Our unit's name has evolved over the years since its inception in 1995: Distance Learning, Distance Education, Distance and Distributed Education Center, and now the "UWG Online" brand has made it more easy for the public to understand who we are and what we do.

In order to strengthen UWG’s distance and distributed learning (online) programs, at times separate evaluations are used for distance or online courses, in addition to the university's standard Student Evaluation Instrument (SEI). Evaluations strive to ensure that the technology used is appropriate and that students are satisfied with their learning experiences. Evaluations are made available online to those enrolled in web-based courses, as well as via random phone surveys. The supplemental evaluations were developed by UWG Online and a team of faculty. Detailed evaluation results, including a compilation of student comments, are reported to campus leaders (department chairs, directors, program leads, deans, etc.) and to faculty, for review and continuous improvement. Data collected is used to help determine which courses need to be offered, the effectiveness of the interaction, and how training and support services can be improved. Aggregated and redacted data is posted here on this website.

At the end of 2018, the UWG Institute for Faculty Excellence took over the administration and support of our online assessment tool (CourseEval) and responsibility for reporting SEI results. Our university’s primary online course delivery tool, CourseDen - Brightspace powered by Desire2Learn (formerly called WebCT), also allows for formative assessment and evaluation by the instructor, who can track student usage patterns. The Office of Institutional Research and Planning compiles data enabling comparisons of grades and retention rates of distance courses to campus classes.

Additional related data may be available on the UWG Online Work West site.


UWG Online Evaluations (Current)

  1. Annual Randomized Phone Survey of Online Students
  2. Help Desk Assessment (Student, Faculty, and Other Customer Satisfaction of Services)

    • The DDEC began using Remedy, a help-desk tracker, in January 2003, to enable us to identify patterns of support needs, including peak times, common problems, as well as satisfaction with support services. In Jan 2012, the department improved it's ability to track, assign, and escalate helpcall tickets, by investing in a new helpdesk system called Numara Footprints. In March 2023, the department will transition to UWG's new Ivanti system which may result in a temporary lapse in data. 

    • All telephone, chat, text, and email support calls received by the UWG Online Help Desk are logged into the system. When a ticket is closed, the customer receives a satisfaction survey via email.

    • Key takeaways are communicated to the appropriate Instructor, Staff Member, Department Chair, Director, Dean, or VP, as needed. Demand and technical issue data is used to inform staffing and training decisions. 
    • Most Recent Summary of Helpdesk Assessment (Webpage)

    • Summary of Helpdesk Assessment for Fall 2003 - Summer 2004 (PDF- 20.6KB)

    • Summary of Helpdesk Assessment for Spring 2003 (PDF- 14.1)

  3. Campus-wide Student Evaluations

    • Courses offered through Distance Education are also evaluated by a campus-wide "Student Evaluations Instrument". The form ask students to evaluate all disciplines on a systematic basis regarding course strengths, weaknesses, and suggestions for improvements. Pre-2018, it was the instructor's responsibility to either conduct the SEI in a face-to-face session or to request that the UWG Online post the SEI in the alternate online format. After 2018, the responsibility moved to the Center for Teaching and Learning and then to the central Academic Affairs office who is now responsible for maintaining the data and sharing results with the academic departments for review, ongoing improvement, etc.
  4. UWG Collaborative Programs' Assessments, Data, & Factbooks

    • UWG is one of many host institutions for the University System of Georgia's eCore, eMajor, WebMBA and other USG Collaborative programs. UWG also serves as the USG eCampus Administrative Services lead, overseeing and assessing most of these programs. USG eCampus (housed at UWG) provides detailed survey results, course evaluations, and data (usually within comprehensive factbooks).

