Summer 2014 - Volume 17 Issue 2
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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 2014
June 8-11, 2014
Jekyll Island Club Hotel in Jekyll Island, Georgia

Distance Education
Certified Trainer Program

Registration Begins
May 5, 2014
Program Begins
September 8, 2014
Graduation
December 10, 2014

Advanced Technologies for Distance Education Certificate Program
Registration Begins
May 5, 2014
Registration Deadline
June 30, 2014
Program Begins
July 14, 2014
Graduation
November 13, 2014

Distance Education
Certificate Program

Registration Begins
June 2, 2014
Registration Deadline
September 8, 2014
Program Begins
September 22, 2014
Graduation
March 26, 2015

Social Media Marketing Certificate Program
Registration Begins
June 2, 2014
Registration Deadline
August 15, 2014
Online Program Begins
August 31, 2014
Graduation
November 23, 2014


Thanks to the
University of West Georgia
for providing this webspace

Editorial Board

Editor-in-Chief
Dr. Melanie Clay
University of West Georgia
Melly's DLA Blog


Managing Editor
Ms. Dawn Senfeld
University of West Georgia


Associate Editor
Ms. Robin Stewart
University of West Georgia


Editorial Board
Dr. Mac Adkins
Troy University

David Babb
University of North Georgia

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

Dr. Michael Beaudoin
University of New England

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

Erik Burns
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Dr. W. Dean Care
University of Manitoba

Dr. Jason G. Caudill
King University

Mr. Matthew N. Clay
University of West Georgia

Dr. Sherry A. Clouser
University of Georgia

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

Bruce Doney
Mercer University

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. Katy Herbold
Southern Utah University

Mrs. Laurie G. Hillstock
Virginia Tech

Mrs. 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

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

Dr. Andrew Leavitt
North Georgia College & State University

Ms. Nancy Lee
University of Nevada

Dr. Elke M. Leeds
Kennesaw State University

Christopher Mathews-Smith M.A.
Georgia Perimeter College Online

Dr. Barbara K. McKenzie
University of West Georgia

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. M. D. Roblyer
University of Tennessee-Chattanooga

Dr. Ravic P. Ringlaben
University of West Georgia

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

Dr. Joann Kroll Wheeler
Texas A & M University

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

Ms. Diane M. Burnette
University of Georgia

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.

Dr. Cher C. Hendricks
University of West Georgia

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. Paul F. Merrill
Brigham Young University

Mr. Bob Reese
Reese Consulting Associates, Inc.

Mr. Timothy W. Seid
Earlham School of Religion

Dr. Barbara L. Watkins
University of Kansas

Current Issue

Assessing Student Retention in Online Learning Environments: A Longitudinal Study

Daniel Judd
Wallace Boston, Phil Ice, Melissa Burgess
 

by Wallace Boston
     Phil Ice
     Melissa Burgess


In their initial study, authors Boston, Ice, and Gibson (2011) explored the relationship between student demographics and interactions, and retention at a large online university. Participants in the preliminary study (n = 20,569) included degree-seeking undergraduate students who completed at least one course at the American Public University System (APUS) in 2007. Two notable findings from the study were (1) the importance of transfer credit, and (2) the consistency of activity in predicting continued enrollment. Interestingly, the latter finding was confirmed upon the analysis of longitudinal data from the current study. Further related to the latter finding-yet unexpected, was the existence of new literature that, although subtle, affirms the importance for online institutions to conduct ongoing research on these topics. Readers of the current study are encouraged to refer to the preliminary study toward a comprehensive understanding of these nuances. Though informative, the researchers wished to validate the original study findings through longitudinal evaluation of retention.

Hiring Managers' Perceptions of the Value of an Online MBA

Daniel Judd
Jeffrey Bailey
David Woolstenhulme
Larry Flegle

by  Jeffrey Bailey
      Larry Flegle


Researchers have theorized that online degrees are less valuable in the perception of hiring managers. Identifying the factors which influence the hiring managers’ perceptions and if obtaining a degree from a for-profit institution influences that perception is critical in designing programs and courses. The purpose of this study was to identify the factors that are considered as adding value to an online MBA.


