Summer 2008 - Volume 11 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 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

A Strategic Planning Process Model for Distance Education

Kenneth Pisel
Kenneth Pisel

by Kenneth P. Pisel

As more institutions seek to implement or expand distance learning programs, it becomes critical to integrate distance learning programs into broader strategic visions and plans. Using the informed opinion from a panel of peer-nominated experts via iterative Delphi questionnaires, a 10-phased strategic planning process model for distance education was developed. This model is designed to support planners, from novice through expert, strategically prepare for implementing distance learning programs.

“To have a strategy is to put your own intelligence, foresight, and will in charge instead of outside forces or disordered concerns” (Keller, 1983, p. 75).


Streamlining Forms Management Process in a Distance Learning Unit

M'hammed Abdous Wu He

by M'hammed Abdous
     Wu He

Managing the required forms for a variety of distance courses is challenging and sometimes overwhelming. Inefficient management can lead to a variety of problems in course delivery, such as delays in obtaining textbooks, problems in obtaining copyright permissions, and even course delays. In an effort to facilitate, streamline and improve forms management, a system was designed to streamline the management of required forms for face-to-face, hybrid, online and televised courses. The environment provides faculty, and the office of distance learning with an easy tool to fill in and manage all forms effectively and efficiently.


It Takes a Virtual Community: Promoting Collaboration Through Student Activities
Stevenson, Forrey and Battista
Stevenson - Forrey - Battista

by Ludmila Battista
     Carol Forrey
     Carolyn Stevenson

Distance education provides many nontraditional students with the opportunity to pursue a college education not possible through traditional brick and mortar education. Although not meeting face-to-face, student activities help promote a stronger connection between the classroom and university community. This paper will discuss strategies for developing a sense of student community at a distance. Topics include: the role of professional and student organizations in building community; academic coaching and courses for at-risk students; community building through student websites; use of Second Life for promoting student leadership and collaborative activities.


Instructor’s Privacy in Distance (Online) Teaching: Where do you draw the line?
Valerie Storey Mary Tebes

by Valerie Storey
     Mary Tebes

The exponential growth of distance learning provision in the past forty years poses pertinent and critical ethical issues. Students participating in distance education via an online course are required to recognize and resolve various ethical issues, some of which focus on the instructor's actions. The university, too, as it supports students and instructors, is ethically involved in the process. As the number of online classes continues to grow, an increasing number of articles are being written about student and program integrity but there is a notable absence of articles or research focusing on the emerging issue of institutional integrity in relation to instructors. The ideology of New DEEL’s (Democratic Ethical Educational Leadership) speaks to the ethical basis of online teaching and this paper delineates an authentic ethical dilemma for which a universalized and generalized ethical model is proposed to be usefully applied to all issues involving privacy of participants.


Action Research: Effective Marketing Strategies for a Blended University Program
Ruth Gannon Cook Kathryn Ley

by Ruth Gannon Cook
     Kathryn Ley

This action research study investigated a marketing plan based on collaboration among a program faculty team and other organizational units for a graduate professional program. From its inception through the second year of operation, program enrollment increased due to the marketing plan based on an effective approach grounded in simple marketing principles. Data including planning and meeting notes, memoranda, documents, and program enrollment data reveal how plan development and implementation increased enrollments by over a third in less than two years.


Profiling Students Who Take Online Courses Using Data Mining Methods

Samuel Digangi Angel Kay Jannasch-Pennell

by Chong Ho Yu
     Samuel Digangi
     Angel Kay
     Charles Kaprolet

The efficacy of online learning programs is tied to the suitability of the program in relation to the target audience. Based on the dataset that provides information on student enrollment, academic performance, and demographics  extracted from a data warehouse of a large Southwest institution, this study explored the factors that could distinguish students who tend to take online courses from those who do not.  To address this issue, data mining methods, including classification trees and multivariate adaptive regressive splines (MARS), were employed. Unlike parametric methods that tend to return a long list of predictors, data mining methods in this study suggest that only a few variables are relevant, namely, age and discipline. Previous research suggests that older students prefer online courses and thus a conservative approach in adopting new technology is more suitable to this audience. However, this study found that younger students have a stronger tendency to take online classes than older students. In addition, among these younger students, it is more likely for fine arts and education majors to take online courses. These findings can help policymakers prioritize resources for online course development and also help institutional researchers, faculty members, and instructional designers customize instructional design strategies for specific audiences.

E-mail Alerts and RSS Feeds for Distance Learning Administrators
Allyson Washburn Scott Howell

by Allyson Washburn
     Scott L. Howell

A distance learning administrator’s need for an executive survey of breaking developments is not unique—especially when so much information is now available. One author used the following comparison to describe the information age in which distance learning administrators now live and work: “A weekday edition of the New York Times contains more information than the average person was likely to come across in a lifetime in seventeenth-century England” (Wurman, 1989, p. 32). This same author also stated, now almost 20 years ago, that “more new information has been produced in the last 30 years than in the previous 5,000 . . . and the total of all printed knowledge doubles every eight years” (Wurman, 1989, p. 35). It is no wonder that “seven out of 10 office workers in the United States feel overwhelmed by information in the workplace, and more than two in five say they are headed for a data ‘breaking point,’ according to a recently released Workplace Productivity Survey, . . .” (Tahmincioglu, 2008). Some distance education administrators fear that they might not be keeping up with critical developments in their field because there is just too much information to sort through; or that they are not receiving the best information available; or they just don’t have enough time to get through it all, so why try...


From the Editor

Melanie ClayThis edition is annually a personal favorite because it features the Best Papers from our upcoming Distance Learning Administration conference (June 22-25 in Jekyll Island, Georgia). One of the Best Papers describes efforts at Kaplan University to create a virtual community (Battista, Forrey, Stevenson). This is always a particularly challenging effort in the online environment, but efforts can pay off big in terms of student retention and success. At the welcome session of our conference, I will discuss briefly how even the smallest, simplest measures in terms of student support can pay off in unmeasurable ways. Think of the Butterfly Effect (from Physics) that contends that the flap of a butterfly's wings in the Amazon can set off a series of events which eventually results in a tornado in China. When applied to our work with students, this means that every little act of encouragement (even when we are frustrated or having a bad day), every smile, and every extra moment spent trying to help our online students can also set off a series of events. These events begin with the increased probability of that student's success in an online course, but we can imagine that the ripple effect may include things such as a patient's life being saved when that student later becomes a nurse, or a relationship saved when that student is much less frustrated that day, week, or course period. We must welcome and be grateful for the opportunity to be in a position to support students, and applaud those whose work shows passion, creativity, and a constant willingness to help. Every single tiny act that you take really matters!

Peace to all,

Melanie N. Clay, Ph.D.
June 15, 2008

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

Last modified: June 15th, 2008