three days a week in Newnan, and test proctoring is offered for students taking online courses.  Access to admissions, registrar, and financial aid is through phone, email, or visits to the Carrollton campus; however, Financial Aid held a Newnan FAFSA Night for the first time this year.  The opportunity to acquire IDs and parking tags was afforded to Newnan students once this year in the fall.  Scantrons, Bluebooks, and printer cards are available for purchase in Newnan.  The UWG Bookstore visits Newnan with merchandise each semester. Newnan students may order books online.  SITS continues to assist students with personal computer problems.  Career Services provided a Student Research Assistant this year who enhanced and operated a Teaching Materials Center for use by ECED students.
    • In an open-ended question in a 2010 student survey asking what students liked most about the UWG Newnan, the second most frequently cited attribute was the high level of customer service provided by the staff. (Most frequently cited was the convenient location of the center.)  However, a lack of specific student services (admissions, financial aid, tutoring, ID’s, parking tags, bookstore) was also mentioned among the top items disliked most about the UWG Newnan.  Nearly 14% of those survey respondents stated that they travel to Carrollton for registration and financial aid assistance.

    Subgoal: Deliver exceptional support services to faculty and students and promote a culture marked by professionalism, accountability, responsiveness, accuracy, and accountability.

    • Office spaces with computers are made available for visiting faculty members. Two Newnan IT staff members and SITS workers assist both faculty and students with computers, copiers, printers, online testing preparation, AV equipment, and other special instructional technologies.  A newnanit@westga.edu email account allows faculty to submit IT requests.  Faculty and student listservs and a Facebook account have improved communication among staff, faculty, and students.
    • Newnan staff participated in a series of internal workshops focusing on customer service and accountability, led by the associate dean.
    • In a December 2009 survey sent to faculty teaching in Newnan, faculty members showed great satisfaction with the support provided to faculty at Newnan.
    • 74% were very satisfied with classroom facilities.
    • 83% were satisfied with multimedia in the classrooms.
    • 90% rated the courteousness of the staff as outstanding.
    • 78% rated staff communication as outstanding.
    • 74% rated staff professionalism and knowledge as outstanding.
    • 79% stated that the staff addresses questions/problems in a timely manner.

    Goal 2.  Enhance and expand existing facilities to optimize academic and student space, while maximizing opportunities for environmental sustainability and community engagement.

    • Newnan director sought and began the process of securing a major donation for additional nursing facilities and program improvements. 
    • The Newnan staff continues to enhance both outdoor and indoor spaces for student use outside of classrooms.  The department purchased some recreational equipment for students’ use outdoors.          
    • The UWG Newnan began some facility improvements to emphasize environmental protection/conservation which would recognize and support the center’s history as Georgia Power’s environmental education center.  The solar-powered gazebo was refurbished, outdoor benches made of recycled materials were purchased for student seating, and a water bottle filling station was purchased be installed in the main building.  Discussions began this year to revive the center’s nature trail and to possibly add an outdoor deck or outdoor classroom.
    • Because 43 of the courses offered at Newnan in FY2010 were partially online, the Center was able to double its use of room space in several instances.  Most of these 50 percent online courses were offered by EDLE, SPED, and READ departments.

    Goal 3.  Position UWG Newnan as a principal asset to Coweta, South Fulton, Fayette and surrounding communities through increased regional marketing, relevant scholarly and cultural activities geared toward adult learners and their families.

