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Dr. Robert L. Marshall & Ben C. DeSpain


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Dr. Robert L. Marshall & Ben C. DeSpain

  1. 1. NATIONAL FORUM OF EDUCATIONAL ADMINISTRATION AND SUPERVISION JOURNAL VOLUME 27, NUMBER 3, 2010-2011 ANALYSIS OF POLICY AND PRACTICE IN THE DEVELOPMENT AND DELIVERY OF ONLINE COURSEWORK IN NCATE ACCREDITED UNIVERSITY PROGRAMS Robert L. Marshall Walden University Ben C. DeSpain American College of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine ABSTRACT Online delivery of education has not yet replaced traditional brick and mortar classrooms and the overwhelming majority of professors and students still prefer face-to-face instruction. However, over the past ten years online delivery of coursework in colleges of education has increased exponentially. This study compares current data with similar research conducted a decade ago with higher education institutions to determine the changes and/or differences in policies and practices for development and delivery of online instruction. The mixed methods data analysis reveals results and constructs that should assist university administrators and faculty members in the process of making more qualified decisions related to policy and practice for development and delivery of on-line instruction. D istance delivery of coursework continues to be implemented in higher education at exponentially aggressive rates. The explosion of new online schools and universities further establishes a need to develop strands of research related to the issues and challenges created by distance delivery of teaching and learning. Advancements in colleges and universities technological capabilities, delivery modalities and methods, best practices in pedagogy along with software applications are creating more user friendly learning environments that meet the needs of the net generation of online 77
  2. 2. 78 NATIONAL FORUM OF EDUCATIONAL ADMINISTRATION AND SUPERVISION JOURNAL consumers of educational resources. Online virtual universities are increasing in number around the globe driving a wave of change in established brick and mortar traditional institution. According to a Sloan Consortium report based on five years of growth in online learning, approximately 3.5 million United States higher education students were taking at least one online course in 2006. This represents a 9.7% increase from the previous year and eclipses the minimal growth of 1.5% experienced overall in higher education (Allen & Seaman, 2007). Higher education is continually inundated with the developing trends attributed to the technological revolution in course delivery systems. Online and distance education is a revolution of sorts that may be further fueled or advanced by a struggling United States economy and unprecedented energy costs. Resistance to change on the part of university leaders and faculty members continue to exist at high levels. Procrastination toward the acceptance of a profound shift in course delivery paradigms is evident throughout higher education. Currently, approximately one-third of higher education institutions account for three-quarters of all online enrollment and most of the growth can be attributed to new institutions entering the arena of education (Allen & Seaman, 2007). The wealth of information and hard data substantiates that the world of clicks is among us, creating competition and incrementally growing at a phenomenal rate. Over the past 10 years a great deal of general information has emerged, however the need for research and dissemination of results is crucial to the improvement of teaching and learning in the distance education and online classroom. One key question we should continuously address in research is how can we utilize advancements in technology and distance learning pedagogies to meet teaching and learning goals as well as the overall objectives that do not compromise standards in education while fulfilling the needs of students. Through this study a concerted effort will be made to analyze the changes in policies and practices over the past ten years that impact distance education and specifically online delivery of coursework.
  3. 3. Robert Marshall & Ben DeSpain 79 Growth in online course delivery In the past, research studies have reiterated that the enthusiasm of online education is not shared by the entire higher education community. Growth rates vary among institutions due to commitment of administration and faculty as well as allocation of resources to the development of distance learning. Community and technical colleges have experienced the greatest growth in enrollment followed by four- year colleges and universities. Two-year associate degree institutions account for over one-half of all online enrollments for the last five years while baccalaureate institutions began the period with the fewest online enrollments and have had the lowest rates of growth (Allen & Seaman, 2007). Growth in online enrollments is not universal as approximately one-third of higher education institutions account for three-quarters of all online enrolments (p. 6). Projections for growth in online education will come from institutions with well developed programs already in place and advancement of new programs within those colleges and universities. In the past ten years, the majority of the growth in distance learning can be attributed to the plethora of upstart virtual universities entering the market; however evidence indicates that the influx of these entities may be reaching an end. Further advancement in distance learning is most likely to come for the well established leaders in online learning. According to the Sloan Report (2006), 69% of the leaders in academe project that the demand for distance learning will continue and 83% institutions with online offerings expect their online enrollments to increase (p.6). Challenges to growth Past and present research studies indicate that faculty endorsement of distance learning and concern related to the level of student commitments are key issues in the advancement of online growth and development. Academic leaders cite the need for more
