Faculty Survey Results
One of the ways we at Ecampus learn what resources and training are needed is through annual surveys of faculty and students. To review the survey results and the action items these generated, click on one of the links below.
|Faculty Surveys||Student Surveys|
|Faculty Survey 2007 (PDF file)||Student Survey 2007 (PDF file)|
|Faculty Survey 2006 (PDF file)||Student Survey 2006 (PDF file)|
|Faculty Survey 2005 (PDF file)||Student Survey 2005 (PDF file)|
The results from the 2007 Instructor Survey may be viewed as a PowerPoint presentation, above. The common thread was a continued and increased rate of satisfaction with Ecampus services. A desire for more training in the use of Blackboard was also seen. In response, Ecampus will again offer special topics training sessions and continue to offer one-on-one assistance in person and electronically.
Words of Wisdom
The 2007 Instructor Survey also contained a number of helpful "Words of Wisdom" from our more experienced online instructors, posted here for your perusal.
- Use every learning style that you can. Don't rely strictly on reading, PowerPoint, or lectures. Try a virtual field trip!
- Focus on reading and writing skills rather than conventional testing. It generates a significant amount of effort on the part of the student and professor but it is worth it. If you stick with it for awhile one becomes used to it and can develop personal relationships with the students
- Like any course - make it rigorous - challenging - mind/experience-expanding - and interesting.
- Seek help and input from faculty who are skilled in this area - don't set off alone!
- It is important to continue learning as you teach. Students should feel the presence of the faculty. From what they have communicated, they often feel some faculty are absent from the process and leave them to "drift". I think online teaching takes the most rather than least skilled and experienced teachers-- and worry about the process that some departments seem to have adopted of giving online classes to their graduate students.
- Many students only do the work when a deadline is imminent, so I make deadlines for quizzes, reports, and discussion participation as clear as possible.
- Be flexible - some of the online students have very busy lives and are heavily committed.
- Clear direction to and frequent contact with students are imperative to a successful distance course.
- If you establish criteria for an assignment that you spell out in a scoring guide/rubric, you may find you have to continually refer to criteria so students "ground" themselves in what you expect the assignment to reflect. Occasionally, they read the rubric over once or twice, complete the assignment or project, and then never look back at the scoring criteria to self-evaluate whether their work meets the criteria you have established for grading.
- Be present but not omnipresent.
- If the discussion board is a critical part of learning, make it a requirement with a grade associated with it. Not only does this demonstrate to the students the importance that the instructor places on discussions, but allows students to receive credit for the time and energy that goes into thoughtful discussion.
- Try new aspects of Blackboard as you progress. Ecampus does respond very well to emails. Use the external link options often.
- Take advantage of the information sessions. I learned how to use Blackboard features, got answers to questions, tips on software and how to use my computer more effectively. The result was time saved, lots of it!
- The moderation feature in Blackboard has saved me many headaches. In one class I teach (and not any others, oddly enough), there have been multiple problems with student misconduct on the discussion board. When I switched to moderation, the problems disappeared. I no longer worry about what might "slip through" because I have complete control over the posts.
- Make your responses and emails to students in the oral style of communicating. That allows the communication to be more like a regular conversation.
- The thing that works best for me: timely personalized feedback. It may be a lot of work to write extensive emails to each students but that's when real communication happens.
- I would highly recommend keeping in close contact with your students by sending out an email with the plan for the week or just to give them a general update. My students always appreciate a quick response to their questions, so it is always important that they hear back from you in a timely manner. The online learning environment may be very different for them, so I encourage them to always ask questions & seek help if needed.
- Maintain open communication through email. Treat email like a raised hand in a classroom. Answer quickly and completely. I post announcements M-W-F as if they were lectures in a three day a week class. If I need to post additional announcements I do it as often as the class dynamic requires.
- There are two general groups of students that emerge from my Ecampus courses - those mature/motivated students who stay on task and can handle the demands for greater discipline and self-initiative of an Ecourse and those students (usually on-campus) who have the perception that an Ecourse will be a breeze because you don't have to show up to class (literally and virtually). Impressing upon the latter group the importance of staying engaged at an early point in the quarter seems to be the only way to insure their success in the course. I use the Discussion Board extensively to enhance their engagement (vs. using email to communicate solely with the instructor) because I think this engenders a feeling of belonging to a group that is learning together (virtual as it may be).
- Students more and more are intolerant of lack of guidelines and/or mistakes. They think it all should be perfect. Additionally, you may put everything they need to know on the web but reading it will still be a problem.