    • The UWG Newnan was featured in fifteen articles in the Newnan Times-Herald. All coverage was positive and included articles about core classes, MBA graduates, Newnan scholarship recipients, nursing programs, an ECED student altruistic project, a fall fundraiser, UWG Newnan history, and the transfer of the property from Coweta County to the University system.
    • UWG Newnan staff produced two newsletters this year which highlighted instructors, students, programs, and special events.  Both digital and hard copies were disseminated throughout the community.
    • University Communications & Marketing developed a Newnan brochure and advertisements that were featured in the Times-Herald, the Newnan-Coweta Magazine, and in Delta Sky Magazine.
    • The Associate Dean initiated the development of develop life-size, professional banners to be used at recruitment or community events and fairs. These were designed and produced by the UWG Newnan Director and UCM.
    • The UWG Newnan webpage was updated, and converted to the RedDot system.
    • The Newnan Director and staff set up promotional booths at the Coweta County Fair, College Probe Night at CEC, a College Fair at Newnan High School, all three Preview Days on the main campus in Carrollton; and they also participated in Newnan’s Christmas parade.
    • The Newnan Director made presentations and visits to all four Coweta high schools, Rotary and Kiwanis civic clubs, the Coweta County Development Authority, local industries, and law enforcement agencies in 7 counties to promote programs at the UWG Newnan.
    • Newnan staff assisted UWG Athletics in promoting and setting up a Wolves Caravan Tour at a local restaurant.
    • The UWG Newnan arranged and hosted continuing education courses for senior adults in the community (Computer Basics for Seniors). 
    • The Newnan Director represented the UWG Newnan at Newnan-Coweta Chamber breakfast meetings, the Chamber’s Economic Prosperity Council, and other Chamber sponsored events.
    • The Newnan Director continued to work with Coweta County’s Teacher Pipeline program and to represent UWG on CEC’s Work-Based Learning Advisory Board.
    • The VPAA, Associate Dean, Newnan Director and Assistant Director represented UWG at Coweta’s Commission on Higher Education meetings.
    • The Newnan Director initiated new relationships with the Newnan Hospital    Foundation, the Summit YMCA, and the Cancer Treatment Centers of America. 
    • Example of how UWG Newnan Uses Assessment of Goals and Outcomes to Change/Improve a Process:  Due to positive feedback from a regional survey of law enforcement agencies, a Master of Arts in Criminology program was implemented in Newnan in the spring of 2009.  It began with a small enrollment and continued through the spring of 2010.  When the enrollment failed to increase to the point of sustainability, however, the program was cancelled.  The Associate Dean worked with the Newnan staff to assess marketing strategies and to initiate processes of daily enrollment checks and careful monitoring of enrollment in specific programs.  Plans for increased outreach, a focus on goals, and recruitment strategies were development.
    • General Statement of Department Condition.

    A major achievement in FY2010 was the transfer of the ownership of the UWG Newnan property from Coweta County Commission to UWG/USG.  A community wide celebration of the county’s gift was held in August of 2009.  With the transfer of property came productive discussions of increased marketing, facility improvements, availability of more student services, strategic planning, and inclusion in the University’s academic and facilities master plans. 

    Challenges include maintaining the growth of current programs, maximizing facility utilization during mornings and Fridays, streamlining administrative processes for students, providing the ability to provide instant admissions services for prospective students who visit the center, and modernizing the facilities to make them more inviting and functional for students and faculty.

    Departmental Achievements: 

    • The UWG Newnan was awarded funds from both the SRAP and the FWSP and employed two student workers this year.  An additional worker was employed for the Newnan SITS lab.
    • The UWG Newnan became the second largest online testing site in the USG eCore system, dedicated a computer lab to the proctoring program, and proctored 746 exams (633 for eCore and 113 for other institutions). 
    • Newnan staff, led by Associate Dean Clay, engaged in team-building activities and began the development of a strategic plan for Newnan which includes expansion of non-credit programming, modernization of facilities, enhancement of outdoor spaces, increased marketing and outreach to high schools, and improvement of accountability and assessment methods. 
    • The UWG Newnan staff began to establish collaborative relationships with current and incoming local health care agencies (Piedmont Newnan Hospital, Newnan Hospital Foundation, Cancer Treatment Centers of America).  Relationships were also established with the local YMCA and golf clubs to initiate agreements for holding UWG physical education classes at these facilities. 

    Staff Productivity:

    Dr. Melanie N. Clay continued to serve as Associate Dean of Extended Degree Programs and USG eCore. She was the keynote speaker for the Online Lifeline Conference in Valdosta, Georgia, and continued to serve as Editor-in-Chief of the Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, DLA2010 Conference Director, and as UWG’s representative on the Regent’s Advisory Committee on Distance Education and the Board of Regents Distance Education Task Force. She served on the USG’s OIIT Strategic Planning Committee, the UWG Enrollment Management Committee, and the Learning Resources Sub-committee of the Faculty Senate. During 2010, she developed comprehensive assessment processes for eCore learning outcomes and the UWG Newnan. She also taught one section of American Government at the UWG Newnan (50 percent online). She served as secretary on the Board of Directors for the Carroll County Women’s Shelter.

