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Considerations for distance learning program development

Considerations for Distance Learning Program Development

In PartialFulfillment

of theRequirements

for EDUI 6705


Patrick Murphy Reardon

June , 2007

Vital elements and considerations

Vital Elements and Considerations

- Culture and Stakeholders Identification

- Clearly Defined Goals of Distance Learning Program and Planning

- Organizational Resource Planning

- Stakeholder Barriers and Solutions

- Evaluation of Current Programs

- Future Implementation Possibilities


Culture and stakeholders identification

Culture and Stakeholders Identification

Equal distribution of information is a right of every human. Distance Learning, (DL) via online delivery, can eventually be the greatest vehicle toward a more equal distribution of education throughout the world. This can be achieved through development of quality organizational infrastructures which clearly recognize the needs of all stakeholders with an emphasis on the student through a learner centered Constructivist approach.


Culture and stakeholders identification1

Culture and Stakeholders Identification

Each organization has a unique culture to it and, as such, has its own set of of barriers (Judd, 2007).

It is necessary to recognize the culture of the DL organization in order to properly address all stakeholder group needs.

Identification of all stakeholder groups is imperative.

By including administration, any faculty, staff, an students in this process, it will be easier to obtain a campus-wide consensus on the vision (Bloomfield,

1993; Hughes, 2001).


Clearly defined goals of distance learning program and planning

Clearly Defined Goals of Distance Learning Program and Planning

The 2001 Campus Computing Survey (Green, 2001) found that 11.8% of the nation’s colleges and universities included e-commerce, such as bookstores and online tuition payments, in their strategic plan. Colleges have done little, if any, planning as they implement online programs (Buchanan, 2000).


Clearly defined goals of distance learning program and planning alignment with the institution

Clearly Defined Goals of Distance Learning Program and PlanningAlignment with the Institution

The purpose of planning is to develop methods to align an institution with the environment (Rowley & Sherman, 2001).

Planning helps a college to grow and change in an organized, meaningful process (Rogers, 2001).


Clearly defined goals of distance learning program and planning planning as central focus

Clearly Defined Goals of Distance Learning Program and Planning Planning as Central Focus

Planning an online distance learning program needs to become a central focus of a college’s strategic planning process because student expectations regarding ODL programs will continue to grow (Boettcher & Kumar, 2000).


Clearly defined goals of distance learning program and planning anticipate change

Clearly Defined Goals of Distance Learning Program and PlanningAnticipate Change

Colleges need to be prepared to react to the internal and external changes caused by technological advances while maintaining the mission of their college (Hache, 2000).


Clearly defined goals of distance learning program and planning g enerate a mission statement

Clearly Defined Goals of Distance Learning Program and Planning Generate a Mission Statement

Distance education programs must have their own mission statements. Those programs without specific mission statements claimed to follow their parent institution's overall mission statement. Program will continue to meet the needs of students while being open to new technologies (Compra, 2003).


Organizational resource planning the issue

Organizational Resource PlanningThe Issue

In many distance education operations that I have examined, significant elements of successful systems are missing. Therefore , contrary to what was believed a few years ago, distance education has not brought down the cost of education, let alone turn a profit (Saba, 2007).


Organizational resource planning the question

Organizational Resource PlanningThe Question

How will we support the growing number of higher education age students within our current infrastructure and maintain the quality of our education system without losing students to corporate courseware vendors?(Callahan, 2003)


Considerations for distance learning program development

Organizational Resource PlanningThe Answer

In addition to Clearly Defined Goals of DL Programs and Planning, is Maintenance and Acquisition of Resources thru Advanced Financial Planning.


Organizational resource planning

Organizational Resource Planning

In order for a distance education program to be successful a yearly budget must be established. The most developed and strongest programs involved in the study had their own budgets. The weakest programs were those that relied solely on startup money and grants (Willis,1994).


Organizational resource planning1

Organizational Resource Planning

Advanced planning and policy development are the key to a well-run distance learning program. This planning will allow money to be spent more efficiently such as buying one software package to serve multiple purposes, rather than several packages over several years (Levy, 2003).


Stakeholder barriers and solutions the corporate threat

Stakeholder Barriers and SolutionsThe Corporate Threat

"... the juggernaut of online education appears to have stalled" (Noble). For evidence, he points his finger at countless failed efforts, including: rejection of the California Educational Technology Initiative (CETI); …….The striking thing that all these failures have in common is that they are all top-down initiatives (Werry, 2001).


Stakeholder barriers and solutions balance between stakeholders

Stakeholder Barriers and SolutionsBalance Between Stakeholders

Organizational balance can be achieved through:

-Acknowledgment of all stakeholders

-Stakeholder group needs

-Perceived threats

The Major Stakeholder Groups:


Faculty and Staff


Outsources (possible)


Stakeholder barriers and solutions the student

Stakeholder Barriers and SolutionsThe Student

Many students are just now engaging in every day emailing between themselves, faculty, and staff as part of campus life

and navigating through new online DL modalities can be frustrating (Boettcher, 2000).


Stakeholder barriers and solutions the student1

Stakeholder Barriersand SolutionsThe Student

Support must be provided and the most successful avenues have been: call-in help desks, structured and evaluated workbooks, and informed technical tutor support

(Rowley, 1997).


Stakeholder barriers and solutions faculty and staff

Stakeholder Barriers and SolutionsFaculty and Staff

Lack of effective technical support and troubleshooting, when a teacher experiences difficulty with an online staff development program, adds to the frustration of participating teachers.