  4. 4. 80 NATIONAL FORUM OF EDUCATIONAL ADMINISTRATION AND SUPERVISION JOURNAL discipline on the part of online students as the most critical barrier, matching the results of last year’s survey. Other barriers cited in a campus-wide study at Guilford Technical Community College (2001), time-related issues emerged as being most important. Seventy-seven percent of the faculty respondents strongly agree/agree that they would be more inclined to teach if time for course development were computed as a part of their course load. Faculty participating in the study either strongly agree/agree that: • 83% - it is possible to set course competencies for distance learning courses, • 73% - distance learning is not just another passing fad, and • 63% - it is possible to personalize a distance learning course, making it reflect their course goals and teaching styles. Increased costs in course creation, delivery, and support along with maintenance of web-based courseware are also among the significant challenges to the advancement of online and distance learning. Additionally, increased incremental costs such as faculty salaries and compensation for technical staff have driven up the cost of online development and delivery. Competition for technology support staff, instructional technology professionals and system administrators also contribute to the rising cost of maintaining an effective online course delivery and development programs. Future projection for degrees to 2015 The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reveals that between 1990–1991 and 2003–2004, the number and proportion
  5. 5. Robert Marshall & Ben DeSpain 81 of degrees awarded to women rose at all levels. In 2003–04, women earned the majority of all undergraduate degrees with the most significant changes coming at the doctoral and first-professional degrees with 48 and 49 percent respectively. Between 2003–04 and 2015–16, continued increases are expected in the number of degrees awarded to women at all levels. Associate’s degrees are projected to increase 12 percent overall with 5 percent for men and 16 percent for women. Between 2003–04 and 2015–16, the number of bachelor’s degrees is projected to increase 22 percent overall with 14 percent for men and 28 percent for women (NCES, 2006). With the aforementioned shifting trend in the proportion of degrees awarded, there is a significant possibility that online and distance education will continue the current upward enrollment tendency. Paramount to the success of distance education courses are the faculty who deliver them. According to Betts (1998), the success of a distance program is dependent upon the enthusiasm of the faculty teaching through distance media. As changes in technology and delivery systems emerge, it will be the faculty that adapt, adopt, and implement the educational innovations that impacts students. To this end, higher education administration will be responsible for identification of factors that motivate, inhibit, and promote faculty involvement in the waves of change in the delivery of educational services to their customers. Problem Statement Research substantiates the current trend of continuous growth in online and distance learning enrollments in higher education. In the past five years, the numbers of students participating in online education increased from approximately 1.6 to 3.5 million (Allen Seaman, 2007). Changes in university policies, rules and regulations as well as procedures should follow as a result of increasing participation in online and distance learning. The study will determine
  6. 6. 82 NATIONAL FORUM OF EDUCATIONAL ADMINISTRATION AND SUPERVISION JOURNAL the changes adopted and implemented over the past eight years and compare current data with a similar study conducted in the year 2000. Research Questions 1. What are the differences in universities policies, rules and regulations as well as current practices regarding online and distance learning between the year 2000 and 2008 related to the following issues related to distance learning: a. Distance learning offerings b. Faculty travel c. Class size limits d. Faculty training and support e. Financial issues/faculty compensation f. Faculty and students’ attitude reactions g. Online instructional delivery h. Technical assistance and training i. Student issue in on line delivery model j. Copyright/ownership/usage agreement Comparison of 2000 and 2008 Survey Results In our summary of the results of the 2000 survey of 110 public colleges and universities in 13 mid western states we wrote, “. . . the inconsistencies (revealed in the survey) are regarded as simply reflecting the tremendous changes and the speed of those changes. It is felt that there are many policy issues to be finalized, “(Johnson & DeSpain, 2000). That 2000 survey was done utilizing a single mail out which enjoyed an 82% return. Eight years later we again visited a
  7. 7. Robert Marshall & Ben DeSpain 83 sample of 15% of the institutions involved in the 2000 survey to see what had changed and whether policy items on which there was considerable disagreement had tended to come into a more common alignment. The 2008 survey was done through a series of telephone calls, emails, and a review of institutional policies and practices available on the web. The 2000 survey contained 43 questions, including one open ended question, which were grouped into nine broad categories, each containing from two to seven questions. In that survey considerable attention was given to gathering information on the two primary tools utilized to deliver classes to students in non-traditional, electronic format generally referred to as either videoconference technology or online courses. The two activities tended to be viewed differently by the institutions and to remain independent of each other. Policies were generally designed to deal with the two approaches as if they were from two separate worlds. Those willing to teach videoconference technology courses were often looked at as more of a “Ham for the Cam,” meaning they were good on their feet on camera but needed a technician at both ends of the process to make it successful. Online professors were viewed as a much truer “techie” with real skills in an