Spring 2012 - Volume 15 Issue 1


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The Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration is a peer-reviewed electronic journal offered free each quarter over the World Wide Web. The journal welcomes manuscripts based on original work of practitioners and researchers with specific focus or implications for the management of distance education programs. Click here to access our readership stats.
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Events & Learning

Distance Learning Administration 2018
June 24-27, 2018
Jekyll Island Club Hotel in Jekyll Island, Georgia

Conference on Meaningful Living and Learning in a Digital World
February 5-7, 2018
Savannah, Georgia

Distance Education
Certificate Program

Registration Begins
Fall 2017
Program Begins
January 22, 2018
June 2018

Distance Education
Certified Trainer Program

Registration Begins
Summer 2017
Program Begins
September 25, 2017
December 2017

Advanced Technologies for Distance Education Certificate Program
Registration Begins
Fall 2017
Program Begins
January 22, 2018
May 2018

Intro to Social Media Marketing Certificate Program
Registration Begins
Fall 2017
Online Program Begins
January 22, 2017
March 2018

Thanks to the
University of West Georgia
for providing this webspace

Editorial Board

Dr. Melanie Clay
University of West Georgia

Managing Editor
Ms. Kendall Dickey
University of West Georgia

Associate Editor
Ms. Julie Stone Ingle
University of West Georgia

Editorial Board
Dr. Mac Adkins
Troy University


Christopher L. A. Ahlstrom
Towson University

David Babb
University of North Georgia

Dr. R.-L. Etienne Barnett University of Atlanta (US) Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (France)

Mr. R. Thomas Berner
Pennsylvania State University

Dr. Kris Biesinger
Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia

Dr. Beverly L. Bower
University of North Texas

Ms. Diane M. Burnette
University of Georgia

Erik Burns
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Dr. W. Dean Care
Brandon University

Dr. Jason G. Caudill
King University

Yong Chen
Old Dominion University

Mr. Matthew N. Clay
University of West Georgia

Dr. Sherry A. Clouser
University of Georgia

Bradly Corlett

Dr. Ken Corley
Appalachian State University

Dr. Micheal Crafton
University of West Georgia

Dr. Muhammet Demirbilek
Suleyman Demirel University, Turkey

Dr. Robert N. Diotalevi
Florida Gulf Coast University

Pamala Dixon
University of West Georgia

Ms. Beth Evans
College Library of the City University of New York

Dr. Catherine L. Finnegan Advanced Learning Technologies,
Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia

Jan Flegle
American Public University System

Dr. Larry V. Flegle
American Military University

Tanacha Gaines
University of West Georgia

Dr. Cher C. Hendricks
University of West Georgia

Dr. Katy Herbold
Southern Utah University

Mrs. Laurie G. Hillstock
Virginia Tech

Dr. Cathy Hochanadel
Kaplan University

Dr. Genell Hooper Harris
Centenary College of Louisiana

Dr. Scott L. Howell
Brigham Young University

Dr. Jason B. Huett
University of West Georgia

Dr. Thomas J. Hynes
Clayton State University

Dr. Sallie J. Johnson
USAF Air University, Air Command and Staff College

Dr. Harold J. Kearsley
Norwich University

Dr. John J. Ketterer
Jacksonville State University

Dr. James W. King
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

James Kinneer
Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Irene Kokkala
University of North Georgia

Olabisi Kuboni (retired)
The University of West Indies

Dr. Sally Kuhlenschmidt
Western Kentucky University

Ms. Elizabeth D. Larzelere M.S.
New York Chiropractic College

Melissa Layne
American Public University System

Dr. Andrew Leavitt
University of North Georgia


Dr. Lauryl A. Lefebvre

University of Phoenix

Ms. Nancy Lee
University of Nevada

Dr. Elke M. Leeds
Kennesaw State University


Dr. Amanda E. Major
University of Central Florida

Christopher Mathews-Smith M.A.
Emory University

Dr. Jennifer McLean
Pennsylvania College of Technology

COL Philip A. McNair (USA, ret.)
American Public University System

Dr. Marc D. Miller
Augusta State University

Dr. Nancy Griffin Mims, Ed.D.
University of West Georgia

Dr. Mary Jo Muratore
University of Missouri - Columbia

Anna Obedkova
University of Texas of Arlington

Dr. Abbot L. Packard
University of West Georgia

Dr. Angie Parker
Northcentral University

Dr. Shawn M. Quilter
Eastern Michigan University

Dr. Ravic P. Ringlaben
University of West Georgia

Dr. Michael Rogers
Advanced Learning Technologies,
Board of Regents of the
University System of Georgia


