Summer 2021 - Volume 24 Issue 2
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DLA 2021
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DLA2021 will be held at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel, in Jekyll Island, Georgia on July 25 - July 28, 2021

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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 Conference
 Jekyll Island, Georgia 
July 25-28, 2021

Meaningful Living and Learning in a Digital World
TBA February 2022

Thanks to the
University of West Georgia
for providing this webspace

Editorial Board

Editor-in-Chief
Dr. Melanie Clay
University of West Georgia

Managing Editor
Ms. Rebecca Smith
University of West Georgia


Associate Editor
Ms. Julie Stone Ingle
University of West Georgia


Editorial Board
Dr. Mac Adkins
SmarterServices

 

Christopher L. A. Ahlstrom
University of Maryland Global Campus

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. Diane M. Burnette
South Carolina State University


Dr. Jason G. Caudill
King University


Mr. Matthew N. Clay
University of West Georgia

Dr. Sherry A. Clouser
University of Georgia

Bradly Corlett
Director of Naval Requirements

Canadian Armed Forces

Dr. Ken Corley
Appalachian State University


Dr. Jeanne Catanzaro
Washburn University

Dr. Micheal Crafton
University of West Georgia

Dr. Muhammet Demirbilek
Suleyman Demirel University, Turkey

Dr. Robert N. Diotalevi
Florida Gulf Coast 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. Cher C. Hendricks
The University of Akron


Dr. Katy Herbold
Southern Utah University

Mrs. Laurie G. Hillstock
Virginia Tech

Dr. Cathy Hochanadel
Purdue University Global

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. Tressa Kelly
University of West Georgia

Dr. John J. Ketterer
Jacksonville State University

Dr. Irene Kokkala
University of North Georgia

Olabisi Kuboni (retired)
The University of West Indies

 

Dr. Sarah Kuck

Albany State University


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

Dr. Andrew Leavitt
University of Wisconsin Oshkosh

 

Dr. Lauryl A. Lefebvre

University of Phoenix


Ms. Nancy Lee
University of Nevada


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
Henderson State University

Dr. Anna Obedkova
Towson University

Dr. Abbot L. Packard
University of West Georgia

Dr. Angie Parker
Northcentral University

 

Dr. Anthony Piña
Sullivan University

Dr. Shawn M. Quilter
Eastern Michigan University

Dr. Ravic P. Ringlaben
University of West Georgia

Dr. Michael Rogers
University of North Georgia

 

Dr. Beth Rene Roepnack
University of West Georgia, USG eCampus Senior Academic Instructional Support Specialist


Dr. Peter J. Shapiro
Florida State College at Jacksonville

Melanie Shaw
Northcentral University

 

Angela Solic
Rush University

Dr. LeAnn McKinzie Thomason
Brownsville, Texas

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

Dr. Thomas J. Tobin
University of Wisconsin-Madison


Past OJDLA Editors

Dr. Stephen J. Anspacher
The New School

Dr. Michael Beaudoin
University of New England

Dr. Elizabeth Bennett
University of West Georgia

 

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

 

Erik Burns
University of Wisconsin-Madison


Dr. Beverly L. Bower
University of North Texas


Dr. W. Dean Care
Brandon University

 

Yong Chen
Old Dominion University

 

Dr. Larry V. Flegle
American Military University

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. James W. King
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

 

James Kinneer
Indiana University of Pennsylvania

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

Dr. Sally Kuhlenschmidt
Western Kentucky University

Melissa Layne
American Public University System

Dr. Dwight Laws
Brigham Young University


Dr. Elke M. Leeds
Western Governors University


Dr. Amanda E. Major
University of Central Florida


Dr. George E. Marsh II
The University of Alabama

 

Dr. Barbara K. McKenzie
University of West Georgia

Dr. Paul F. Merrill
Brigham Young University

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

Dr. Mary Jo Muratore
University of Missouri - Columbia

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

 

Dr. Joann Kroll Wheeler
Texas A & M University


Current Issue

Assessing Faculty Leadership of Online Programs

Rebecca Hoey
Fawn McCracken

by

Rebecca Hoey
Fawn McCracken
    

Enrollment from online programs has become increasingly important to the fiscal stability of colleges and universities. Given the pivotal role program directors hold in maintaining academic quality, recruiting, and retaining students in online programs, there is a remarkable lack of literature available about their work and how their work is evaluated and acknowledged in the tenure and promotion process. This research gathered data from chief academic officers in the upper Midwest about their institutional practices surrounding evaluation of online program directors. Findings suggest most colleges and universities regularly evaluate faculty who serve as online program directors, but the evaluations may not specifically pertain to the unique responsibilities of that role. While about half of respondents reported the evaluations were used for tenure and promotion, that work was generally categorized as service – the least important of the teaching-scholarship-service trifecta of tenure and promotion. Recommendations for future research are presented.