emerging era. Often, however, those who were developing courses for the new online medium were aided by a staff of technicians who worked to format and incorporate the ideas of the professor into the new course. Videoconference technology was the much more common tool in use back then but that is no longer true today. There remain today however, some strong programs which still rely heavily upon videoconference technology as a staple in the delivery of courses off campus, especially in the less densely populated states of the Great Plaines where large sums of money were invested in the development of state wide systems with many down links in the 1990’s. Today, these states seem to have successfully married, or formally integrated online and videoconference technology deliveries in a unique fashion that is formalized in a manner which is used less formally and less frequently in other colleges and universities. For example, in states like the Dakotas, a large majority of courses are advertised as
  8. 8. 84 NATIONAL FORUM OF EDUCATIONAL ADMINISTRATION AND SUPERVISION JOURNAL scheduled for 6-10 videoconference technology broadcast sessions with specific dates identified in advance of registration and the remaining 5-9 sessions being online. The 2008 survey revealed that some colleges have all but abandoned videoconference technology efforts (regardless of what name is used to identify it today) in favor of online courses. Notable exceptions still exist where there is a history of multiple campuses of an institution with television equipment still in good operating condition. As we review and compare the data from the two surveys, we will address the ten general categories and report the findings on the most significant differences among the questions contained in the survey. Distance learning offerings In 2000, 30% of the institutions reported they did not offer distance learning courses. In 2008, all 15 sample institutions offer some form of videoconference and online distance learning formats but some institutional offerings were very limited. Several have total degree programs available by videoconference and or online learning, especially in the sparsely populated regions. Faculty choice in teaching In 2000, 22% of the institutions indicated that professors could decline to teach distance learning courses. Many institutions indicated they used only volunteers to teach in their program, while other admitted they commandeered faculty or used a forced rotating system. About 40% of the institutions indicated that faculty members were hired without any consideration of their technical skills. In 2008, it was indicated that new faculty hired are expected to teach by either
  9. 9. Robert Marshall & Ben DeSpain 85 videoconference technology or online or both. It seems that it is no longer an option but is a part of the duties of the professoriate. (It should also be noted that the concept of a Web enhanced course has become, or is rapidly becoming, standard procedure for all faculty members in all courses.) Faculty travel In 2000, about 40% of the institutions reported that videoconference technology professors traveled to delivery sites on at least one occasion each semester. In 2008, very little traveling is done by videoconference technology faculty to off campus sites, with the exception of a few in the Dakotas. We shall see later that the integration of online instruction has now become a part of most videoconference technology courses in these states. Class size limits In 2000, it was learned that nearly 80% of the institutions restricted class size at each site which was generally in the range of 10-20 students with a maximum of no more that 50 total students. That kind of limitation seems to generally still be true but site limits have generally been raised to 25 students per site. As for the approximately 20% of institutions with online class size limit—they still exist-- with some huge classes being occasionally reported which range upwards of 100 students at one or more sites in an videoconference technology class. Faculty training and support In 2000, 65% of the institutions had a trained technician at the broadcast site for each session with 29% having one at all receiving sites as well. Training of faculty teaching via videoconference
  10. 10. 86 NATIONAL FORUM OF EDUCATIONAL ADMINISTRATION AND SUPERVISION JOURNAL technology was provided at 67% of the institutions, usually lasting 2-4 hours, but some ranged up to 15 hours. In 2008, most institutions reported that training would be provided only upon request by the professor and was minimal and individual. Today, the usual procedure is for a technician to only be available the first broadcast session to make sure connections are successful and then to be on call thereafter with the professor making the call to tech support. The state wide systems still operated in the northern Great Plaines report a technical support person at all sites. Both the number of receiving sites and the distance of their location seem to have changed only slightly. In both surveys the typical number of sites was from 1-5 with the statewide systems in the Dakotas rising to 10. The distance to the sites ranged from 50-100 miles in the typical systems but the statewide systems covered up to 500 miles. Financial issues/faculty compensation In the 2000 survey, considerable attention focused on this section and the five questions it contained. The issues addressed in these questions were about released time to prepare for the videoconference technology teaching during the preceding semester, and/or during the actual semester of teaching, and whether professors were paid extra for the teaching of the course. The last question was whether the students were changed an additional fee for the course delivered electronically. Quite possible this was the most important question the respondents wanted answered! In 2000, about 30% of the institutions had a policy that called for the distance learning professor to receive released time the preceding semester or the semester while teaching. Actual practice among the institutions differed significantly with 39% reporting they gave released time to the professor the preceding semester and 31% during the semester the course was taught. Some reported providing