    • eCore Factbooks

    • eMajor Factbooks


Quality Assurance Procedures

  1. All courses and support for distance and distributed education at UWG will comply with the standards of the Southern Regional Electronic Campus, SACS-COC, and the BOR.
  2. Distance courses, either credit, or non-credit must have comparable student learning as programs on campus. All distance courses must be complete and coherent, with provisions for appropriate interaction among faculty and students, and appropriate course supervision.
  3. Responsibility for assuring compliance with standards falls under the auspices of the Institutional Distance Education Administrator, Dr. Melanie Clay (IDEA).
  4. Formal evaluation of student satisfaction and perceived learning in DE courses is conducted each term by academic and official student services units. UWG Online conducts an an annual randomized phone survey of online students each Spring. Together with the customer satsifaction surveys and feedback to our UWG Online Help Desk, key takeaways are shared with appropriate leadership and units across campus, including recommendations for improvement.
  5. An annual review and updating of standards and goals is conducted each summer by the DDE staff.
  6. HISTORY: From 1996 - 2006, the Distance & Distributed Education Steering Committee met at least four times per year to discuss distance planning and policies that impact the university as a whole. The group was composed of 22 members which include the DDE staff and various campus faculty and staff involved with current distance education issues. Members included the DDE staff (Melanie Clay, Janet Gubbins, Christy Talley and Stacey Rowland); department faculty/program chairs (Will Lloyd, Elizabeth Bennett, Barbara McKenzie, Mary O'Neill, John Fuller, Ara Volkan, Tom Padgett, Micheal Crafton); Library representative (Carol Goodson, Shirley Lankford); central ITS representatives (Kathy Kral, Mike Russell, Brian McCrary); college IT representatives (Diane Williamson, Matthew Clay) , Director of Institutional Research and Planning (Andrew Luna), Special Program Staff (Paul Smith) and Director (Donald Wagner). Other members were invited to join transient sub-groups as issues arise. From 2006 on, the individual academic departments have assumed responsibility for quality assurance. In 2010, the VPAAs office briefly convened a UWG VPAA Online Learning Taskforce, for the purpose of writing and presenting an Online Taskforce White Paper to Faculty Senate's endorsement. The paper was endorsed by Faculty Senate on November 2, 2011.


UWG Online Standards ArISING From eval feedback & results


  1. Facilities

    • Scheduling for the now defunct UWG GSAMS rooms was the responsibility of the distance education staff (UWG Online). Priority for GSAMS rooms was given to credit courses, then non-credit courses, then school meetings, and then other business. All GSAMS meetings required the presence of a distance staff member or facilitator. Exceptions required the approval of the distance education coordinator.
    • A UWG Online Computer Lab is maintained and staffed by Distance Education (UWG Online). Priority for use of the room is for helpdesk calls, distance training purposes, followed by Honors Student academic use. Schedule for all physical facilities is maintained and available on a public Google Calendar.
  2. Student Support
    • A helpline is available for students who need assistance with technical problems, registration, advisement, or other information related to distance and distributed courses.
    • Online resources for students include:
    • Other services for online students are coordinated, evaluated, and revised with the registrar, the bookstore, admissions, and other campus services. All advising, informational and registration materials clearly and accurately represent the nature and technical skills necessary for each online course.
  3. Telephone, Live Chat, Text, eMail and Virtual Conferencing Help-Line
    • All inquires received to helpline are responded to immediately and within 24 hours at the latest (Monday through Friday). Staff will respond in a calm and courteous manner, following standard TAIDET customer service protocols Reports of all "new" problems and solutions will be forwarded to UWG Online Director for campus-wide announcements, as needed

  4. Faculty Support / Reward
    • The helpline is available to faculty. All faculty support is conducted in a courteous, customer-oriented manner. Faculty receive full course development assistance as requested during their first term of teaching via the internet. Certificates of recognition are awarded to outstanding distance faculty at the end of each term. An end-of-the term report, recognizing distance faculty efforts and specific achievements, is emailed to distance faculty, their department heads, deans, and vpaa at end of each term. A distance library is maintained in UWG Online with books, periodicals, training videos, and periodicals available for checkout by staff and faculty.

  5. Quality Assurance
    • All courses and support for distance education at UWG will comply by the standards of the Southern Regional Electronic Campus, SACS-COC and other applicable policies. Distance courses, either credit or non-credit, must have comparable student learning as programs on-campus. All distance courses must be coherent and complete, with provisions for appropriate interaction among faculty and students, and appropriate course supervision. Responsibility for providing data to help academic departments assure compliance with standards falls under the auspices of the UWG Online and Institute for Faculty Excellence Directors.