Distance Learning for Special Populations

Frank Butts
Rodger Bates

by  Rodger Bates
    

Distance education strategies for remotely deployed, highly mobile, or institutionalized populations are reviewed and critiqued. Specifically, asynchronous, offline responses for special military units, Native Americans on remote reservations, prison populations and other geographically, temporally or technologically isolated niche populations are explored.



Distance Education Assessment Infrastructure and Process Design Based on International Standard 23988
Frank Butts
Steven Shaffer

by Steven Shaffer
    

Assessment is an important part of distance education (DE). As class sizes get larger and workloads increase, the IT infrastructure and processes used for DE assessments become more of an issue. Using the BS ISO/IEC 23988:2007 Standard for the use of technology in the delivery of assessments as a guide, this paper describes a rational approach to an information technology infrastructure and process which helps to answer questions regarding the quality and integrity of DE based assessments. This paper remains agnostic with regard to the validity of types of assessments used for various purposes, and deals only with the issues of IT delivery and the management of assessments. The information presented can be used as a basis for in-house written software development or to compare and contrast various off-the-shelf options.



Comparing Faculty Perceptions of an Online Development Course: Addressing Faculty Needs for Online Teaching
Daniel Judd
Joseph Terantino
David Woolstenhulme
Edoh Agbehonou

by Joseph Terantino
     Edoh Agbehonou
    

Since the advent of hybrid and online instructional delivery for college and university courses, a principal issue has been training faculty to design and deliver these courses. The present study examines a faculty development course, “Build a Web Course,” offered to educate faculty members about how to design, create, and implement technology and internet-based instructional materials for the purpose of hybrid and online courses. Of particular interest to this study, the faculty participants were required to complete the development course as online students. More specifically, the study compares faculty perceptions from two separate offerings of the course and the distinct groups of faculty. Through an analysis of the faculty participants’ perceptions, this study seeks to highlight the perceived differences and similarities in the learning outcomes for the two courses to determine if strategic changes in the course prove to be beneficial. Among an array of positive findings related to the course, the faculty participants also indicated they did not feel that the nature of the guest speakers was appropriate, and they felt underprepared to complete the subsequent Quality Matters review of their courses. These results may aid in further understanding what faculty members perceive they need to become effective in preparing instructional materials for hybrid and online teaching.


Online Education in Public Affairs
Daniel Judd
Martha Ginn
David Woolstenhulme
Augustine Hammond

by Martha Ginn
     Augustine Hammond


This exploratory study provides an overview of the current landscape of online education in the fields of Master of Public Administration and Master of Public Policy (MPA/MPP) utilizing a dataset compiled from content analysis of MPA/MPP programs’ websites and survey of 96 National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA) affiliated institutions. Areas studied include the rationales for offering or not offering online education, concerns with technology, modes of online instruction, student services, faculty and staff demands and enrollment patterns. The primary goal stated for offering courses and degrees online is to reach more students. We found substantial diversity in teaching methods which suggests students and instructors alike are attracted to online education due to its flexibility. Surprisingly, we did not find any significant problems with technological concerns.    



From the Editor

Melanie ClayHello Readers:


We just returned from an amazing DLA conference this year at Jekyll Island. It was our biggest group to date (but we like to keep it small) with lots of representation from American Public University System, Kennesaw State University, College of Coastal Georgia and Clayton State University. I especially enjoyed the keynote speech this year, by Dr. Charles Bird, retired administrator from Ohio University. I found him through his blogs on innovation and branch campuses. If you haven't come across them before, check them out - a major abundance of wisdom there.

Another individual who has achieved rock star status at our conference is Dr. Phil Ice, of American Public University System. I must have spoken to at least 10 people at DLA who delightfully mentioned their conversations with him, and his name showed up repeatedly in the conference evaluations regarding "favorite concurrent session." In this issue of OJDLA, you'll find his article (co-written by his brilliant colleagues Wallace Boston and Melissa Burgess), along with our other two DLA Best Papers.

I'm sure that all of you in distance learning administration are as busy as I am these days, but take some time to really enjoy your summer! I'm hoping that at next year's conference someone does a session on "Work-Life Balance for the Distance Learning Administrator!"

Best,

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

 

A special thanks to Thinking Cap for being the premiere sponsor of DLA2012!


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