Winter 2016 - Volume 19 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

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Savannah, Georgia

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February 12, 2018
May 2018

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January 22, 2018
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Intro to Social Media Marketing Certificate Program
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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

Another Simple yet Effective Best Practice for Increasing Enrollments at an Extended Campus

Steven S. Christensen

Scott L. Howell

C. Giles Hall

by Steven S. Christensen
Scott L. Howell
C. Giles Hall

This article is a follow-up to a previous article, “Six Ways to Increase Enrollments at an Extended Campus,” published in this journal (vol. 17, no. 4, winter 2015), wherein a seventh best practice to increase course offerings and increase enrollments at an extended campus is presented. This best practice seeks to identify those areas of greatest student demand in which courses are not consistently offered across all four university semesters. Once identified, these gaps in course availability on the main campus can be filled by offering the courses on the extended campus.

Online vs. Face-to-Face Course Evaluations: Considerations for Administrators and Faculty

Michael P. Marzano
Robert Allen

by Michael P. Marzano
Robert Allen

The purpose of this study was to determine whether students evaluate courses differently, and perhaps more critically, when delivered online vs. face-to-face (F2F). Course evaluations are associated with the instructor that taught the course. Course evaluation continues to be a significant assessment vehicle of faculty performance used by many administrators. This analysis attempted to control for variations in instructors and courses, by comparing student course evaluations, where the same instructor taught the same course, in both modalities. Moreover, the study attempted to understand the contributing factors to the course rating. The results of this study confirm that courses taught by the same instructor, using the same course content, were rated lower when delivered in the online modality. The results of the lower ratings, for online courses, have implications for faculty and administrators. Areas potentially affected by the lower ratings include: 1) a drop in the faculty member’s assessed performance; 2) a difficulty to recruit full-time or tenure seeking faculty to teach online courses; 3) potential unproductive attempts to compensate for deficiencies or ‘student dislikes’ with the Learning Management System; and 4) potential morale issues with faculty experiencing less job satisfaction due to lower online course ratings.

Online Course Quality: What do Nontraditional Students Value?

Emily Hixon
Casimir Barczyk
Penny Ralston-Berg
Janet Buckenmeyer

by Emily Hixon
Casimir Barczyk
Penny Ralston-Berg
Janet Buckenmeyer

This study analyzes nontraditional students’ perceptions of online course quality. Students were categorized into three groups: traditional, moderately nontraditional, and highly nontraditional. A survey instrument designed to assess online course quality and other demographic characteristics was administered electronically. Course quality was measured using the rubric associated with the eight Quality Matters (2008-2010) standards. A total of 3,160 students enrolled in at least one online for-credit course from 31 colleges and universities across the U.S. participated in this study. Based on the results of a series of ANOVAs, it was found that both traditional and nontraditional students rated Standard 3 on Assessment and Measurement as highest among the eight standards. No significant differences between student groups were found. In addition, there were no significant differences between groups for Standard 8 on Accessibility. It was also found that Standard 1on Course Overview and Introduction was rated higher by nontraditional students as compared to traditional students. The same was noted for Standard 6 on Course Technology, where nontraditional students rated this item higher than their traditional counterparts. Similar patterns of higher ratings by nontraditional students were found for Learning Objectives, Resources and Materials, Learner Engagement, and Learner Support, Standards 2, 4, 5, and 7, respectively. Nontraditional, as contrasted with traditional, students have different perceptions of online course quality. Because nontraditional students have multiple responsibilities, they need their online courses to be well designed, consistently presented, easily navigable, and appropriately aligned.

Assuring Student Learning Outcomes Achievement Through Faculty Development: An Online University Example

Shelia Lewis
Christopher Ewing

by Shelia Lewis
Christopher Ewing

Asynchronous discussions in the online teaching and learning environment significantly contributes to the achievement of student learning outcomes, which is dependent upon qualified and engaged faculty members. The discourse within this article addresses how an online university conducted faculty development through its unique Robust Learning Model (RLM) and its associated unique pedagogy and learning management system, which is also utilized by the university's students. The results revealed that shared engagement between faculty members in the faculty development activity similar to the university's students, honed faculty members' teaching skills that lend to assuring student learning outcomes achievement in the online learning environment.

