OJDLA https://ojdla.com/ en-US Fri, 19 Apr 2024 23:48:40 -0400 Fri, 19 Apr 2024 23:48:40 -0400 The Impact of Remote Online Proctoring versus No Proctoring: A Study of Graduate Courses https://ojdla.com/articles/the-impact-of-remote-online-proctoring-versus-no-proctoring-a-study-of-graduate-courses Fri, 22 Mar 2024 12:00:00 -0400 Austen Clay https://ojdla.com/articles/the-impact-of-remote-online-proctoring-versus-no-proctoring-a-study-of-graduate-courses This quantitative study is designed to determine the impact of online proctoring software in graduate courses. The researchers compared the final grades of two groups of online graduate students who were taught by professors who had online exams before and after the university implemented proctoring software. Essentially the only difference between the groups was the use and nonuse of proctoring software. The overall sample in this study were 426 students in six different online graduate nursing courses at a medium-sized, public university in the United States. The findings showed the implementation of online proctoring software had a statistically significant impact on the students’ course grade when all the graduate courses were regressed together. The authors also regressed the data using independent human capital variables (i.e. male/female, full/part-time status, and cumulative GPA). Student cumulative GPA also proved statistically significant for the group of graduate nursing courses.

Keywords: Online proctoring, proctoring software, distance learning, graduate education, online exam, exam misconduct, online courses, academic dishonesty, academic misconduct

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Guiding Undergraduate Researchers in the Virtual World: Mentoring Experiences of Globally Distributed Students https://ojdla.com/articles/guiding-undergraduate-researchers-in-the-virtual-world-mentoring-experiences-of-globally-distributed-students Fri, 22 Mar 2024 11:30:00 -0400 Austen Clay https://ojdla.com/articles/guiding-undergraduate-researchers-in-the-virtual-world-mentoring-experiences-of-globally-distributed-students The advancement of technology has led to an increase in undergraduate students pursuing degrees online. The translation of undergraduate research to the online environment is relatively new, though gaining momentum, partly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Mentoring is a key undergraduate research support, particularly for those engaged online, as it fosters a supportive environment for online students to develop their skills and knowledge in their field of study. This study aims to explore the positive impacts of mentoring undergraduate research for fully online students. A single case study methodology was used, with interview data collected from four research mentees completing their degrees fully online. While this study is exploratory and further research with a larger sample size is necessary, the preliminary findings suggest that virtual mentoring can lead to a stronger sense of belonging, enhanced understanding of research processes, professional development (including career path and transferable skills), and continuous personal growth. These results highlight the importance of providing research mentoring opportunities to online students.

Keywords: Undergraduate research, virtual mentoring, STEM, online learning

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Review of India’s UGC guidelines on Online Degree Courses https://ojdla.com/articles/review-of-indias-ugc-guidelines-on-online-degree-courses Fri, 22 Mar 2024 11:00:00 -0400 Austen Clay https://ojdla.com/articles/review-of-indias-ugc-guidelines-on-online-degree-courses The higher education system of India is one of the largest systems on the globe, where there is a huge young population. The central government aims to increase the higher education gross enrolment ratio, which will improve the living and economic standards of youth. However, enrolment in higher education is lower for many reasons, including the accessibility of institutions in the rural region and the affordability of learning. The institutional capacity cannot be expanded in an accelerated manner with more than three times the existing capacity in a short period of time. As an alternative, the regulation to award degrees and diplomas through online education is formulated with the assurance of recognition on par with regular degrees and diplomas. The regulatory norms, recognition process, human resources, infrastructure requirements, and quality mechanisms of online programs are reviewed in this paper.

Keywords: Online Degree, UGC, AICTE, Learner support services, Technology stack, NDU

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Validating Outcome Mapping Using External Benchmarking https://ojdla.com/articles/validating-outcome-mapping-using-external-benchmarking Fri, 22 Mar 2024 10:30:00 -0400 Austen Clay https://ojdla.com/articles/validating-outcome-mapping-using-external-benchmarking Curriculum mapping can be used to visualize, align, and assess the ability of online degree program graduates to meet stated learning outcomes (Rawle et al., 2017). Though consensus has yet to be established on standardized outcomes for curriculum in some disciplines (e.g., criminal justice), educators remain in charge of preparing current and future practitioners for success. We know measuring student performance is the norm, but a standardized vision of the outcomes being analyzed has yet to be realized. Regardless of the specific outcomes a degree program prepares students for, it seems reasonable that the outcomes would be measured and evaluated by educators and administrators to improve student performance over time. Unfortunately, no standardized recipe for that success exists, especially as instructional delivery shift to online environments and student demographics change. Some disciplines need more consensus on what qualities (outcomes) are most important for career success.

