Fall 2010 - Volume 13 Issue 3


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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
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Intro to Social Media Marketing Certificate Program
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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

Infrastructure and Administrative Support for Online Programs

Daniel Judd
John Meyer
David Woolstenhulme
Amanda Barefield

by   John Meyer
       Amanda Barefield


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the availability and effectiveness of administrative support elements for online teaching faculty, and introduce a faculty validated Matrix for use as a guide in development of administrative support for online programs. When administrators make decisions about the infrastructure support needs of a current or planned online teaching program, these decisions are often based on external expert advice rather than on the advice of experienced ground level faculty. Online teaching faculty are the best source of advice and information on what works and what does not. With this premise in mind faculty at a premier medical university were surveyed to find out what elements are important to the development of an effective online teaching program. Faculty feedback was used to validate an Online Teaching Infrastructure Matrix designed to help campus administration evaluate the current administrative support they provide to online teaching programs.

Assessment Design and Cheating Risk in Online Instruction

Oskar R. Harmon, James Lambrinos and Judy Buffolino

by   Oskar R. Harmon
       James Lambrinos
       Judy Buffolino

Many consider online courses to be an inferior alternative to traditional face-to-face (f2f) courses because exam cheating is thought to occur more often in online courses. This study examines how the assessment design in online courses contributes to this perception. Following a literature review, the assessment design in a sample of online courses is analyzed, and then the results of a survey of student's opinions on assessment design issues are reported. We report the finding, that in our sample, the online courses show a heavy reliance on unproctored multiple choice exams and likely have greater cheating risks than comparable f2f courses. For online courses with multiple choice exams, we recommend instructors modify their assessment design to proctor some of the multiple choice exams, and aggressively use strategic question shuffling tactics. 

High Performance Work Systems for Online Education

David Woolstenhulme
Jonna Contacos-Sawyer

by   Jonna Contacos-Sawyer
       Mark Revels
       Mark Ciampa

The purpose of this paper is to identify the key elements of a High Performance Work System (HPWS) and explore the possibility of implementation in an online institution of higher learning. With the projected rapid growth of the demand for online education and its importance in post-secondary education, providing high quality curriculum, excellent instructors, quality customer service with user-friendly technology, and competitive prices distinguishes one online institution from another. The implementation of High Performance Work Systems (HPWSs) should be considered by online institutions as research results reveal positive outcomes in areas such as revenue, innovation, quality, productivity, and customer service. Organizations of all sizes and across all industries can implement HPWSs if there is a compelling need to change and organizational support for implementation. 

Utilizing Distance Learning as a Strategy for Academic Success for Undergraduate Students on Academic Probation: Atypical Candidates for Online Learning
Holly Seirup
Fred Hartfield
Rose Tirotta

by   Holly Seirup
       Rose Tirotta

This study explores the implementation, student satisfaction, and the effectiveness of an online academic support course required for students on academic probation at a mid-sized private institution in the Northeast. Although it is often considered that students on academic probation may not exhibit the typical characteristics associated with success in distance education, the results of this study found that the majority of the students were satisfied with the course content, and found the online teaching pedagogy to be effective. On average, the students enrolled in the course increased their GPA by .16 bringing the GPA of more than half of the students above a 2.0 and off of academic probation.

The Way of the Wiki: Using a Wiki as a Management Tool for Online Programs
  Fred Hartfield
Jason B. Huett

by   Jason B. Huett
       Kimberly C. Huett
       Elizabeth Bennett

Many universities are struggling to meet student demand for quality online course offerings. As an online program grows, it can become more difficult to manage information, resources, and people. Adopting useful knowledge management tools, such as wikis, could help better position an online program in a competitive marketplace. Wikis promote collaborative knowledge convergence that helps accumulate, organize, and store essential programmatic assets in an easy-to-access format. This paper details the adoption and evolution of a wiki as an administrative tool in an online graduate program and explains how, after a slow start, the departmental wiki has morphed into a highly functional knowledge management space that is rapidly spreading throughout the college and beyond. The authors conclude by offering lessons learned and considerations for future wiki adoption.

Self Paced Learners Meet Social Software: An Exploration of Learners’ Attitudes, Expectations and Experience
Terry Anderson
Fred Hartfield
Bruno Poellhuber

by  Terry Anderson
      Bruno Poellhuber
      Ross McKerlich

Social networking and communications tools have become widely used in entertainment and social applications and there is growing interest in their use in formal education applications. Distance education and especially those types that are based on self-paced programming models may be the biggest beneficiaries of the use of these new tools to provide previously unavailable capacity for student-student and student-teacher interaction. However, little is known about students’ interest, expectation and expertise using these tools. In this study the results of an online questionnaire (n=967) completed by undergraduate students enrolled in self-paced distance education programming are presented. The paper concludes that these students have very diverse views and experiences  - however a majority are interested in using these tools to enhance their learning experiences. We also describe the relationship between expertise and expectation - the greater use and experience of learners, the more they expect and desire to have educational social software used in their formal education programming.

Student Satisfaction of Online Courses for Educational Leadership
Daniel Judd
Pauline Sampson
David Woolstenhulme
Julia Ballenger

by   Pauline Sampson
       John Leonard
       Julia Ballenger
       J. Craig Coleman

This survey research was completed at a regional university to determine students’ satisfaction of online courses in a principal and superintendent certification program in one educational leadership department. This study explored the students’ satisfaction of course components: instruction, communication, assessment, leadership, teamwork, professionalism, and respect/diversity. The findings on the first cohort survey with a hybrid format of course delivery, the 2005 baseline, showed a positive satisfaction with overall means between 3.79 and 4.48 on a five point Likert-scale with a 5 meaning strong agreement with satisfaction. The lowest area of satisfaction was the category of cohort teamwork (M = 3.79) and the highest area of satisfaction was the category of assessment (M = 4.48). The most recent group of students (2009) with a totally online delivery format completed the survey and showed an overall positive satisfaction with overall means between 3.77 and 4.30 on a five point Likert-scale with a 5 meaning strong agreement with satisfaction. The lowest area of satisfaction was the category of teamwork (M = 3.77) and the highest are of satisfaction was the category of instruction (M = 4.30).

From the Editor

Melanie ClayHello Readers:

This edition of the OJDLA includes seven outstanding articles of interest to all DL administrators. Harmon, Lambrinos, and Buffolino report their findings regarding cheating of online students and strategies for deterring cheating. While their findings support other studies which indicate that cheating in online courses is not greater than it is in face-to-face courses, their data also supports the contention that proctoring reduces the incidence of cheating on exams. These findings are very useful in helping us to design and assess online courses. At the same time, I am personally convinced that cheating is less of a function of opportunity than of personal integrity. I would love to see more studies that explore personality characteristics and values in relationship to cheating, and solid ways that we can capture a culture of integrity in the online environment.

On another note, the Call for Proposals for DLA2011 will be on October 15. Next year’s conference will be in Savannah, one of my favorite cities in the world. I hope you will consider presenting.

Peace to all,

Melanie N. Clay, Ph.D.
September 15, 2010

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

Last modified: September 15th, 2010