  11. 11. Robert Marshall & Ben DeSpain 87 both for the first time experience. Others reported that the professor had the option of taking the second semester reduced teaching load or being paid the normal overload stipend and not taking the released time. Only 45% of the institutions offering the distance learning delivery charged students an additional fee, with the common practice being about $20-$28 per semester hour. The 2008 survey revealed that 100% of the institutions now charge an additional fee for any electronically delivered course. The 2008 survey also revealed considerable change in the other areas of pay for faculty and released time to teach the course. Only two of our sample of 15 institutions indicated that faculty received any released time or extra compensation for preparing and teaching distance learning course, and the considerations are for only the first time the course is taught. Faculty and Students’ Attitude Reactions In the 2000 survey, only two questions were posed for this section. One addressed the faculty attitudes toward teaching distance learning courses. It was reported that 68% of the faculty had a favorable or very favorable attitude toward teaching a distance learning course. Students were even more positive as 76% reported attitudes of favorable or very favorable. In the 2008 survey sample group, all reported a positive attitude among both groups. Interestingly, the data on just how positive either group really is does not seem to be as available as it was in 2008 when many institutions were seriously contemplating whether to expand their limited efforts, and attitudes were being carefully monitored. Of the 15 sample institutions surveyed in 2008, two reported a “mostly positive” attitude toward distance learning for both student and faculty groups. The remaining 13 reported “positive” or “very positive” with the more rural states being stronger in their support. If these sample number were to hold true throughout the total population, the 2008 favorable and very favorable attitudes would reach to beyond 80%. That might
  12. 12. 88 NATIONAL FORUM OF EDUCATIONAL ADMINISTRATION AND SUPERVISION JOURNAL very well be expected as both faculty and students have considerable savings in time and travel expenses. Online instructional delivery In 2000, 73% of the institutions in the survey reported that they were offering online or web supported coursework. An additional 17% indicated that they had plans to initiate online courses, while 10 % stated that they never planned to offer courses online. The 2008 follow up survey revealed that all 15 of our sample institutions are offering courses online. Additionally, 14 of the 15 will have at least one total degree program online when the 2008 fall semester begins. Of the 73% offering coursework online in 2000, it was typical that they had been doing so for 2-5 years. The 2008 survey found that 6-10 or more years of experience in offering online courses is typical. Further, in 2000, the number of totally online courses offered each year by institutions was very limited. They reported an average of 2-5 courses. In the 2008 follow up only one in our sample reported no courses being offered. The number of courses being offered online today ranged from a “few” (less than 5) to several institution reporting in our sample that they had total degree programs offered exclusively (only) online. It is not uncommon for an institution to offer complete degree programs online in a minimum of 10 departments. It should be noted that these totally online degree programs are not to be confused with the “blended” (part videoconference, part online or part traditional face-to-face) courses offered in the state wide programs offered in the Dakotas. All 14 of the institutions already committed to online course offerings indicated planned expansion—some acknowledged that the cost of travel was driving their decisions as was the pressure from the virtual university movement. In 2000, 86% of the institutions indicated that they utilized only those professors who volunteered to teach online courses. 45% did indicate that newly hired professors were expected to teach online,
  13. 13. Robert Marshall & Ben DeSpain 89 and 95% stated they allowed professors to refuse to teach online. In the 2008 sample survey, 55% of the institutions still allow faculty to decline to teach online, but several expect that all courses will soon be web supported or enhanced. That expectation is clearly communicated to new faculty hires. Institutions with a considerable number of older tenured faculty members are giving careful attention to the changing nature of the duties of the professorate. One of the ways of addressing this issue is to provide excellent technical support personnel and provide a wide array of mini courses and workshops to improve skills of professors. Technical assistance and training In the 2000 survey, 61% of the institutions reported that the majority of their faculty members were technologically literate enough to develop and teach a course on line. In 2008, that number had risen to 80% of the sample institutions comfortable that a majority could develop and teach a course on line. The remaining 20% indicated that from 1/3 to near 1/2 of the faculty were believed to be capable of developing and teaching a course online. In 2000, 92% of the colleges in our survey reported they provided technical support to develop and teach online courses. In 2008, 100% or our sample indicated that they provided technical support to develop and teach online courses. One institution did indicate they needed to be stronger in actually supporting the teaching process with their technology team. Student issues in on line delivery model In the 2000 survey, we discovered that 22% of the institutions in the survey had restrictions on the number of online courses that a student could take within a degree program. Strangely, five of those institutions restricted only the number of online courses a student