Project Management Competencies in Instructional Design

Shamon A. Allen
Joel L. Gardner

by  

Shamon A. Allen
Joel L. Gardner

    


Globalization, competition, technology, and most recently, the Covid-19 pandemic are causing disruptions to the nature of work and forcing organizations to quickly adapt. To support employee learning and adaptability, many organizations employ instructional designers to create training, develop performance solutions, and lead learning initiatives. Instructional design is inherently complex, and it can be challenging to manage large instructional design projects effectively. Project management is one field of knowledge that could provide insight and strategies for managing instructional design effectively. Some research exists related to instructional design and project management. However, there is limited research on which project management practices are most important in managing instructional design (ID) projects. Further, some of the existing studies are qualitative with limited participants, making it difficult to generalize the results. This study surveyed experienced instructional designers, project managers, and managers of instructional design to identify the most important instructional design project management strategies. First, a systematic review of instructional design project management literature was conducted to identify key project management competencies. Next, a survey instrument was created based on the results of the systematic analysis. We employed a convenience sampling procedure to implement an online, cross-sectional survey. Eighty-six instructional design professionals completed the survey. The main research question results included the six most crucial instructional design project management competencies in instructional design projects. Results indicate no statistically significant differences in the most critical instructional design project management competencies based on role or industry. Critical competencies include practice ethical behavior, keep the project and the team organized, remain flexible and adapt, communicate effectively with all stakeholders, ensure tasks are completed, and convey ideas clearly and concisely. Results of the study are shared, including those related specifically to higher education.




Using Change Management as an Innovative Approach to Learning Management System


Sheri Conklin
Lisa Anne Bove
by  

Sheri Conklin

Lisa Anne Bove


    
Faculty willingness to adopt new technologies varies depending on the perceived usefulness and ease the technology offers, as well as how the process change is managed (Buchanan, Sainter, & Saunders, 2013). Lewin's Change Management Model was applied to a Learning Management System (LMS) change at a higher education institution to influence the technology change among stakeholders. Data was analyzed to determine the acceptance of the LMS along with change management strategies such as support and communication. At the start of the change, faculty completed a survey describing their comfort with the current LMS. Faculty with a lower comfort level also found the LMS less easy to use (Bove & Conklin, 2019). Another survey was sent to faculty after they transitioned to the new LMS, which focused on comparing comfort level with the type of training the faculty attended. While the new LMS was rated easier to use, there was no significance between faculty comfort with the technology and training attended (Bove & Conklin, 2020). The purpose of this study was to analyze the relationship between change management models and faculty technology acceptance when converting to a new LMS.




Designing Competency-Linked Courses for Critical Thinking & Workforce Readiness
Michelle Bartlett
Jessica L. White

by

Michelle Bartlett

Jessica L. White

This paper outlines the competency-linked project of a total redesign of a fully online master’s program that linked every deliverable and assessment in each course with a competency model. Extensive mapping was completed and then applied to every course in the master’s program over a two-year period.  Graduate students' perceptions of connecting new course knowledge to existing knowledge on the course topic, prior to current skills, and the perceived ability to apply course knowledge to the workplace were examined, analyzed, and reported. Lastly, recommendations on finding competencies, mapping, and spreading the word are detailed.