Assessing Faculty Attitudes towards Online Instruction: A Motivational Approach

David J. Prottas, Catherine M. Cleaver, Deborah Cooperstein

by David J. Prottas
Catherine M. Cleaver
Deborah Cooperstein

There continues to be a lack of congruence in the attitudes of faculty and administrators with respect to online or distance education. The authors developed and administered a questionnaire to assess pertinent attitudes and perceptions of full and part-time faculty (n= 421) toward online instruction at their private university in a U.S. Middle Atlantic State.  Responses to thirty-five items were subjected to exploratory factor analysis with four factors emerging labeled as technical resources, self-efficacy, strategic alignment, and contextual suitability. Differences were found based on a number of demographic variables including experience with online instruction, being part-time, working in a professional school, gender, and years teaching. Relationships among factors are also explored and practical implications discussed.

Student Satisfaction as a Predictor of Retention in a Professional Online For-Profit Higher Education Institution

Eric Page
Melinda Kulick

by Eric Page
Melinda Kulick

This study expanded on prior satisfaction and retention research by exploring this relationship within the online for-profit sector.  An ex post facto design was utilized at an online for-profit undergraduate institution with programs in the creative arts to explore the relationship between student satisfaction as measured by the Priorities Survey for Online Learners (PSOL) and subsequent student retention status that was collected one year after completing the survey.  Point-biserial correlation and binary logistic regression tests were conducted on a sample of 2729 students that completed the PSOL and found no significant relationships between overall satisfaction and satisfaction on subscales of the PSOL and subsequent retention status one year later.  These tests were repeated at the item-level and the point-biserial correlation test found no significant relationships.  However, the binary logistic regression test found that three items significantly predicted student retention one year later.  Overall, the study concluded that student satisfaction is not a significant predictor of subsequent student retention.  Implications for practice within the online for-profit sector are discussed.

Teaching Online: Where Do Faculty Spend Their Time?

B. Jean Mandernach
Rick Holbeck

by B. Jean Mandernach
Rick Holbeck

An understanding of online teaching time requirements provides essential information to inform scheduling, course size and instructor workload; in addition, awareness of the distribution of time across online teaching tasks provides insight to focus faculty efforts and tailor professional development to target instructional needs. The purpose of the current study is to examine the investment and distribution of instructional time as a function of instructor experience, class size and course duration. Findings reveal instructors spend 12.69 hours per week per online course (with an average class size of 22 students); teaching time is distributed across a range of instructional activities with approximately 40% spent on grading and feedback, 30% on discussion facilitation, 10% on asynchronous, one-to-one communication, 10% on synchronous communication, and 10% on content development. While there was a trend for novice instructors to require more time than more experienced faculty, there was not a relationship between instructional time and number of students in the course. Recognizing the ubiquitous nature of the online classroom lacks inherent benchmarks to guide start or stop times, results are discussed in relation to mental anchors that may influence faculty time investment in online teaching.

The Pathway Program: A collaboration between 3 universities to deliver a social work distance education (DL) program to underserved areas of California

Teresa Morris
Celeste A Jones
Seema Sehrawats

by Teresa Morris
Celeste A Jones
Seema Sehrawats

This paper describes the development of a partnership between three campuses to develop a (DL) education program-serving employees of county and tribal Health and Human Service Departments in remote rural areas of California. Specifically, the program supports the development of a career pathway for students living in isolated regions of Northern California and Inland Southern California. Surveys and focus groups carried out in 2008 and 2009 identified the need for such a program. Title IVE funding (federal funding for training and education of child welfare workers) was granted via the California Social Work Education Center based at the University of California, Berkeley, which also coordinates the program. Course development, outreach, advising, and student admissions began in Chico and Humboldt in the north and San Bernardino in the south. The first phase was considerable outreach to children's services county agencies whose employees needed to gain a B.A.S.W.and/or M.S.W.This included academic advising and study skills training. Progress on the implementation of each program along with considerable dialogue on the elements of successful collaboration are discussed.

From the Editor

Melanie ClayGreetings readers:

As 2016 draws to a close, I reflect on the rapid change, progress, and surprises that the year has brought. MOOCs, CBEs and other alternative pathways are having an affect less in their own right and more in terms of indirectly enhancing traditional online education. Continued emphasis this year has been placed on the economic sustainability of online learning, and many experiments of the past couple of years have clearly failed to provide a significant return. And now, with the political landscape changing in America and in Europe, there are new uncertainties regarding accessibility, affordability, regulation and the roles of different types of higher education providers. What we must remember is that the foundations of higher education are strong and its role in the betterment of society is deeply entrenched. What is variable is the perspective of which citizens amongst us should engage in which types of education or training. My hope for 2017 is that we, as distance learning administrators, continue to support systems that provide for both creative and practical approaches to the multiple avenues of career preparation, enlightenment, and an educated citizenry.

Peace to all,

Melanie N. Clay, Ph.D.

December 15, 2016


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Last modified:December 15, 2016