    Cathy Wright continued to serve as UWG Newnan Director and to represent and promote the University in the Newnan-Coweta community at K-12 public school events, Chamber of Commerce events, Rotary Club meetings/events, and with memberships on various boards, committees, and councils (Teacher Pipeline, Work-Based Learning Advisory Board, Commission on Higher Education, Economic Prosperity Council, Alpha Delta Kappa Teacher Sorority).  Since 2007, she has served on UWG’s MPA Advisory Board.  She attended training sessions this year on Federal Grants, UWG Cares, Banner, Ombudsman, UWG Media, Schoolcast, Microsoft Platform Upgrade, and Enterprise Risk Management.   She attended the spring conference of GAWHE (GA Women in Higher Education). 

    Rebecca Smith continued to serve as Assistant Director, managing UWG Newnan facilities, including technology, grounds, building maintenance, personnel, cleaning, and security.  She implemented several policies and procedures and held training sessions for staff on accountability.  Rebecca served on the UWG Master Plan Committee, assisted with the eCore proposal, served on the eCore transition team, and assisted the DLA Conference team.  At the request of the USG office of auditors, Rebecca provided training on Banner and PeopleSoft issues dealing with Accounts Receivable, User Privileges/Rights, and methods for extracting and interpreting data.  Rebecca attended the following UWG training sessions: Microsoft Platform Upgrade, ADP, PeopleSoft, budget reporting, Schoolcast, UWG Media, Malware, ITS Town Hall Meetings, Banner, UWG Cares, DegreeWorks, Ombudsman, and Cyber Security.  In addition, she participated in City of Carrollton safety training, Drug Awareness, and fire extinguisher training.  Rebecca represents UWG in community service as a member of the Carrollton Evening Sertoma Club, a member of the Board of the Carrollton Empty Stocking Fund, Chair of the annual Empty Stocking fundraiser, organizer of the annual Carrollton July 4th parade, and volunteer at the Carroll County Soup Kitchen.  She also helped to man Welcome Back Stations for fall students.

    Michael Harris has completed his first year as Academic & Instructional Support Specialist for the UWG Newnan.  He provides general academic advising and IT support for staff, faculty, and students.   Michael participates in meetings and trainings provided by the PAAA (Professional Association of Academic Advisors).   Michael attended numerous UWG trainings this year, including DegreeWorks, ITS Malware, PeopleSoft, Dreamweaver, Red Dot, my UWG portal, Microsoft Platform Upgrade, KB Port, ADP, Open Text CMS, Cyber Security, ITS Town Hall meetings, City of Carrollton safety training, and fire extinguisher training.   Michael served on the DLA Conference team, helped to man Welcome Back Stations for fall students, and served as a volunteer at the Carroll County Soup Kitchen. 
    Javarus Boyce continues to serve as IT support and technology specialist, providing IT support to staff, faculty, and students.  He also oversees the Newnan SITS lab, managing the SITS student workers and monitoring their work.  Javarus attended the following training sessions: IT Overview, City of Carrollton safety training, Ombudsman, and UWG Cares.  Javarus serves as a mentor at the Newnan Boys and Girls Club and volunteers as a disc jockey at several of their annual events.

    Teri Lewis continued this year to serve as part-time Administrative Assistant, dealing mostly with budgetary and purchasing matters.  This year, however, she added to her duties the title of Testing Coordinator; and much of her time was spent coordinating the Test Proctoring program for eCore and for other institutions.  Teri continued to volunteer for The Community Welcome House, a shelter for abused women and children, and for other community services and events.

    USG eCore Administrative Services
    Annual Report
    Fiscal Year 2010

    Department of eCore Administrative Services
    Department Head: Donald Wagner, Ph.D./Melanie N. Clay, Ph,D.
    Name of Persons Completing Report: Melanie N. Clay, Ph.D. with Christy Talley Smith

    Departmental Mission/Vision Statement (from http://ecore.usg.edu/): eCore allows University System of Georgia students the opportunity to complete their first two years of their collegiate careers in an online environment.  eCore Administrative  Services provides effective and efficient overall program management, including student support; faculty recruitment, support and training; course development; evaluation, and marketing.

