Mid-Semester Assistance with Online Courses

Sometimes online courses don’t go as well as we’d like, and as faculty, we aren’t sure why. The CFC established a service for all Western faculty last fall in order to help faculty determine the experiences of their online students in case mid-semester adjustments are needed. The service is similar to what we have offered in traditional courses for years, but it is tailored for online students and courses.

The service works like this:

  1. Any WCU faculty member contacts Terry Pollard in the CFC.
  2. A date is set to deploy a Qualtrics student survey in the instructor’s class.
  3. The instructor notifies the students that another individual (the CFC) will be contacting them to request participation in a survey.
  4. Students are notified by the CFC and are invited to watch a two-minute video explaining the process. The goal in this step is to encourage rapport building, trust, and student capacity to be candid during the survey process.
  5. Students are sent a Qualtrics survey. The survey asks the following questions:
    • What is helping you learn in this course?
    • What suggestions do you have (for the instructor) to improve your learning in this course?
    • What are you doing to improve your learning in this course?
    • What is hindering your learning in this course?
  6. The results are aggregated, coded, grouped, and discussed in a confidential report.
  7. A meeting time is scheduled between the educational developer and the faculty member to discuss the findings.

We piloted this service last fall and faculty were pleased with the service. The process is intended to solicit student’s experiences and feelings about the course. Questions pertaining to student regulation, procrastination, preparation, etc. tend to emerge as themes that faculty can then address in ways that are helpful.

In order to be most effective, online SGAs need to be conducted between March 4-8. We will not conduct any online SGAs past the date March 22.

To schedule a session for an online SGA contact Terry Pollard