Dr. Beth Rene Roepnack
University of West Georgia Associate Director of Online Faculty Development
University of West Georgia

Dr. Peter J. Shapiro
Director of Creative Learning Services
Florida State College at Jacksonville

Dr. LeAnn McKinzie Thomason
Brownsville, Texas

Mitzi P. Trahan, Ph.D.
University of Louisiana at Lafayette

Dr. Thomas J. Tobin
Author and Speaker

Dr. Joann Kroll Wheeler
Texas A & M University

Past OJDLA Editors
Dr. Stephen J. Anspacher
The New School

Dr. Michael Beaudoin
University of New England

Dr. Elizabeth Bennett
University of West Georgia

Janet Gubbins
University of West Georgia

Ms. Tammy Hamm-Ronsisvalle
Synergy Plus Inc.

Rayma Harchar, Ed. D.
University of Louisiana at Lafayette

Dr. Nataliya V. Ivankova
University of Alabama at Birmingham

Dr. Kathleen A. Kraus
State University of New York at New Paltz

Dr. Dwight Laws
Brigham Young University

Dr. George E. Marsh II
The University of Alabama


Dr. Barbara K. McKenzie
University of West Georgia

Dr. Paul F. Merrill
Brigham Young University

Mr. Bob Reese
Reese Consulting Associates, Inc.

Dr. M. D. Roblyer
University of Tennessee-Chattanooga

Mr. Timothy W. Seid
Earlham School of Religion

Dr. Barbara L. Watkins
University of Kansas

Current Issue

Theory to Practice: Implementation and Initial Impact of an Online Doctoral Program

Swapna Kumar
Fred Hartfield
Kara Dawson

by  Swapna Kumar Ed.D.
Kara Dawson Ph.D.

This article describes successes and challenges of the first implementation of an online Ed.D. program that impacted students’ professional growth and practice. Based on an analysis of student survey comments, student interviews, and faculty interviews at the end of the first year, program improvements were made for future cohorts. Lessons learned and best practices shared in this article will be useful to other institutions embarking on and engaged in online programs and professional practice degrees.

An Analysis of Organizational Approaches to Online Course Structures

Cheng-Yuan Lee, Jeremy Dickerson, Joe Winslow

by  Dr. Cheng-Yuan Lee
      Dr. Jeremy Dickerson
      Dr. Joe Winslow

The structure of an online course, including the navigational interface, visual design of materials and information, as well as the communication tools to facilitate learning, can affect students, instructors, programs and educational organizations in various ways. This paper examines online course structural issues derived from previous research as well as the authors’ collective experiences as instructors, instructional designers, and online learners at multiple universities. Three organizational philosophies of online course structure are analyzed, and ten key components for developing a well-organized online course are presented based on established design principles. This information is intended to help emerging online instructors understand their own organizational culture and to develop a more standardized approach to online course design. 

Distance Education Enrollment is Associated with Greater Academic Progress Among First Generation Low-Income Undergraduate Students in the US in 2008

David Woolstenhulme
Manuel Pontes, Nancy Pontes

by  Manuel Pontes
      Nancy Pontes

First Generation undergraduate students from low-income households (FGLI students) continue to have substantially higher dropout rates than non first generation students or students from more affluent households despite numerous efforts over many decades to improve graduation rates among this group of students. The purpose of this research is to determine whether FGLI students in the US who enroll in distance education classes are likely to make greater academic progress (more likely to be enrolled for the entire academic year and more likely to be enrolled full time during the academic year) than FGLI students who enroll in face-to-face classes exclusively. For this research, we used data from the National Postsecondary Student Aid Survey (NPSAS) conducted in 2008. The NPSAS 2008 used a complex survey design to collect data from a nationally representative sample of about 113,500 postsecondary undergraduate students in the US. The results of this study show that FGLI students who enrolled in distance education were significantly less likely to have an enrollment gap in 2008 than FGLI students who did not enroll in any distance education class. Indeed, the negative association between distance education enrollment and the likelihood of an enrollment gap was significantly greater among FGLI students than among non-FGLI students. Distance education enrollment was also associated with a greater likelihood of full-time enrollment in 2008, among both FGLI students and non-FGLI students. These results, from a large nationally representative sample, suggest that providing FGLI students with greater access to distance education classes may increase degree progress rates and degree completion rates.