    Departmental Statement of Goals, Processes and Assessment Results:

    eCore instructors will understand and adhere to high standards of excellence in online teaching, maintaining a visible interactive teaching presence in their assigned course.

    • All eCore instructors complete a 2-week online certification course before teaching online (this began in May 2009). In FY2010, 11 new eCore faculty completed this certification.
    • Student course evaluations indicated a high level of satisfaction and perception with instruction.  More than 81% of students indicated, on their course evaluations, that their instructors provided timely feedback. 83 percent agreed or strongly agreed that the course was an effective learning experience.  81 percent agreed that the instructor taught the course effectively.
    • The average number of discussion postings per week by eCore instructors was 18 during FY 2010. This is within a very good range. Each instructor is required to login to their courses a minimum of 5 days per week.
    • eCore instructors are employed by University System of Georgia institutions. Of the 63 who taught during FY2010, 44 held terminal degrees (70 percent).
    • Faculty will be surveyed at the end of year to assess their satisfaction with support and training. 87 percent agreed that the training that they received through eCore administrative services was valuable. 97 percent reported satisfaction with technical and instructional design support. 97 percent agreed that their questions and needs are quickly addressed by eCore administrators. 94 percent agreed that eCore administration is very supportive of faculty. 97 percent agreed that eCore administration is very supportive of students.
    • All eCore courses will result in appropriate learning, integrity and rigor, and provide opportunities for instructor-student; student-student; and student-content interaction.
      • All eCore courses were developed by a teams of USG faculty.  A Quality Team consisting of a content expert (faculty), editor and instructional designer will review and update each course at least once every three years. During FY2010, Psych 1001 and ISCI 1121 began the process of thorough course revision. The complete course revision process is conducted by a quality team which consists of USG subject matter experts, an editor, multimedia expert, and instructional designer.
      • All new and reviewed courses will be measured according to the Five-Star Course Rubric (www.westga.edu/~distance/distancefaculty/coursereviewform.pdf).
      • All eCore courses currently have at least one proctored experience. Beginning in Summer 2009, all proctored tests were delivered online, resulting in a streamlined, more efficient process.  4990 eCore tests were proctored at more than 32 testing sites for the FY2010.
    • Support systems will be in place that provide for processes to promote student retention and success and enable students to receive immediate assistance.
      • Retention in eCore courses was 82 percent among all affiliates in FY2010, compared to 78 percent in FY2009 and in 72 percent in FY2008. This was higher than it has ever been in the history of eCore. Retention of UWG students in eCore courses was 83 percent as compared to 80 percent in FY2009 (also a new high), 76 percent in Summer 2008, and 71 percent in Summer 2007.
      • Withdrawal surveys administered to all students who withdrew from eCore courses in FY 2010 indicate that 81 percent withdrew because of issues unrelated to instruction or the course itself (personal, illness, financial).  This is improved from 60 percent in Summer 2009.
      • Student course surveys will provide data indicating the satisfaction of students with support services. This data will be available in the FY2010 report.
      • In November 2010, the eCore Student Support Manager conducted an online Student Services Survey  of a sampling of eCore students to measure satisfaction, services, and success factors. 87 percent of students reported that they received either excellent or good registration assistance as an eCore student. 78% said they received excellent or good advisement assistance as an eCore student.
      • eCore advisors and assistants provided telephone and email assistance to more than 1500 UWG and affiliate-institution eCore students. Remedy evaluations indicated a satisfaction score of more than 9.9 on a 1-10 scale with these services, and more than 9.7 on a timeliness of response scale.
      • During the next year, the new eCore Administrative Services will collect data regarding grades for all affiliates. In comparing the performance of UWG students who took eCore courses in FY2010 to those who took traditional courses, students performed as well or better in eCore courses in 11 of the 21 subjects offered.
      • eCore students utilized  SmartThinking tutoring services for a total of 430 hours during FY2010. This included 959 sessions, nearly 600 of which were in math.
      • eCore Administrative Services streamlined processes for Academic Governance, including grade appeals and academic honesty.  A new grade appeal and academic honesty procedure was developed whereby students would receive immediate assistance throughout the appeal process.  In FY 2010, there was only one grade appeal submitted, and one academic honesty appeal submitted.   The Academic Honesty policy was updated and information regarding plagiarism was better disseminated to students beginning with information posted inside the Orientation to GeorgiaView Vista course, the syllabus in every eCore course, and also in the Student Guide to eCore.    In FY 2010, there were seven cases of academic dishonesty reported.
    • eCore Administrative Services will implement recruitment and marketing strategies and maintain fiscal procedures that enable the program to be self-supporting.
      • Enrollment for FY2010, our first year, was 4233, equaling FY2009 (4289) with half the number of affiliates.
      • Visual promotions included: a series of Facebook ads targeting potential students (resulting in 8000 clicks); newspaper ads in The West Georgian (UWG) and The Spectator (VSU); and the development of a professional series of brochures and flyers.
      • Recruitment activities included attendance at several recruitment fairs, including 11 high schools, two universities, the Department of Defense Worldwide Education Symposium, and the RecruitMilitary Veteran Opportunity Expo.
    • Example of how eCore Administrative Services Uses Assessment of Goals and Outcomes to Change/Improve a Process:  In the Fall 2009 Online Student Services Survey, students were asked to list ways in which eCore courses, programs and services could be improved.  Among these responses were:  offer more courses, lower costs of textbooks, and offer video lectures.  In FY 2011, there will be more ebook options for students to cut down on textbook costs.  The eCore Textbook Manager is also working with the eCore Online Bookstore to establish ways in which students may use their Financial Aid Vouchers to purchase eCore textbooks. The Instructional Designer is also working with faculty to offer more multi-media components in some of the eCore courses.