However, once established, the question remains of adequately assessing those outcomes and driving student performance positively. As administrators, we hope our students achieve measurable outcomes to prepare them for their chosen career fields. The question thus remains: How do we ensure the course curriculum adequately addresses stated program outcomes? Internal assessment tools are often used, but this method may not always be enough. The answer may lie with external benchmarking or a similar form of summative assessment, at least during initial curriculum validation. Regardless of the chosen validation strategy, student achievement against those outcomes should be measured.

Summative assessment has proven helpful in benchmarking student performance against learning objectives, though assessments are often only internal, leaving a need for external validation. While the author agrees that learning objectives should be established, an argument is not made about which objectives are most important for criminal justice majors, as is used in the present study. Instead, this research provides a potential framework for improving student performance in meeting program outcomes using an externally validated benchmarking approach for online adult learners in a criminal justice bachelor’s program. Specifically, this research aims to show how external benchmarking was used to revise course curriculum mapping and improve student outcome achievement in an online undergraduate criminal justice program.

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Using Q Methodology for Distance Program Marketing and Recruitment https://ojdla.com/articles/using-q-methodology-for-distance-program-marketing-and-recruitment Fri, 15 Dec 2023 12:00:00 -0500 Austen Clay https://ojdla.com/articles/using-q-methodology-for-distance-program-marketing-and-recruitment This study explores Q methodology's effectiveness in understanding students' motivations and preferences in a distance doctoral program. Faced with the challenge of effectively revamping the program's website and marketing materials, a Q methodology study was conducted with current and past students. The primary focus was to capture their viewpoints on why they chose to pursue their doctoral program. The findings revealed a diverse range of motivations and preferences, which were then utilized to enhance the program's online presence and marketing strategies. This approach ensured that the program's offerings resonated with a broader spectrum of potential applicants rather than limited perspectives. The study highlights the importance of understanding distance learners' specific needs and motivations. It demonstrates the value of Q methodology as a tool for program development and marketing in the context of distance education. The insights gained are particularly beneficial for our program but suggest that similar studies could benefit other distance learning programs looking to tailor their offerings and marketing strategies to their unique student demographics. The current study serves as a model for using targeted, data-driven approaches to align educational offerings with student needs, thereby enhancing the effectiveness and appeal of distance learning programs.

Keywords: Q Methodology, Distance Program Leadership, Student Recruitment

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Strategies for Administrators: Promoting Continual Professional Development for Online Instructors https://ojdla.com/articles/strategies-for-administrators-promoting-continual-professional-development-for-online-instructors Fri, 15 Dec 2023 11:30:00 -0500 Austen Clay https://ojdla.com/articles/strategies-for-administrators-promoting-continual-professional-development-for-online-instructors Professional development for faculty who teach in the online environment is key to ensuring student success, particularly given the rapid pace at which new technology is continually emerging. However, administrators face numerous challenges in delivering these professional development opportunities, both in terms of securing the resources needed to support the trainings and persuading faculty to participate. To meet these challenges, administrators can draw on innovative strategies to meet the training needs of faculty and incentivize their participation.

