Spring 2013 - Volume 16 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

University Business Models and Online Practices: A Third Way

Daniel Judd
Beth Rubin

by Beth Rubin

Higher Education is in a state of change, and the existing business models do not meet the needs of stakeholders. This article contrasts the current dominant business models of universities, comparing the traditional non-profit against the for-profit online model, examining the structural features and online teaching practices that underlie each. It then offers a third option for existing non-profit universities that would enable them to continue offering multiple value propositions while increasing efficiency and quality of outcomes. This involves emphasizing online instruction, separating research from teaching, and adopting a more complex structure based on differentiated faculty roles that would enable economies of scale along with the benefits of research-informed instruction. 

Evaluation of the State Authorization Processes for Distance Education

Daniel Judd
Devrim Ozdemir
David Woolstenhulme
James McDaniel

by   Devrim Ozdemir
      James McDaniel

In this article, the process of obtaining state authorizations for distance education at George Mason University is presented.  The purpose of the paper is to provide guidance to those four-year public universities that deliver distance education programs.  In order to attract students from multiple states, the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE)’s “program integrity issues” announced in Fall 2010 has created some confusion as to how best to maintain compliance. Although changes in the program integrity processes that were required by the USDOE have been placed on hold, state regulations regarding the operation of higher education institutions are still in place. Therefore, George Mason University continues to seek approval from all states in which we have noted online student enrollment. In this study, we present the process of obtaining state authorizations over the last year, including challenges, variability of state authorizations, a status report on Mason compliance processes, and, future plans regarding the state authorization processes. The article is meant to help guide university leaders who must allocate resources wisely in an arena with multiple fixed constraints.

Community Colleges and Underappreciated Assets: Using Institutional Data to Promote Success in Online Learning

Frank Butts
Claire Wladis, Katherine Conway, Alyse Hachey

by  Alyse Hachey
      Katherine Conway
      Claire Wladis
Adapting to the 21st century, community colleges are not adding brick and mortar to meet enrollment demands. Instead, they are expanding services through online learning, with at least 61% of all community college students taking online courses today (Pearson, 2011). As online learning is affording alternate pathways to education for students, it is facing difficulty in meeting outcome standards; attrition rates for the past decade have been found to be significantly higher for online courses than face-to-face courses (Carr, 2000; Hachey, Wladis & Conway, 2012a/b; Morris & Finnegan, 2008; Tyler-Smith, 2006). Yet, there is a lack of empirical investigation on community college online attrition, despite the fact that course and institutional management systems today are automatically collecting a wealth of data which are not being utilized but are readily available for study. This article presents a meta-review of one community college’s realization of their underappreciated asset… the use of institutional data to address the dearth of evidence on factors effecting attrition in online learning.

Professional Online Adjuncts and the Three Pillars of Entrepreneurialism, Arbitrage, and Scholarship
Frank Butts
Wayne Hollman

by Wayne Hollman

Significant growth in online programs has created demand for online courses and therefore opportunities for employment for online educators. The vast majority of these employment opportunities have been filled by online adjuncts. A special category of online adjunct has surfaced that leverages the autonomy of working online with freedom from geographic limitations that are emblematic of traditional campus teaching experiences. This category of online adjunct called a Professional Online Adjunct may work for several institutions at once and essentially works full-time as a part-time employee. This qualitative study investigates the characteristics and motivations of individuals who fall within this category of online instructor.


Managing Large-Scale Online Graduate Programs

Frank Butts
Jacques Singleton, Gwendolyn Neal, Audrey Bowser, Annette Hux

by  Jacques Singleton
      Audrey Bowser
      Annette Hux
      Gwendolyn Neal

As with most states, Arkansas is experiencing substantial growth in the delivery of academic programs and courses by distance learning provided by institutions of higher education. At Arkansas State University faculty have adhered to the need of students and developed a completely online certification and master’s program in Educational Leadership, Curriculum and Special Education (ELCSE). The authors outline the steps in the process of developing and managing such an online graduate distance learning program. Because distance learning coursework has evolved and expanded with the rapid growth of instructional technologies, this paper will also suggest best practices for implementing interactive online instruction for educators.