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Facilitating Active Engagement of Students in an Online Asynchronous Program in Biomedical Regulatory Sciences

Johnna Hodges

by

Johnna Hodges


Regulatory Sciences courses taught in an online asynchronous environment pose challenges for sustaining student engagement and encouraging active learning. Impediments include limited contact with the instructor and classmates, inadequate interaction with learning materials, content that can be ever-changing, and limited tools for assessing student learning. Therefore, an online program's instructional design team must create learning content that supports active learning to overcome communication barriers, employs creative interaction with the course materials, and provides for inventive student assessments to maximize student learning utilizing tools both inside and outside of the LMS. It is the purpose of this paper to describe the current learning environment for graduate-level students in an online Regulatory Sciences Program at the University of Georgia. This exploration involves identifying existing learning impediments, examining the selected learning and design theory that enhances student engagement, constructivism, and providing active learning design strategies to solve these instructional challenges.

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Academic Performance of Face-to-Face and Online Students in an Introductory Economics Course and Determinants of Final Course Grades
Zeynep Kelani
Murat Doral
Yannick Roger Post

by

Zeynep Kelani
Murat Doral

Yannick Roger Post
      


The purpose of this study is twofold. We first test if there is a significant difference in the means of final course completion grades between two instructional modalities, face-to-face and online, in a required Introductory Economics course at a large, public, southeastern university. We then examine various determinants as potential predictors of student academic performance. To this end, we investigate the effects of students' gender, age, major, semester choice and prior GPA on academic performance in both instructional modalities. In our initial analysis, our hypothesis testing results show that there is no statistically significant difference in the final course completion grade means between the two modalities. Regression results further indicate that students’ gender, age, major (STEM and Business), semester choice (Traditional and Accelerated), and prior GPA have a significant effect on final course completion grades in face-to-face classes, with prior GPA, semester choice, and STEM major being the strongest predictors of academic performance. Students’ prior GPA, gender, and major (STEM) are also the strongest predictors of final course completion grades in online classes. However, semester choice and major (Business) do not significantly affect final course completion grades in the online instructional modality.


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Going Online: COVID-19 Lessons and Perspectives from Allied Health Administrators
Charity Bryan
Ryan Green
Ann Carruth

by

Charity Bryan

Ryan Green
Ann Carruth


The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic may be the greatest disruptor to higher education in over a century. This interruption touched every aspect of campus life - residence halls shuttered, dining facilities turned to take-out only, and academic classes had to find a way to continue to be delivered with accuracy and efficiency in a remote platform. Antiquated hardware and software, technology inadequacies to handle an increased online load, and faculty and administration inexperience with such disturbance contributed to the academic chaos. However, future planning and investment present an opportunity in many aspects of the college experience, to bring together the academic community during pandemic or catastrophic disruption.


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Academic Advising at a Distance: Proactive Programming to Assist with Student Success
Richards Akers
John Carter
Dawn Coder

by

Richards Akers

John Carter
Dawn Coder


The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic may be the greatest disruptor to higher education in over a century. This interruption touched every aspect of campus life - residence halls shuttered, dining facilities turned to take-out only, and academic classes had to find a way to continue to be delivered with accuracy and efficiency in a remote platform. Antiquated hardware and software, technology inadequacies to handle an increased online load, and faculty and administration inexperience with such disturbance contributed to the academic chaos. However, future planning and investment present an opportunity in many aspects of the college experience, to bring together the academic community during pandemic or catastrophic disruption.

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From the Editor
Melanie Clay


Greetings readers,

As many colleges and universities face declining enrollments, retention efforts have nearly universally moved to the forefront. In fact, it costs far less to keep a student than it does to gain a new one. Online learning presents unique challenges for students, but also holds enormous opportunity for improvement in supporting students.

Primarily, our focus should be on learning outcomes and discovery, and less about strict deadlines and inflexibility. When I developed our first training course for eCore instructors, one of the requirements for being assigned a class was that they logged in to the course every single day. When we reached a module on reaching out to struggling students, there was a heated discussion about "coddling' and demonstrating to students that they can "never be late in the real world." I pointed out to the group that two-thirds of the training course participants had failed to login every day. If we were to strictly enforce our requirements, many of those talented instructors would have never been assigned to a course section.

To bring those Cs to Bs and Ds to Cs, we must consider individual circumstances, provide meaningful opportunities for make-up work, round up a 69.8 to a C, and teach students that the real world actually includes people eager to encourage and support one another.

Enjoy this fabulous summer!

Melanie N. Clay, Ph.D.

 

June 15, 2021

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

June 15, 2021