Spring 2014 - Volume 17 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
Fall 2017
Program Begins
February 12, 2018
May 2018

Advanced Technologies for Distance Education Certificate Program
May 2018

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

Factors Influencing Faculty Participation & Retention In Online & Blended Education

Daniel Judd
Kristen Betts

by Kristen Betts

Faculty members play a central role in the development, implementation, and long-term sustainability of online and blended education programs. Therefore, faculty recruitment and retention strategies for these programs must align with the needs of the faculty. This article highlights the results of an institutional study conducted at a public comprehensive university in 2012 that examined factors influencing faculty participation and retention in online and blended education. This article also provides a comparative overview of the results of a similar institutional study conducted at The George Washington University (GWU) in 1997 that examined factors influencing faculty participation in distance education. The original surveys from the 1997 GWU study were updated for the 2012 Armstrong study. The results revealed that while technology and learning platforms have continued to evolve over the past 15 years, many of the needs and concerns of faculty are relatively similar. The results also revealed that faculty involvement is quintessential in the development and expansion of online and blended programs as well as in the design of faculty development initiatives.

Comparing Enrollment and Persistence Rates in Hybrid and Traditional Post-Secondary French

Daniel Judd
Carolyn Gascoigne
David Woolstenhulme
Juliette Parnell

by  Carolyn Gascoigne
      Juliette Parnell

Persistence rates in foreign language study have been historically disappointing. This also tends to be the case for many hybrid and online courses, especially when contrasted with comparable face-to-face courses. Therefore, when transitioning foreign language coursework to online and hybrid formats, increased persistence rates and a large number of resulting majors should not be expected. Following a review of the literature on both foreign language and hybrid/online persistence respectively, the following study compares persistence rates from concurrently taught traditional and hybrid offerings in post-secondary French across three years. An interpretation of the resulting trends is offered, along with suggestions for additional research.

A Composite Theoretical Model Showing Potential Hidden Costs of Online Distance Education at Historically Black Colleges and Universities: With Implications for Building Cost-Resistant Courses and Programs

Frank Butts
Andrew Arroyo

by  Andrew Arroyo
Growing numbers of historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) are entering the arena of online distance education. Some are seeking to grow large-scale programs that can compete for market share with historically White institutions and for-profit schools. This theoretical essay develops a composite model to assist HBCU administrators in their planning and implementation of e-learning ventures. The model addresses two existential questions: What potential costs to their core distinctiveness might America's HBCUs face if they pursue online distance education initiatives, especially if their ultimate goal is to imitate the large-scale digital presence of competing non-HBCUs? How might these potential costs impact the Black American students that HBCUs typically recruit and enroll? This essay concludes with implications for how decision makers can build cost-resistant online distance education courses and programs. It is hoped that this original conceptual work will contribute to innovations of research and practice in this new field.

Implementation of a Quality Assurance Review System for the Scalable Development of Online Courses
Daniel Judd
Devrim Ozdemir
David Woolstenhulme
Rich Loose

by  Devrim Ozdemir
      Rich Loose

With the growing demand for quality online education in the US, developing quality online courses and online programs, and more importantly maintaining this quality, have been an inevitable concern for higher education institutes. Current literature on quality assurance in online education mostly focuses on the development of review models and frameworks as well as the development of review rubrics. The development of comprehensive models in addition to the valid and reliable quality assurance review rubrics is very important for the development of quality online courses and programs. However, it is also important to maintain this quality once the quality is attained. Factors such as increasing number of online courses, dynamic faculty body delivering these courses, and disruptive innovations in online education continue to make the ongoing maintenance of the quality of online education particularly challenging. This article presents the development and implementation processes of an electronic quality assurance review system for the scalable development of online courses in a regional university in the Midwest US. In particular, we will introduce the context of online course development in the university, present the reasons for developing such a system, outline the framework of the system, and present the implementation process of the system. Finally, we will discuss the future recommendations for our existing system. Our goal is to present our case as a guide to those higher education institutes which are responding to growing demand in quality online education.


The Effects of Online Teaching Experience and Institution Type on Faculty Perceptions of Teaching Online

Daniel Judd
Deborah Windes
David Woolstenhulme
Faye Lesht

by  Deborah Windes
      Faye Lesht

In light of the recent growth of online education and its disruptive impact on higher education, this study compared faculty attitudes toward teaching online across institution type, including community colleges and four-year public and private institutions, as well as across faculty with and without online teaching experience. While the data reflected similarities across groups, there were also striking differences which included the following: experienced online community college faculty indicated more so than those at four-year public/private institutions that online education was inferior to face-to-face instruction; intellectual property was reported as more important to those who had not taught online than to those who have online teaching experience across all settings; and community college faculty reported more negative attitudes toward online education over the past five years than did those at other types of institutions in the study. At the same time, faculty members who responded to this study were influenced to engage, or consider engaging, in online teaching in order to meet students' needs, reach new students not previously served by the institution, discover ways to enhance and strengthen teaching through new technologies, and increase the flexibility of their schedules. It appears there are different perceptions and motivating factors across institutional types for teaching online, which may influence institutional strategies.


Shifting from Obligatory Discourse to Rich Dialogue: Promoting Student Interaction in Asynchronous Threaded Discussion Postings
Frank Butts
Mara Mooney, Sheryne Southard, Christie Burton

by Mara Mooney
Sheryne Southard
Christie Burton

Asynchronous online threaded discussions are widely recognized as a tool to enhance learning in the virtual classroom. While they can serve as a mechanism for reinforcing material and promoting a deeper understanding of course content, discussion boards often lack rich and dynamic dialogue, and instead serve as a field of obligatory discourse, hasty postings, and repetitive content. This study examines measures to promote meaningful interaction in threaded online discussion postings. The researchers created an innovative, activity-based discussion exercise, known as the "suspense model," that was utilized in two undergraduate hybrid online courses to promote student-centered learning and to increase the quality and quantity of student engagement. The researchers conducted a second discussion board activity in the same classes whereby students were provided with the problem and supporting material at the outset of the exercise. Qualitative methods were employed to measure the quality of student performance on the exercises to compare levels of interactivity. Results indicate that students more promptly and thoroughly engaged in the discussion board utilizing the suspense model, and students' perception of the exercise was tentatively favorable as compared to its conventional counterpart.

From the Editor

Melanie ClayHello Readers:

All the Tulip trees and Bradford pear trees are nearly in full bloom today here just west of Atlanta, promising the hopeful end of a dreadfully cold winter. We are busy preparing for our June DLA conference in Jekyll Island, and starting to finalize another super - cool program. What strikes me in our program. (and in this edition), is that MOOCs seem to have left the stage. Instead, there's a renewed emphasis on refined models that contain costs and increase quality. Though MOOCs may not have lived up to the hype, they have been critically important in prompting game-changing questions about affordability and accessibility. In fact, just their presence has resulted in an unprecedented pace of experimentation and change in the last several months alone. So, it seems that the only thing that is certain is that it's nearly impossible to predict how much our frameworks for distance learning administration may have changed before the next snowfall in Georgia.

Peace to all,

Melanie N. Clay, Ph.D.
March 14, 2014


A special thanks to Thinking Cap for being the premiere sponsor of DLA2013!

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

Last modified: March 14, 2014