      General Statement of Department Condition: The University of West Georgia was awarded the eCore Administrative Services contract in February 2009. The transition from the University of Georgia occurred in Spring 2009 with UWG assuming full responsibility Summer Semester 2009. The department hired seven new employees in Spring and Summer 2009, including the eCore Student Success Coordinator, an Assistant Director for Curriculum and Instruction, a Testing Coordinator, an Enrollment Manager, a Registration Assistant, a Business Manager, and.  In its early months, the new arrangement has been successful in terms of better-than-expected enrollment, fiscal sustainability, and instructional and program quality. Primary challenges facing the new department are physical space limitations (office) and transition to the GOML registration system.

      Departmental Achievements:

      • Expanded the number of eCore affiliates to five, adding Macon State College and Clayton State University.
      • Met and exceeded fiscal projections, enabling eCore to be fully self-sustaining with no state appropriations.
      • Developed and implemented early-alert process for eCore students, resulting in significantly increased retention.
      • Streamlined delivery of eCore proctored online exams.
      • Expanded eCore marketing program, including website updates, Web 2.0, newspaper advertisements, and recruitment fairs.
      • Developed comprehensive system for assessment of course-level outcomes (COLAs) in eCore courses.

      Staff Productivity:

      Dr. Melanie N. Clay continued to serve as Associate Dean of Extended Degree Programs and USG eCore. She was the keynote speaker for the Online Lifeline Conference in Valdosta, Georgia, and continued to serve as Editor-in-Chief of the Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, DLA2010 Conference Director, and as UWG’s representative on the Regent’s Advisory Committee on Distance Education and the Board of Regents Distance Education Task Force. She served on the USG’s OIIT Strategic Planning Committee, the UWG Enrollment Management Committee, and the Learning Resources Sub-committee of the Faculty Senate. During 2010, she developed comprehensive assessment processes for eCore learning outcomes and the UWG Newnan. She also taught one section of American Government at the UWG Newnan (50 percent online). She served as secretary on the Board of Directors for the Carroll County Women’s Shelter.

      Tanacha Gaines Brown was appointed eCore Instructional Designer in summer of 2009. She continues to pursue a PhD in Instructional Technology at Georgia State University. Tanacha attended a class on mixed methods research at UNC Chapel Hill, volunteered as a Digital Literacy Coordinator for the Boys and Girls Club and presented at a symposium for Doctoral Fellows as well as colloquium for Graduates in Instructional Technology Student Association at Georgia State University. She worked as part of the technical support team for the Distance Learning Administration Conference in June 2010.