Lack of resources due to a declining economy, and in turn decreased budgets, is preventing some states from fully developing their technology infrastructures in the schools ( Mayen & Yang).


Stakeholder barriers and solutions faculty and staff1

Stakeholder Barriers and SolutionsFaculty and Staff

Getting schools to choose online activities as a required or optional developmental activity is often difficult.  Many districts are still employing only traditional forms of staff development.

Lack of attention to connecting staff development with student outcomes may contribute to the devaluing of staff development (Mayen & Yang).


Stakeholder barriers and solutions faculty and staff2

Stakeholder Barriers and SolutionsFaculty and Staff

Even if specific faculty members do not teach distance education courses, their content expertise and knowledge of the institution's programs make them a key component in establishing learning outcomes and objectives Clay (1999).


Stakeholder barriers and solutions faculty and staff3

Stakeholder Barriers and SolutionsFaculty and Staff

Faculty involvement and training is ultimately aimed toward meeting the needs of the student via focuses such as:

-group sessions;

-one-on-one lab sessions;

-web-based tutorials;

-printed materials;

(Compora, 2003)


Stakeholder barriers and solutions faculty and staff4

Stakeholder Barriers and SolutionsFaculty and Staff



-monthly discussion sessions among peers;

-observation of other distance courses.

(Compora, 2003)


Stakeholder barriers and solutions administration

Stakeholder Barriers and SolutionsAdministration

In contrast, administrators perceived the greatest threat as stemming from competition from private and public institutions (Dooley and Murphrey, 2000).


Stakeholder barriers and solutions administration1

Stakeholder Barriers and SolutionsAdministration

However interviews with local resident experts; Dr. Nan Chico of CSUEB, and Dr. Farhad Saba of SDSU, it is apparent that successful DL programs can be developed completely within the campus system.


Stakeholder barriers and solutions administration2

Stakeholder Barriers and SolutionsAdministration

Some administrators at the level of our director of media services are involved in distance education. However, in general, SDSU administration does not play a major role in distance teaching and learning in the university. (Reardon & Saba, 2007)


Stakeholder barriers and solutions administration3

Stakeholder Barriers and SolutionsAdministration

Administrators have the potential to greatly impact the overall effectiveness and quality of

an ODL program (Husmann & Miller, 2001),

yet they are often unaware of the opportunities afforded to their colleges through ODL (Garrison, 1989; Moore & Kearsley, 1996).


Stakeholder barriers and solutions administration4

Stakeholder Barriers and SolutionsAdministration

The more policies and procedures that are cross-institutionalized, the more competitive and quality driven a college or universities online programs will be.

This factor must be recognized as a major function of administration.


Stakeholder barriers and solutions common experience

Stakeholder Barriers and SolutionsCommon Experience

Participants’ confidence in the planning process is increased when it is known that all participants have had a common experience in completing online instruction rather than merely sharing perspectives or beliefs and assumptions (Meyen & Yang, 2002).


Stakeholder barriers and solutions common experience1

Stakeholder Barriers and Solutions Common Experience

Review of the Venn diagrams revealed that the majority of the categories were shared among administrators, faculty and support units. The predominant category was found to be identical among the groups in relation to strengths, opportunities, and weaknesses while each group expressed a unique prominent category in relation to threats (Dooley & Murphrey, 2000).


Stakeholder barriers and solutions common experience2

Stakeholder Barriers and Solutions Common Experience

(Dooley & Murphrey, 2000)


Evaluation of current programs

Evaluation of Current Programs

"Evaluation should provide feedback to improve the implementation process (formative evaluation) and should give a final assessment of the instruction's effectiveness (summative evaluation). Based upon these findings, instruction should be revised" (Willis, 1994).


Evaluation of current programs balancing quality and access

Evaluation of Current ProgramsBalancing Quality and Access

Overall program effectiveness is determined by such measures as:

The extent to which student learning matches intended outcomes, including, for degree programs, both the goals of general education and the objectives of the major (Balancing Quality & Access, 1995).


Evaluation of current programs1

Evaluation of Current Programs


Student retention rates, including variations over time

Student satisfaction, as measured by regular surveys (Balancing Quality & Access, 1995).


Evaluation of current programs2

Evaluation of Current Programs

Faculty satisfaction, as measured by regular surveys and by formal and informal peer review processes.

The extent to which access is provided to students not previously served (Balancing Quality & Access, 1995).


Evaluation of current programs3

Evaluation of Current Programs

Measures of the extent to which library and learning resources are used appropriately by the program’s students.

Measures of student competence in fundamental skills such as communication, comprehension, and analysis.

Cost effectiveness of the program to its students, as compared to campus-based alternatives (Balancing Quality & Access, 1995).


Considerations for distance learning program development

Future Implementation Possibilities Masters in Online Instruction Instruction Students as Faculty an Staff Advisors

Students accepted into the CSUEB Masters Program, after completing EDUI 6701-6704, act as faculty and staff support for the implimentation of hybrid and online classes.


Future implementation possibilities

Future Implementation Possibilities

Pilot year, students receiving their certificate in Online Teaching and Learning would assume this role as an elective.

After pre- & post-evaluations and the implementation of revisions this program could become a model for campus DL and hybrid class implementation (Reardon, 2006).


Future implementation possibilities1

Future Implementation Possibilities

"The way to proceed in online learning is ironically, given the nature of the Internet, slow and cautious. The introduction of new technology must be, as David Jones says, “a product of evolution.” Pilot delivery and evaluation should be conducted before the announcements and promises are made. Staff should be acclimated and trained in new technologies and methodologies” (Jones, 2003).




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