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The MMDAP: An Effective Model for Digital Pedagogy in the Social/Behavioral Sciences https://ojdla.com/articles/the-mmdap-an-effective-model-for-digital-pedagogy-in-the-social-behavioral-sciences Fri, 15 Dec 2023 11:00:00 -0500 Austen Clay https://ojdla.com/articles/the-mmdap-an-effective-model-for-digital-pedagogy-in-the-social-behavioral-sciences Following the COVID-19 pandemic, the rapidly growing field of online education experienced an even greater surge, sparking increased interest in the particulars of effective digital pedagogy. Effective approaches include useful facilitator guidance, well-structured course design and productive instructor feedback. In addition, there is evidence to suggest the need for engaging learner exercises that leverage both the efficacy of traditional test-taking as well as self-referential reflection. While these previous studies point to the efficacy of multidimensional models encompassing these components, few have used assorted attitudinal assessments to gauge the progress students make while engaging with this work. Building on that scholarship, this study proposes and evaluates a new Multidimensional Model for Digital Asynchronous Pedagogy (MMDAP) that can be effectively utilized in teaching the social and behavioral sciences. This study blueprints a course design framework for the MMDAP and employs quasi-experimental research via one-group pretest-posttest analysis of attitudinal scales associated with course objectives to measure growth in students who engage in the MMDAP. Of the 256 pre/post attitudinal assessment sets collected, 218 (85%) indicated higher scores on post-assessments over pre-assessments, demonstrating an improvement in course-related attitudes and skill sets after completing said courses utilizing the MMDAP. This study’s findings support the notion that students perform better on measures of interpersonal communication competence, emotional intelligence, resilience, and social consciousness, after engaging in respective communications, psychology, resilience, and sociology courses utilizing the MMDAP framework.

keywords: online learning, social science, behavioral science, digital pedagogy, quasi-experimental research, pretest-posttest, educational interventions

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Student Perceptions of Written and Video Feedback in Online Introductory English Composition Courses: A Lesson from the Field https://ojdla.com/articles/student-perceptions-of-written-and-video-feedback-in-online-introductory-english-composition-courses-a-lesson-from-the-field Fri, 15 Dec 2023 10:00:00 -0500 Austen Clay https://ojdla.com/articles/student-perceptions-of-written-and-video-feedback-in-online-introductory-english-composition-courses-a-lesson-from-the-field As the focus on optimizing the learning experience within online courses has sharpened, the features of Learning Management Systems (LMS) have evolved to allow for more multimodal instruction. While these features have become more sophisticated, there is still much to learn about how to best integrate them into the teaching and learning process, especially within introductory general education courses that often serve as a barrier to student success. The option to seamlessly integrate video into areas of the online classroom has become a standard feature, but how can faculty best leverage video tools? By using video both as an instructional resource and as a connection point, faculty can create a rich presence in the online classroom. While video is often used for announcements, introductions, or content clarification, it is also gaining popularity as a modality for providing grading feedback. It is also critical for distance learning administrators to understand how to best support the implementation of multimodal feedback approaches. This study explores one specific aspect of integrating video by examining student perceptions of faculty using video feedback within an online introductory writing course.


KEYWORDS: multimodal instruction, online writing instruction, grading feedback, instructor presence, video feedback, humanizing the online classroom

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Regular and Substantive Interaction in Online Courses: Why it Matters for Administrators https://ojdla.com/articles/regular-and-substantive-interaction-in-online-courses-why-it-matters-for-administrators Wed, 13 Sep 2023 18:00:00 -0400 Austen Clay https://ojdla.com/articles/regular-and-substantive-interaction-in-online-courses-why-it-matters-for-administrators Regular and substantive interaction differentiates distance education from correspondence education and can have serious economic ramifications for institutions that fail to include it in their online courses. While ambiguities in its definition and a federal health emergency provided temporary flexibilities and exemptions from regulations, the end of the pandemic, along with revised definitions and regulations for distance education, makes regular and substantive interaction in online courses critical to both faculty and administrators.

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Instructional Design Staffing for Online Programs https://ojdla.com/articles/instructional-design-staffing-for-online-programs Wed, 13 Sep 2023 17:30:00 -0400 Austen Clay https://ojdla.com/articles/instructional-design-staffing-for-online-programs The purpose of this study was to benchmark the workload of online instructional designers as third-space professionals at 4-year, public institutions. Interview data regarding design team composition, courseload, responsibilities, and decision-making processes was gathered from managers of online learning units offering a “white-glove” service model for course development. Analysis revealed that these units generally consisted of 5 full-time design professionals whose primary responsibility was course development. Centralized units tended to employ more designers than decentralized units dispersed across campus. Results indicated that courseload allocations ranged from 6-9 courses per term and were strategically driven by factors such as faculty and instructional designer rapport and programmatic consistency. Implications of this study include staffing and project management guidelines for managers of online units. In addition, instructional designers might develop specialized knowledge and skills, in accessibility or multimedia production.

Key words: Staffing, instructional design, online administration, online programs, third-space professionals

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