Effectiveness Evaluation 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 Newnan Center. She also taught one section of American Government at the Newnan Center (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 Newnan Center (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

Newnan Center Mission

  • The Newnan Center 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 Newnan Center 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 Newnan Center 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.

Newnan Center Goals

Goal 1. Program & Enrollment Growth. The Newnan Center 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 Newnan Center, 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 Newnan Center.  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 Newnan Center 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 Newnan Center 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 Newnan Center 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, Newnan Center history, and the transfer of the property from Coweta County to the University system.
  • Newnan Center 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 Newnan Center Director and UCM.
  • The Newnan Center 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 Newnan Center.
  • Newnan staff assisted UWG Athletics in promoting and setting up a Wolves Caravan Tour at a local restaurant.
  • The Newnan Center arranged and hosted continuing education courses for senior adults in the community (Computer Basics for Seniors). 
  • The Newnan Director represented the Newnan Center 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 Newnan Center 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 Newnan Center 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 Newnan Center 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 Newnan Center 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 Newnan Center 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 Newnan Center. She also taught one section of American Government at the Newnan Center (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 Newnan Center 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 Newnan Center 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 Newnan Center.  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 Newnan Center. She also taught one section of American Government at the Newnan Center (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 “First Year Experience” (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.