  6. Planning
    • An annual review, evaluation, and updating of standards, goals, and progress will be conducted annual each August by distance staff. All full-time and part-time staff submit bi-weekly progress and planning reports to UWG Online Director via ongoing shared Google Docs.

  7. Student Assistants
    • Student assistants will provide technical support for all videoconferencing classes, professional development webinars, and online courses using CourseDen. Before beginning helpdesk work, SAs will have completed at least 2 hours of training and an online CourseDen tutorial. An experienced SA will monitor the beginning SA during his or her first one-on-one session with an instructor or student. All SAs are expected to attend periodic meetings, training sessions, and other events representing UWG distance education.

  8. Information Services
    • All web site information will be reviewed on first Monday of each month. Responses to outside inquiries regarding UWG distance education will be made by phone, e-mail, or postal mail within 7 days. A file of all publicity and newspaper articles will be maintained in distance education library.
  9. Faculty Training
    • All online faculty must receive at least 2 hours of personal training prior to beginning any type of online course; academic departments are responsible for ensuring compliance. Online faculty will receive support in course development. as needed. Veteran faculty will receive support through additional hands-on training. An applicable orientation for new faculty is conducted each August.

  10. Records
    • A database of all relevant distance and distributed courses, dates, department, enrollments, and evaluation results is updated each term and resides on the Honors House server. A backup copy will also be maintained and online summaries available publicly on the web. Course evaluation data (distance courses) will be kept for one year. Summaries will reside herein. Additional record-keeping, operating procedures, data, assessment, and compliance documentation is available on the UWG Online Help Desk page (though access may be limited).


Historical Data

  1. GSAMS (2-way videoconferencing within fixed classrooms) - (2000 - 2003)

  2. Online Learning & Services - Student Satisfaction (2000 - 2018)

    • From 2000 - part of 2018, UWG Online was tasked with administering the campus' central course evaluation software (CourseEval) and thus was able to also conduct evaluluations of student satisfaction with UWG Online support services as well as services across campus. The results of these surveys was shared at Assoc Deans' meetings and with appropriate representatives from the impacted student service areas across campus. In 2018, a restructuring of UWG Online (our FDC team was assigned to the Center for Teaching and Learning) meant that CourseEval administration followed and UWG Online lost the ability to conduct these online surveys. We were also asked to not replace the surveys due to a worry that students were being over-surveyed and it was impacting the response rates for the Course Evaluations (Student Evaluation of Instruction - SEI). Instead, we made the decision to rely solely on the annual random phone surveys of online students that we conduct each Spring.

    • CourseDen / WebCT Evaluation Data (XLSX- 11.3KB)

    • CourseDen / WebCT Evaluation Data (PDF- 74.1KB)

  3. Online Learning & Services - Faculty Satisfaction (2000 - 2018)

    • Approved by the UWG Faculty Senate for Fall 2001, all distance faculty were sent a form along with the results of their distance course surveys. The Evaluation Summary for Distance Courses form asks that the faculty provide written documentation (now implemented in an online CourseEval survey) reflecting on their DE course evaluation results and how the students' feedback will be used for improvement. The actual assessment and process evolved over time. The UWG Institute for Faculty Excellence took over assessment of faculty needs in 2018. Academic Affairs decided that review of SEI data should go back to the offering academic departments and chairs.

    • Distributed Education Evaluation Data (XLSX- 11.9KB)

    • Distributed Education Evaluation Data (PDF- 64.8KB)

  4. Faculty Distance Learning Assessment (1998)

    • A "Faculty Distance Learning Assessment," was distributed to UWG faculty early fall 1998 semester to measure faculty acceptance of distance education and to determine what factors motivate and inhibit distance participation. Faculty who had used WebCT for distance teaching were significantly more positive than those who had only used GSAMS. The primary factors inhibiting faculty participation in distance teaching were concern for course quality and workload. Motivating factors tended to more often be intrinsic (challenge, desire to keep up) for those who had distance teaching experience and extrinsic (release time, monetary reward) for those who had not. Results were use to determine how the DDE Center could improve the quality of support services for DE faculty. See the Faculty Attitudes Toward Distance Education at the University of West Georgia (PDF- 36.3KB).


Last Updated: January 6. 2023, 2pm
By J. Gubbins & C. Milam