Winter 2009 - Volume 12 Issue 4


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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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Distance Learning Administration 2018
June 24-27, 2018
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January 22, 2018
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January 22, 2017
March 2018

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University of West Georgia
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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

The Impact of Face-to-Face Orientation on Online Retention: A Pilot Study

Radwan Ali
Radwan Ali
Elke M. Leeds
Elke M. Leeds

by Radwan Ali
     Elke M. Leeds

Student retention in online education is a concern for students, faculty and administration. Retention rates are 20% lower in online courses than in traditional face-to-face courses. As part of an integration and engagement strategy, a face-to-face orientation was added to an online undergraduate business information systems course to examine its impact on retention. The study methodology consisted of an early email contact, distribution of course documents, a follow-up phone call, and a pre-course face-to-face orientation. The retention rate of students who attended the orientation was over 91% with a p-value of 0.9143. The retention rate of students not attending the orientation was just under 18%. Findings suggest that face-to-face orientations impact retention positively.

View Article

Desired Versus Actual Training for Online Instructors in Community Colleges

Batts, Pagliari and McFadden
Batts - Pagliari - McFadden

by Leslie Pagliari
     David Batts
     Cheryl McFadden

The growth of distance education and the demand for instructors has developed over the past ten to fifteen years. There is a perception that the type and amount of instructor preparation is highly variable between institutions. Of the faculty members at two year institutions surveyed, nearly half did not attend training over the previous year. With technology changing rapidly, there is a need for training annually to assure faculty members who teach online are prepared. Distance education administrators need to evaluate their distance education programs and develop a consistent and current infrastructure to assure that their faculty members are being properly trained to teach online.

View Article

Six Questions for Entrepreneurial Leadership and Innovation in Distance Education
Connie Reimers-Hild
Connie Reimers-Hild
James W. King
James W. King

by Connie Reimers-Hild
     James W. King

Institutions offering distance education courses and programs may benefit by encouraging administrators, faculty, staff and students to be more entrepreneurial.  Organizational cultures designed to support this type of environment are characterized by entrepreneurial leadership, innovation and change.  This article provides information on how distance education institutions can incorporate entrepreneurial leadership and innovation into their organizations.  Six questions for administrators of distance education to consider are presented in an effort to provoke discussion and thought on the importance of incorporating entrepreneurial leadership and innovation throughout distance education organizations.

View Article

Lessons Learned From Lessons Learned: The Fit Between Online Education “Best Practices” and Small School Reality
Lovvorn - Barth - Morris - Timmerman

by Al S. Lovvorn
     Michael M. Barth
     R. Franklin Morris, Jr.
     John E. Timmerman

Schools of all types and sizes are exploring the merits and facets of online learning approaches; but, the online delivery literature has focused on “best practices” generated primarily through the experiences of larger schools that are on the leading edge of this innovation. Small public schools, on the other hand, are faced with unique challenges in profiting from the advice of these first movers. Small schools are hampered as a result of severely constrained resources, among which are personnel, money, infrastructure, and time. These factors limit the ability of small public institutions to fully adopt widely approved online best practices. This article reviews contemporary research on the implementation of online learning, examines one small public school’s experience as a case study, discusses the disparities between the capabilities of large versus small public institutions of higher education, and outlines implications for other small schools that wish to pursue online education.

View Article

Enhancing Social Presence in Online Learning: Mediation Strategies Applied to Social Networking Tools
Radwan Ali
Kristopher Joyce
Abbie Brown
Abbie Brown

by Kristopher M. Joyce
     Abbie Brown

An exploration of the mediation strategies applied to social networking tools for purposes of enhancing social presence for students participating in online course work. The article includes a review of the literature, specific examples from the authors’ professional practice and recommendations for creating a positive social experience for online learners.

View Article

Leapfrogging Across Generations of Open and Distance Learning at Al-Quds Open University: A Case Study

Kathleen Matheos
Kathleen Matheos
Christina Rogoza
Christina Rogoza

by Kathleen Matheos
     Christina Rogoza
     Majid Hamayil

Al-Quds Open University (QOU) serves just over 40% of the undergraduate students within Palestine, who for multiple reasons are studying within the open system.  Established nearly 20 years ago, the institution is built on the Open University United Kingdom model of regional centers and print based correspondence.  In 2007, a Comprehensive Evaluation of QOU, funded by the World Bank and the European Union, resulted in recommendations that emphasized the development of teaching excellence in distance, open, and online environments (Matheos, MacDonald, McLean, Luterbach, Baidoun, & Nakashhian, 2007).  QOU administration responded with the development of a course redesign project, aimed at moving from a correspondence model to a blended learning environment that integrated technology into curricular design.  This paper shares the experiences of QOU, in its efforts to meet the conflicting demands of this situation as it leapfrogged into new forms of distance learning. This analysis of our experience may provide insight for administrators in other institutions that are at similar stages of distance delivery programming.

View Article

From the Editor

Melanie ClayThis edition includes an article by Leeds and Radwan on one of my all-time favorite DL topics: student retention. The authors present compelling evidence that retention is significantly higher among online students who attend a face-to-face orientation session. We've done some work at this area at the University of West Georgia, and found big increases in retention after we required students to view a brief online orientation, followed by a quiz, before they were allowed to register for eCore (undergraduate online) courses. The orientation studied in this article was different than ours in that it was much more comprehensive, required a campus visit, and was optional.  Those students who opted not to attend didn't fare nearly as well as those who did. But this leaves us to wonder whether it was the orientation itself, or the nature of the students who chose not to attend (are they slackards?) that caused the difference. But with an overall increase in retention following the introduction of the orientation, it would seem that the actual orientation did have an effect. I am inspired by this important research, but feel that for many programs with geographically-dispersed students, a face-to-face orientation is not realistic. I would like to try out something similar for some of our programs, but would like to conduct it virtually (but still live). I wonder if the type of attendance (face-to-face vs. virtual) would make a difference in retention gains. Be sure to read this article. It is well written with a lot of specific tidbits about the process for getting these students to attend orientation that you'll find most helpful. Have a wonderful and happy holiday!

Peace to all,

Melanie N. Clay, Ph.D.
December 15, 2009

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

Last modified: December 15th, 2009