Winter 2008 - Volume 11 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

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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

Predicting Success for Virtual School Students: Putting Research-based Models into Practice

M.D. Roblyer
M.D. Roblyer
Lloyd Davis
Lloyd Davis

by M.D. Roblyer
     Lloyd Davis

Virtual schooling has the potential to offer K-12 students increased access to educational opportunities not available locally, but comparatively high dropout rates continue to be a problem, especially for the underserved students most in need of these opportunities. Creating and using prediction models to identify at-risk virtual learners, long a popular topic in distance education, is assuming increasing urgency in virtual schooling. Though many studies have tested the contributions of various factors to online success, this article emphasizes that prediction models must be developed and used in ways that yield findings to support student success rather than prevent students from enrolling. One such model is offered here. After a description of data collection and statistical processes used to derive the model, procedures are outlined for how to implement it in virtual school settings in ways that increase both the accuracy and utility of predictions.

Team-based Online Course Development: A Case Study of Collaboration Models

Emily Hixon
Emily Hixon

by Emily Hixon

It is generally accepted that teaching online is a different experience than teaching face-to-face, requiring new skills and techniques. To address some of the unique challenges related to teaching in the online environment, many institutions of higher education utilize a collaborative team-based approach to online course development bringing together faculty and a variety of instructional support staff.  The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of collaborative approaches to online course development and elaborate on one such program.  The intended collaboration model for that program will be compared to the actual collaboration models of four teams participating in the program.  The benefits and limitations of the modified collaboration models will be discussed in relation to the flexibility of the program and participants, ownership of the process, and communication among team members.


The Role of Technical Support and Pedagogical Guidance provided to Faculty in Online Programs: Considerations for Higher Education Administrators
Wiesenmayer, Kupczynski, and Ice
Wiesenmayer - Kupczynski - Ice

by Randy Wiesenmayer
     Lori Kupczynski
     Phil Ice

With growth of online course enrollments outpacing enrollments in traditional courses by 500%, institutions of higher education are experiencing significant changes in terms of long-term strategic planning. Along with providing for the infrastructure requirements associated with online course offerings, the issue of faculty preparedness and training is considered problematic from an administrative perspective. While instructors may be highly skilled in their content area and practiced in traditional teaching, they are likely not prepared for teaching in the online environment. Though several case studies detailing support mechanisms for faculty involved in online course initiatives exist, the associated program outcomes have been assessed in terms of faculty satisfaction and buy-in. This study examines the relationship between technical support and pedagogical guidance, two factors deemed critical to successful programs, and student satisfaction and perceived learning. The outcomes are considered important as analysis demonstrates that those measures that produce high degrees of faculty satisfaction do not significantly impact students in a similar manner. From an application perspective this leads to questions about how current training and support mechanisms can be enhanced to serve both populations.


To Go or Not To Go: The Online Decision for MBA Programs
Beth Chung-Herrera
Beth Chung-Herrera
Kathy Krentler
Kathleen Krentler

by Beth Chung-Herrera
     Kathleen Krentler

This article addresses critical issues for consideration when deciding whether an MBA program should go online.  First, background information on various types of distance learning is provided followed by a discussion regarding research on the effectiveness of online courses.   Pertinent contextual issues such as alignment of goals, technology, and infrastructure that are important considerations in going online are discussed.  Possible costs and benefits involved are discussed with a theoretical example provided.   The article concludes with a self-assessment scorecard for programs to use when deciding whether or not to go online.


New Systemic Roles Facilitating the Integration of Face-to-Face and Virtual Learning
Doug Furey
Doug Furey
Ken Stevens
Ken Stevens

by Doug Furey
     Ken Stevens

The introduction of web-based education in Canadian schools, as in other developed countries, has been particularly noticeable in rural areas. Small schools in rural communities have continued to get smaller as families relocate in urban areas in search of increased educational and vocational opportunities. There are a number of issues common to the technological enhancement of rural schools: the building of appropriate infrastructures, the implementation of information and communication technologies and the development of pedagogy for web-based education.  In the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador a number of new positions and roles have been created to distribute responsibilities for these issues and to ensure the success of virtual schooling.


From the Editor

Melanie ClayAs we approach the final days of 2008 (weren't we just worried about Y2K the other day?), our distance office at UWG has finally settled down just a bit. As we think about 2009 and where we are going with faculty development, take a good look at this edition's article on technical support and pedagogical guidance to faculty (Wiesenmayer, Kupczynski, and Ice). Their study questions the link between the number of faculty development hours and student satisfaction in a course. Rather, they contend, there are "unexplored personal factors" that are far more responsible for teaching success in the virtual classroom. I'd love to see more studies that define these personal factors, and what we as administrators can do to cultivate these. On the other hand, I think that part of the issue here may lie with the definition of faculty development. Are we just looking at formal workshops? Online training programs? So much of faculty development is actually informal - the kind that occurs in those unplanned talks in the hallway or over lunch with a colleague. While this kind of accidental learning is hard to quantify, and thus largely ignored in studies, we must find ways to creatively promote and build such opportunities into our faculty development menu.

Peace to all,

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

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

Last modified: December 15th, 2008