Analyzing Reasons for Non-adoption of Distance Delivery Formats in Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) Education
Daniel Judd
Theresa Gergen
David Woolstenhulme
M. D. Roblyer

by Theresa Gergen
     M. D. Roblyer

Though distance education formats could help address an urgent need for growth in the occupational therapy assistant (OTA) workforce, distance methods are not as accepted in these programs as they are in other professional and clinical programs. This study investigated whether beliefs and levels of experience of OTA program directors shaped their views about whether OTA knowledge and skills can effectively be taught at a distance. Results suggested that directors believe cognitive skills can be more effectively taught at a distance than can psychomotor skills, but directors’ levels of experience with distance education did not influence their views. Implications for future research and professional development in OTA are discussed. 

All Adjuncts are Not Created Equal: An Exploratory Study of Teaching and Professional Needs of Online Adjuncts

Daniel Judd
Laurie Bedford
David Woolstenhulme
Heather Miller

by Laurie Bedford
     Heather Miller

Online education programs continue to rely on a significant contingent of adjunct faculty to meet the instructional needs of the students. Discourse relating to this situation primarily focuses on the extent to which adjuncts are able to ensure the rigor and quality of instruction as well as the ability of the organization to attract, retain, and support qualified professionals. In response, organizations have created very structured, standardized professional development opportunities, meticulous monitoring of adjunct activities and inflexible policies to guide interactions with learners. This one-size-fits-all strategy limits the organization’s ability to facilitate an adjunct-organizational relationship that supports the adjunct in ways that meet their individual needs. The purpose of this exploratory, quantitative questionnaire study was to examine the difference between the adjuncts’ primary rationale for teaching, and their self-identified professional category. In addition, the study sought to explore the difference between the adjunct’s primary professional needs and their self-identified professional category. The results of the study demonstrated that there was a significant difference between the self-identified professional employment groups in the areas of student focused instruction, personal needs, an interest in online pedagogy, career advancement, and flexible work schedule categories. There was not a significant difference in the self-identified professional employment groups and the category of skill development.

From the Editor

Melanie ClayHello Readers:

It seems like the world is turning faster than ever in online learning. Since our last journal, just three months ago, MOOCs quickly rose to dominance as the online news item, and institutions scurried, almost in a panicked way, to get something free out there. While some have suggested that 2012 was the year of the MOOC, I would suggest that January 2013 was the month of the MOOC. February saw an equally significant change. A couple of prominent MOOCs failed, and we begin to see that there were some various financial strings attached, after all. For those heavily involved with the costs of quality online learning, this came as no surprise. This does not mean that MOOCs do not have a place. Indeed, they are quite important in forcing new conversations about the meaning of education and how much it costs. They can also be successful in providing an inexpensive way to learn or perhaps to gain some college credit for those who are exceptionally well-motivated. While they may supplant or inform some of the existing paths to education, I do not believe that they will replace them.

2013, in my view, will be the year of the business model that truly supports online learning. Differentiated tuition will continue, but will be less likely to support campus endeavors that are not associated with online programs. The primary impetus will be the need to develop online programs that are truly affordable, but still provide vital services such as student support for online students and a high level of interaction between faculty and students.  In this edition, Rubin reviews common online business models, and proposes a possible "third way."  It will be most interesting to see where we have all evolved on this in one year. I certainly believe that online tuition rates will rise very little this year, if at all.

On another note, it is less than three months until our Distance Learning Administration Conference in Jekyll Island, Georgia. This may very well be my favorite week of the year, and I hope to see you there.

Peace to all,

Melanie N. Clay, Ph.D.
March 15, 2013


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Last modified: March 15, 2013