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The Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration is a peer-reviewed electronic journal offered free each quarter. The journal welcomes manuscripts based on the original work of practitioners and researchers with specific focus or implications for the management of distance education programs.

Summer 2024 - Volume 27, Issue 2

Ten Steps to Quality Assurance in Distance Education

Headshot of Kristen Kirkpatrick, Ph.D.
Kristen Kirkpatrick, Ph.D.
Headshot of Carlos Morales, Ph.D.
Carlos Morales, Ph.D.

The increased demand for online courses correlates to increased workloads for faculty, staff, and leadership. Hiring, staffing, and other logistical matters often trump the emphasis on course quality. This paper introduces a strategic framework for creating and sustaining a successful distance…

Online Learner Retention: Literature Review and Creation of Prediction Tool Through Statistical Analysis and Machine Learning Techniques

Headshot of Rezwanul Parvez, Ph.D
Rezwanul Parvez, Ph.D
Headshot of Alysha Tarantino
Alysha Tarantino
Headshot of Griffin Moores
Griffin Moores

Higher education institutions need to be responsible for understanding the characteristics and qualities of learners who decide to take courses with them; online vs. on-campus and what it takes to keep them learning at an institution. Taking heed and modifying structures, communications, and…

Do We Need All Those Graded Assessments in This Course?

Headshot of John C. Griffith, Ph.D.
John C. Griffith, Ph.D.
Headshot of Emily K. Faulconer, Ph.D.
Emily K. Faulconer, Ph.D.

Today’s undergraduate students often must balance coursework with other personal and professional commitments. While much attention has been placed on effective strategies for helping students manage workload, curriculum optimization has been largely overlooked. In an analysis of a university…

Capturing, Assessing, and Showcasing Work-Ready Qualities in a Comprehensive Learner Record

Headshot of Camille M. Farrell
Camille M. Farrell

University of Central Oklahoma’s (UCO) Student Transformative Learning Record (STLR) leverages the Learning Management System (LMS), rubrics, an online dashboard, transcript services, and badging to assess students’ employability and durable soft-skills. Featured by the Chronicle for Higher Ed,…

From the Editor

Headshot of editor

It’s been a year since I retired after 27 years in developing and leading both university and system-wide online learning programs. Now that those of us who got started in distance learning back in the 1990s have “matured,” you may be wondering what life looks like for a former DLA administrator.

Let’s just say it’s even better than I expected. It’s just like Dr. Mike Rogers (longtime USG hero) told me it would be. I still do all the things I love. A little online teaching and assisting with the DLA Conference I started nearly 25 years ago, and a few consultations related to retention and online quality stay in the mix.

Reading and writing (often about education) by the pool or on the beach is part of an ordinary day. But I confess. I sleep late. I travel, exercise more than ever, and lose track of the day of the week. There’s no more personnel issues or grade appeals. No more strange and drawn-out administrative meetings.  My days are 100 percent mine (okay - and my grandchildren’s).

My biggest piece of advice if you are a distance learning administrator looking at the glory land on the other side is to start working on your succession planning. Support and mentor your best with every key issue regarding scalability, student success, financials, core values, secret sauce, and navigating politics. This should take 2-3 years, not 2-3 months.

Then walk away.

They’ll do some things differently, and you’ll very quietly but proudly celebrate their grand triumphs.

I relish the memories of my time as a full-time administrator, but feel more alive and authentic now more than ever. Hope to see you at the DLA Conference in July and we can talk more. Maybe you’re even up for a game of pickleball with me?

Peace to all,

Melanie N. Clay, Ph.D.

OJDLA Editor-in-Chief

June 14, 2024