Winter 2007 - Volume 10 Issue 4


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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

Administrators' Attitudes Toward Web-based Instruction Across the UT System


by James N. Olson
     Douglas F. Hale

Academic administrators play a critical role in supporting and otherwise encouraging faculty to participate in web-based learning.  In the fall of 2000, administrators at five academic institutions in the University of Texas System were surveyed concerning their attitudes on web-based learning. Administrators were defined as Chairs, Deans, and Vice Presidents for Academic Affairs/Provosts of academic units. In fall 2006 the survey was repeated at the same academic institutions who participated in the first survey in order to determine what changes have occurred. Overall the administrator’s perceptions are positively inclined toward Web-based instruction. They believe that high quality learning can take place in Web-based courses and they are interested in increasing Web-based instruction. The majority of administrators agreed that students were genuinely interested in Web-based courses, and they almost unanimously agreed that Web-based instruction can overcome students’ traveling and scheduling barriers. On the other hand, administrators were concerned about the amount of time Web-based courses demand of faculty, as well as issues of academic dishonesty and students’ self-discipline. Suggestions for the future were offered.

Advising Practices of Undergraduate Online Students in Private Higher Education

Miller & Morris

by Adam Morris
     Michael Miller

Many private colleges have begun offer courses or programs in technologically-mediated formats, specifically utilizing online or internet based programs.  These programs provide opportunity and access to unique student populations, and the personal relationship element of private colleges is often challenged in these distributed programs.  This challenge is particularly acute in advising relationships.  Subsequently, the current study was designed to explore the use of advising best practices by private colleges’ online programs.  As an exploratory study, baseline data were collected through a literature-based, researcher-developed survey instrument.  With a 40% response rate to the survey, data suggested that many programs are not intentional in their construction of advising protocols to serve online students.


Perceptions of Online Course Communications and Collaboration


by Lucy Barnard
     Valerie Paton
     Kristyn Rose

An increasing number of students are choosing online education programs to complete their higher education. Research concludes that student satisfaction and retention are related to program completion. Furthermore, research indicates that physical distance alone does not influence student satisfaction and retention. In this study, we examined those factors associated with student perceptions of online course communications and collaboration at a large, public university located in the southwestern United States. Results indicate that academic program characteristics and whether a student would recommend their program are associated with differences in perception of online course communications and collaboration.


Distance Education in Georgia's Public School Districts: Baseline Data on Utilization and the Perceived Barriers to Implementation and Expansion

by William Tankersley
     James Burnham

Interest in distance education, particularly online education, is increasing in public school districts throughout the United States.  In an effort to aid those who are involved in the planning and administration of K-12 distance education programs in Georgia, the authors sought to gather and report baseline data on the current utilization of distance education courses in Georgia’s K-12 public school districts, and to determine the perceived barriers to the implementation and expansion of distance education programs in Georgia.  The authors’ findings indicated that K-12 distance education enrollments in Georgia have increased over the past five school years, and asynchronous Internet-based courses are the primary course delivery model that exists.  In addition, the authors found that costs and/or funding issues were the most frequently chosen barriers to the implementation and expansion of distance education courses.

Developing an International Distance Education Program: A Blended Learning Approach

by Ravisha Mathur
     Lisa Oliver

Building a dynamic international distance education program can be a complex operation. The purpose of this paper is to discuss a model for global learning that utilizes a blended learning approach. This paper will describe how a blended learning approach was implemented in an international instructional technology Master’s program to the benefit of both universities and countries involved. The discussion will focus on a specific framework for developing an international, blended learning program with special consideration of cultural differences in language, teaching philosophy, and education.


From the Editor

December always brings a tiny bit of welcome relief to those of us engaged in distance learning support. Final exams are finishing up, and faculty are busy turning in grades, starting their holiday shopping, and taking a needed break from the work of online course development and teaching. This gives us a time to reflect and think about how we can become more effective and efficient administrators over the coming year, when online enrollments are certain to continue in their growth.

Last weekend, our distance support staff at the University of West Georgia held our annual retreat to ponder these matters (pictured is our whole staff along with our families). One of the key issues of increasing importance to us is accountability and data. How do we know that our online students are receiving the same quality of advisement as are their on-campus counterparts? Are the faculty who attend our training programs using what they learned to improve their online courses? Do we need to offer more fully online degree programs, and if so, in what areas? How do our distance learning goals and programs align with our institutional missions? Are our online retention rates as good as those of our face-to-face courses? The questions seem endless, but finding ways to compile and organize these types of data is ultimately integral to the success of our students.

The winter issue of the OJDLA brings several articles which can help us define our performance indicators, and also shed light on ways to attain the goals we set. For example, Olson and Hale, of the University of Texas, share their research on the concerns that administrators have regarding online instruction. Morris and Miller, of the University of Arkansas, examine the practices of online advisors, and discuss how intentionally-designed advisement programs can diminish some of the associated barriers. And Barnard (Texas Tech University) and Rose (Mesa State College) provide research linking course communication styles to online student retention and satisfaction.

I believe that the most overwhelming aspect of evaluating our own work and success as it relates to online teaching and learning is to define the variables, and focus on those which are most critical. Once this is done, the reviewing of the data and creating new avenues of improvement is the exciting work (at least for me)!

On a final note, our call for proposals for our annual Distance Learning Administration Conference officially ends today (December 15), and it seems that we truly have the best group of proposals ever. But if you have some compelling research and would love to meet up with us next June at DLA2008 in Jekyll Island, Georgia, we are often able to consider a few late ones. Just send me a note if you are interested, and I’ll let you know.

Peace to all,

Melanie N. Clay, Ph.D.
December 15, 2007

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

Last modified: December 15th, 2007