      Christy Talley Smith continued to serve as the Director of eCore, Curriculum and Instruction. During the Fall 2009 semester, Christy transitioned out of her role as Education Program Specialist for the Distance & Distributed Education Center and assumed eCore duties full time. Christy coordinated the first eCore annual meeting, several eCore faculty webinars and the online eCore faculty certification programs. She led the technology support team at the Distance Learning Administration Conference at Jekyll Island, Georgia.

      Stacey Rowland, eCore Student Success Manager, was responsible for student support services for students involved in the USG eCore program. She was also the main point of contact for eCore Affiliate Advisors and Registrars across all eCore Affiliate institutions.  She continued to serve as the Conference Event Manager for our annual conference on Distance Learning Administration and as a Course Guide for the Advanced Technologies in Distance Education Certificate Program.  Stacey also participated in eCore's Departmental Strategy Meeting at Stone Mountain, GA, March 5-6, 2010.   Stacey was instrumental in helping to bring two new affiliates to the USG eCore Program by providing training and assistance throughout the transition. Stacey served on the the SACS 5th Year Interim Report Committee as Co-Chair for Area 2, Student Support Services and coordinated the completion of the Area 2 report.  Stacey graduated from the University of West Georgia with her BBA in Technology Support Systems in August 2009.

      Craig Brown continued to serve as the Marketing and Enrollment Manager for eCore.  In addition to his informational visits to high schools and recruitment fairs, he made several guest speaking appearances in the “New Student Programs” (UWG 101) courses and was also an invited speaker in the Summer Orientation 2010 sessions. He served as an alternate for the Associate Dean on the UWG Strategic Enrollment Council. He worked as part of the technical support team for the Distance Learning Administration Conference in June 2010.

      Austin Janowski served as the Business Manager for eCore. He participated in several eCore faculty training workshops, and assisted in planning for DLA 2010.

      Robin Stewart began service as the eCore graphic designer in December 2009. Her responsibilities include visual support of eCore branding, in-course art, and web presence. She is also the Associate Editor of the Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration. She attended courses at Emory on PHP, MySQL, HTML and CSS. She also attended the Distance Learning Administration Conference in Jekyll Island, Georgia in June 2010.

      Rachel Merritt was appointed eCore Departmental Assistant in April. She is responsible for cross-registration systems for eCore and other UWG online programs. Rachel was part of the beta-testing team for the upcoming INGRESS registration system, and traveled to Athens for the initial informational meeting.

     
  • 2008-2009

    I. DISTANCE AND DISTRIBUTED EDUCATION
    ANNUAL REPORT 2008-2009

    (FY 2009- July 1, 2008 to June 30, 2009)

    1. Mission

    The Distance & Distributed Education Center is a university-wide function at UWG which serves to develop and enhance the university's ability to deliver education to students at remote locations, and to meet institutional distance learning goals. Through intercampus sharing of resources, the Distance and Distributed Education Center facilitates collaboration among university colleges and departments to deliver quality distance instruction, faculty and student services, and initiatives.

    2. Goals

    Goals and functions of this department mirror the institutional distance learning goals (http://www.westga.edu/~distance/):

    • Work with faculty to plan and create distance learning environments that encourage and support excellence in a personal environment
    • In collaboration with other campus and state departments, maintain the human and technical resources and network infrastructure necessary to successfully support and deliver distance and distributed learning.
    • Ensure that academic and student services are appropriate to meet the needs of distance and distributed learners.
    • Conduct continuous evaluation of distance and distributed learning and support services to ensure the advancement of the University's mission and adherence to quality standards.
    • Support research, scholarship, and creative endeavors which promote knowledge of distance learning.

    In the past, these goals were reviewed annually by the VPAA's Distance and Distributed Education Steering Committee and revised as appropriate. Beginning in Fall 2008, the VPAA's DE Taskforce replaced the Distance and Distributed Education Steering Committee.