Electronic Media: A Motivational Strategy for Student Success
David Woolstenhulme
Laurie Millam, Dora Finamore, Aaron Hochanadel, Cathy Hochanadel, Michelle Reinhardt

by  Laurie Millam
      Dora Finamore
      Aaron Hochanadel

      Cathy Hochanade
      Michelle Reinhardt

Motivation, engagement, goal attainment and effective interaction are essential components for college students to be successful in the online educational environment.  The popularity and influx of electronic media applications has allowed educators the opportunity to incorporate social media (Facebook, Twitter), and volitional messages (Simple Truths, Animoto) in order to enhance the online student learning experience.  As a result, student-teacher interaction can be more personal, satisfying, and relevant to students’ efforts in meeting their academic needs.  Research has shown that students who are motivated, engaged, and interactive are more likely to be successful in an online classroom. However, exactly how motivational strategies work and which specific ones are effective is still an area of uncertainty. This report presents a review of recent literature and trends in order to determine the impact of various electronic media as a motivational strategy geared towards promoting student success in undergraduate online college courses.  The researchers for this study will review various targeted electronic media applications as motivational strategies based on Keller’s ARCS Motivational Model (Attention, Relevance, Confidence and Satisfaction) and volition in an online environment and how these strategies can impact student success. Kuhl (1987) added the fifth component, volition, to the integrated theory. Volition or self-regulatory strategies are used by students to overcome obstacles that may impede success attainment. Kuhl defined volition as a “mediating factor that energizes the maintenance and enactment of intended actions” (1987, p. 90).

Marketing for A Web-Based Master's Degree Program in Light of Marketing Mix Model
David Woolstenhulme
Cheng-Chang (Sam) Pan

by  Cheng-Chang (Sam) Pan

The marketing mix model was applied with a focus on Web media to re-strategize a Web-based Master’s program in a southern state university in U.S. The program’s existing marketing strategy was examined using the four components of the model: product, price, place, and promotion, in hopes to repackage the program (product) to prospective students (customers) and to offset the impact of dissolved partnership with its state-funded coordinating body, which carried a stronger brand image than the university where the program was housed. Challenges and recommendations were addressed.

Attitudes of Prospective Human Resource Personnel towards Distance Learning Degrees

I. Bola Udegbe

by  I. Bola Udegbe, Ph.D

This study investigated the attitudes of Prospective Human Resource Personnel toward degrees obtained by distance learning in comparison to those obtained through conventional degree program. Using a cross-sectional survey design, a total of 215 postgraduate students who had been or had potential to be involved in the hiring process in their organizations participated in this study. Research findings showed less favorable attitudes to degrees obtained via distance learning.  Results also showed significant differences in perceived employment utility between comparable degrees obtained via distance learning and those obtained via conventional degree program. Gender, work experience, age and knowing  distance learning graduates did not have significant effects on respondents’ attitudes. Type of education (HND vs B.Sc) however had a significant effect on perceived utility of degree for gaining employment and achieving success on the job.



From the Editor

Melanie ClayHello Readers:

Today is one of those perfect spring days in Georgia. It's in the low 80s, the flowers seem to be popping out by the minute, and the sun beckons me to enjoy this edition of the journal outside on my laptop. Now, if we can just keep the spring tornadoes at bay. One of our articles, "An Analysis of Organizational Approaches to Online Course Structures," by Lee, Dickerson, and Winslow, is very timely as online education has reached the perfect storm of growth, validation, and increased accountability. While I was once a strong advocate for near complete academic freedom in the development of online courses, such an approach is less practical these days. By implementing at least the most basic of quality standards, we are assured a more streamlined administrative structure, a more positive experience for students, and the meeting of several important accreditation standards. I am still uncertain as to how formalized peer review processes should be (I think simplicity is better), but this article provides an excellent review of various paths and considerations. Have a wonderful spring, and I hope to see many of you at our DLA Conference at Jekyll Island in June.

Peace to all,

Melanie N. Clay, Ph.D.
March 15, 2012

To be notified of future publications contact the UWG Distance & Distributed Education Center

Last modified:March 15, 2012