Summer 2016 - Volume 19 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
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

Faculty Professional Development and Student Satisfaction in Online Higher Education

Robert Todd Kane
Melanie Shaw
Witt Salley

by Robert Todd Kane
Melanie Shaw
Sangho Pang
Witt Salley
J. Blake Snider

With the ever-increasing availability of online education opportunities, understanding the factors that influence online student satisfaction and success is vital to enable administrators to engage and retain this important stakeholder group. The purpose of this ex-post-facto, nonexperimental quantitative study was to investigate the impact of faculty professional development, faculty degree status, and faculty longevity upon online student satisfaction and success. A large, archived dataset from an online public state university was analyzed. Repeated measures Hierarchical Linear Modeling (HLM) analysis was used to explore changes in student satisfaction over time. Results showed that both training and degree were not significant predictors of student satisfaction. On the contrary, faculty longevity was found to be a predictor of student satisfaction. Recommendations for future research include incorporating qualitative analysis and expanding the study to diverse institutional types to determine whether findings are consistent.

Winning One Program at a Time: A Systemic Approach

Adam Schultz
Kay Zimmerman

by Adam Schultz
Kay Zimmerman

Many Universities are missing an opportunity to focus student recruitment marketing efforts and budget at the program level, which can offer lower priced advertising opportunities with higher conversion rates than traditional University level marketing initiatives.



Status Tracking and Reporting the Quality Matters Process at the University of North Georgia

Nina Lamson
David Babb
Robert Schmidt

by Nina Lamson
David Babb
Robert Schmidt

The University of North Georgia utilizes the internal Quality Matters (QM) process to review all their online courses. As our online course offerings have increased, the need to devise a system to track the QM process, ensure timely reviews, and begin recertification of previously reviewed courses was necessary. As a result, several reports have been devised to capture this process: 1) a master list of all online course offerings, 2) bi-weekly status reports, and 3) QM reviewer status reports. The process that is used and the resulting reports will be shared in this report.

Institutional Characteristics and Student Retention: What Integrated Postsecondary Education Data Reveals About Online Learning

Edward T. Chiyaka
Alec Sithole
Fidelis Manyanga
Peter McCarthy
Brain K. Bucklein

by Edward T. Chiyaka
Alec Sithole
Fidelis Manyanga
Peter McCarthy
Brain K. Bucklein

Online course delivery continues to grow as a viable means of providing increased educational access to more students, but low student retention rates remain a major challenge. In this study, key institutional characteristics that influence student retention in postsecondary education are analyzed. These are student-faculty ratio, graduation rate, acceptance rate, enrollment rate, institutional aid rate, default rate, and institution type. Using multivariable regression analysis, our findings show that graduation rate, default rate, and college type were significantly associated with retention rate among online degree-granting institutions. Furthermore, graduation rate was found to be strongly positively linearly related with retention rate, while default rate was strongly negatively linearly related with retention rate. Overall these findings have direct implications on the planning and management of online instruction.

Transitioning to the Learning Management System Moodle from Blackboard: Impacts to Faculty

Page Varnell

by Page Varnell

What are the workload impacts to faculty during a Learning Management System (LMS) transition?  What type of support is needed by faculty during an LMS transition? Transitioning to a new LMS may result in faculty problems with learning a new technology platform in addition to teaching. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore the impact that an LMS transition had on faculty workload and instructional practices. All faculty interviewed expressed a need for additional support in the form of either a course release, compensation, professional development and/or mentoring. The results of this study can be used to increase alignment between administration and faculty and improve faculty job satisfaction.


Use of Immersive Simulations to Enhance Graduate Student Learning: Implications for Educational Leadership Programs

Robert H. Voelkel
Christie W. Johnson
Kristen A. Gilbert

by Robert H. Voelkel
Christie W. Johnson
Kristen A. Gilbert

The purpose of this article is to present how one university incorporates immersive simulations through platforms which employ avatars to enhance graduate student understanding and learning in educational leadership programs. While using simulations and immersive virtual environments continues to grow, the literature suggests limited evidence of avatar technology currently used at the university level, especially in educational leadership preparation and other graduate level programs. The authors identify a step-by-step process to effectively employ the use of immersive simulations as a practitioner tool at the university level. This article provides a process for incorporating immersive simulations into graduate educational leadership programs that can be successfully duplicated to best support professional preparation of current and future educational leaders in developing best practices for stakeholder engagement, human talent management, instructional leadership, and other areas relevant to transformational leadership. The authors argue that immersive simulations do indeed better support graduate students.

From the Editor

Melanie ClayGreetings friends,

Two days have passed since the tragic events in Orlando, and like most of you, I am immensely heartbroken and trying to make some sense of our world.

For those of us in distance learning, the internet has brought us the ability to help take education to the most rural and remote places. Our meaning comes in knowing that education can provide for a greater understanding of humanity, as well as a stronger citizenry.

Yet, it is this same internet that has created rampant opportunities for bullying, an instantaneous forum for hate, and misinformation that can lead to dangerous and violent misunderstanding.

I believe that part of a solution - one thing that we can impact comes through our own resolve to consciously nurture the hearts of our students, whether it be directly in the online classroom or through our faculty training programs and student support.

We must also take advantage of the many, many opportunities that we have every day, from the home to the workplace, to live with love and peace even when and especially when we are most challenged. A better day begins within each of us.

- Melanie

June 15, 2016


A special thanks to D2L for being the premiere sponsor of DLA2016!

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

Last modified: June 15, 2016