    Statement of Outcomes, Processes to Assess These Outcomes, and Assessment Results Where Appropriate

    Goal 1. Plan and create distance learning environments that encourage and support excellence in a personal environment. Accomplishing this goal will ensure that:

    • Student and faculty satisfaction with distance and distributed education courses is high.
      1. Summer 2008 evaluations showed that 86% of distance students agreed that their attitude toward online learning was positive at the beginning of the term (compared to 84% in Summer 2007). 86% agreed in Spring 2008. 84% in Fall 2008.
      2. Summer 2008 evaluations showed that 87% of distance students agreed that their attitude toward online learning was positive at the end of the term. 88% agreed in Spring 2008. 85% in Fall 2008.
      3. 74% of students (Summer 2008) said they'd like to take more courses in future mostly online (compared to 80% in Summer 2007). (Spring 2008 - 72%; Fall 2008- 71%).
      4. 63% (Summer 2008) of students said they'd like to take courses in the future completely online (compared to 66% a year earlier). (Spring 2008 - 59%; Fall 2008- 58%).
      5. 93% (Summer 2008) said that their instructor was positive about the online component of their course (compared to 95% in Summer 2007). (88% in Spring 2008; 87% in Fall 2008).
      6. Enrollment in distance courses (51-100% online) has grown dramatically over the years, with this year's total estimated at an all-time high of 14,836, up from 10,293 in FY08. Unique headcount in students taking distance courses also rose from an average of 2633 in FY08 to 4908 on FY09.
    • Student retention distance and distributed education courses is comparable to or higher than that of traditional courses.
      1. Summer 2008 retention for Distance students was 97% for distance students excluding eCore, compared to 90.5% for non-Distance students. Fall 2008 retention for Distance students was 92.7% for distance students excluding eCore, compared to 91.7% for non-Distance students.Spring 2009 retention for Distance students was 93.1% excluding eCore, compared to 91.3% for non-Distance students.
      2. Thanks to additional advisement and student mentoring resources, eCore (courses delivered through the statewide consortium and administered through the UWG DDEC beginning Feb 2009) retention improved at 85.2% for Summer '08 versus 82% for Summer '07; 76.3% for Spring '09 versus 73% for Spring '08; and 79% for Fall '08 versus 72.9% for Fall '07.
    • Students enrolled in distance courses have access to student services.
      1. The UWG Online Connection (http://www.westga.edu/~online/) provides easy web access for distance students to access student services.
    • Student learning outcomes are comparable to those in traditional courses. (ex. http://coe.westga.edu/mit/outcomes/index.html)
      1. These are generally the same as traditional and are evaluated on a departmental basis.
      2. For Spring 2009, students were asked to rank on a 1-5 scale whether or not they felt more comfortable participating in a class online than in a f2f meeting. Only 27% of students reported in their distance learning evaluations that they felt more comfortable participating in a face-to-face course than in an online course.
    • Interaction among student-faculty, and student-student are at least as high as in a traditional course.
      1. Faculty demonstrate competence in developing distance courses whose academic standards and student learning are the same as those for other courses delivered.
      2. All faculty MUST complete technical and pedagogical training prior to teaching a distance course.
      3. Academic standards and student learning are evaluated on a departmental basis. The DDEC reviews student surveys, class by class, to assure that overall student satisfaction with the faculty and the course are adequate. Since 1998, there have only been two cases in which the faculty competence seemed questionable based on student complaints. These were referred to the appropriate department head and dean. Both faculty members have since left the institution.
    • The number of courses developed and offered through distance media meets the demand of the region's students.
      1. A number of students mentioned in their open-ended responses on the written survey that they need more online courses and online degree programs.

    Assessment methods:Written student surveys at end of each term, annual focus group with distance students, informal discussions with Distance Learning Steering Committee and distance faculty. Student learning outcomes are assessed by academic units offering instruction.

    Goal 2. Maintain the human and technical resources and network infrastructure necessary to successfully support and deliver distance and distributed learning. Accomplishing this goal will ensure that:

    • Faculty are trained and prepared to teach distance and distributed courses.
      1. All faculty MUST complete technical and pedagogical training prior to teaching a distance course.
    • Students and faculty are able to receive immediate technical assistance through telephone or email, as well as face-to-face assistance when possible.
      1. The DDEC staff provide immediate response to technical questions from students weekdays from 8 am until 6 pm weekdays. Students may contact a statewide support line after hours.
      2. Satisfaction surveys indicate that callers in July 2008 – June 2009 ranked the amount of time it took them to get help from our student-assistant staffed helpline an average of 9.89 on a scale of 1 to 10. They ranked "overall support" as 9.88.
      3. In Spring 2008, three new Graduate Assistants were hired and placed in an office located in the College of Education so that they would be in closer proximity to the faculty and students needing help with mostly online courses. In FY09, the GAs provided 2,420 hours of direct service to distance faculty and students.
    • Students and faculty are able to receive assistance through a central point-of-contact.
      1. The DDEC provides a central point of contact for support for all UWG distance courses.
    • A variety of delivery methods are available.
      1. In addition to the primary online mode of CourseDen (WebCT) Vista, distance courses may also utilize videoconferencing, and Wimba's Live Classroom and additional tools for synchronous or archived delivery of lectures featuring voice and visuals, Impatica for simple audio-visual online presentations, Camtasia for more advanced video, audio, and interactive productions.
      2. Technology resources were expanded to include an online course evaluation system known as CourseEval, a local audio/video streaming server system, as well as campus-wide license for Respondus (to make CourseDen (WebCT) Vista assessment development easier for faculty) and StudyMate (to make the devlopment of interactive Flash modules easier for faculty).
    • Distance courses are easily accessible to a growing number of students and potential students.
      1. The number of FY09 credit hours earned by students who took distance education courses accounted for an average of 16.8% of the UWG's total generated credit hours; that percentage is up from the average of 12.3% in FY08. In Summer 2008 alone, distance education credit hours accounted for 25.6% of all UWG credit hours.
      2. Enrollment in distance courses (51-100% online) jumped by 44%, from 10,293 in FY08 to 14,844 in FY09.Unique headcount in students taking distance courses rose from an average of 2633 per term in FY08 to 4908 in FY09.
      3. Enrollment in fully online courses courses continues to grow. Not counting eCore or WebMBA enrollments, fully online enrollment at UWG grew by 54% increase, from 3,407 in FY08 to 6,339 in FY09.
      4. The total number of distance courses (51-100% online) offered increased by 33% in FY09, with 642 course sections offered, compared with 485 courses offered in FY08 courses, compared to FY07's 422, FY06's 375, a FY05 total of 292, a FY04 total of 243, 132 in 2003, and 144 in 2002.
      5. The number of fully online UWG courses offered, not counting eCore or WebMBA, saw a 47% increase to 181 in FY09 (up from 123 in FY08). The number of partial distance courses (those offered 51-94% online) increased by nearly 10% to 215 (up from 197 in FY08 and 173 in FY07).
      6. Downtime for courses residing on UWG servers is non-existent or minimal, with backup plans in place and utilized as needed.
      7. Except for scheduled maintenance, the CourseDen (WebCT) Vista system has functioned without significant interruption since January 2002. Faculty use CourseDen (WebCT) Vista and Wimba Live Classroom as the primary delivery tools.
      8. All former WebCT 3.0 courses were migrated to CourseDen (WebCT) Vista 8 effective January 2009, which is housed on a centralized USG server, under the direction of the Board of Regent's GeorgiaVIEW Initiative.

    Assessment methods:Written student surveys at end of each term, annual focus group with distance students, informal discussions with Distance Learning Steering Committee (pre-Fall 2008) and the VPAA's DE Taskforce (as of Fall 2008) and distance faculty, departmental annual self-review.

    Goal 3. Ensure that academic and student services are appropriate to meet the needs of distance and distributed learners. Accomplishing this goal will ensure that:

    • Each distance course or program provides students with clear, complete and timely information on the curriculum, course and degree requirements, nature of faculty/student interaction, prerequisite technology competencies, technical requirements, availability of academic support service, financial aid resources and costs and payment policies. See: http://www.westga.edu/~distance/distancestudents/
      1. Information available on web and syllabi for all distance courses and programs.
      2. Information also available in online student handbook, and other online points of access for students.