  14. 14. 90 NATIONAL FORUM OF EDUCATIONAL ADMINISTRATION AND SUPERVISION JOURNAL could take at the undergraduate level. In the 2008 survey, 2/3 of the institutions now have restrictions on the number of courses that may be taken in a degree program. It was learned that some of those restrictions existed because the institution has not sought and secured approval from the accreditation body affected. It appears that the growth of online courses and degree programs at all levels has been faster than the keeping current on accreditation approval by the institution. Perhaps a part of this can be attributed to an attempt by the institution to manage a complexity of degree programs as multiple institutions were still restricting the number of courses applicable for a degree while at the same time offering multiple totally online degree programs! In the 2000 survey, 85% of the institutions offering online courses were offering those courses as a regular semester course. But 77% of the institutions also had policies and practices permitting the student to start and end outside the normal semester schedule. In the 2008 sample we found that the option of following a schedule other than the regular semester schedule for online courses was available in a place or two but the courses which may be taken under those circumstances were for certification and not a part of a specific degree program. 100% of degree program courses are within semester. In the 2000 survey we also asked whether the same course offered online was available on campus as a regular face-to-face course, and learned that 84% of the time that was true. The 2008 survey sample revealed a similar situation still exists. One of the reasons that it is now true—which may not have been the case in 2000 —is that some technology courses now required of students are only offered on line as part of the course is to be able to demonstrate one’s own skills. In the 2000 survey it seemed that the reason for not offering some courses any way but on line was to make students become familiar with the developing format. In 2000 only one institution in the survey reported a requirement that students take at least one online course. In the 2008
  15. 15. Robert Marshall & Ben DeSpain 91 sample we did not find that requirement in print, but we did find that some required courses are only offered in that format. Strangely, we even found one graduate degree program in leadership leading to a school principal’s certificate that had a Computer Application for Administrators course which was offered only online but was not required as a part of a degree! Copyright/ownership/usage agreement In the 2000 survey, we asked two questions relative to the topics noted. One question sought to determine who owned the developed and taught online course. The other inquired whether there was a guarantee that the developer would teacher the course in future semesters. The first if these two questions saw the greatest difference in the results of the two surveys. In 2000, 39% of the institutions had agreements with faculty developing courses to be taught on line. Most of the time the university—as a result of agreed upon conditions—gained ownership to the course once developed and taught by the developer. As mentioned above, some faculty members were paid a stipend, or granted released time or both. In the 2008 survey sample, 100% of the institutions had agreements with the faculty member that the university owned the course developed by the member of the faculty. The conditions which ultimately resulted in the university owning a course were often vary different as one institution did not acquire full ownership until the developer had taught the course for four semesters, while most acquired the ownership upon paying the stipend or at the end of the first semester in which it was taught. In the 2000 survey, only two institutions (1.8%) made guarantees to the faculty member who developed a course as to his/her teaching the course in the future. In our 2008 survey sample, we found that no institution guarantees anything beyond the developer usually teaching the course the first time.
  16. 16. 92 NATIONAL FORUM OF EDUCATIONAL ADMINISTRATION AND SUPERVISION JOURNAL Tenure and Promotion In numerous studies it has been noted that the utilization of technology is not valued nor considered in annual reviews for promotion and tenure decisions. Additionally, colleagues within departments and colleges tend to value technology integration less than central administration. Faculty promotion, reward and compensation are primarily determined at the departmental and college level, moreover technology is regarded as having little to no effect on advancement in rank or salary. In 2008, we continue to see a lack of change in university tenure and promotion policies that indicate online course development and teaching is valued as scholarly activity or value-added teaching. Evidence of changes in policies that reward time dedicated to the advancement of distance learning has not changed to keep pace with the increased demand on faculty and other educational professionals. . Financial issues/faculty compensation related to online delivery In the 2000 survey, we focused seven questions on what were then very significant issues related to the development and offering of online courses. Specifically, we queried whether professors received extra pay for teaching online, whether they received released time, and when was the released time granted. We also inquired as to whether there was an increase in tuition for the online course and if so, what happened to that money. Last, we asked the reasons for offering the on line course. In the 2000 survey, we learned that 42% of the institutions paid professors extra to teach an online course, and 42% (not necessarily
  17. 17. Robert Marshall & Ben DeSpain 93 the same institutions) also granted released time to the professor teaching an online course. We found that 36% of the institutions provided released time to the professor to develop the course in the semester prior to teaching the course the first time. We also found that 34% of the institutions (again, not necessarily the same institutions) provided released time the professor during the semester the course was first taught. The issue of whether the student paid an increased tuition for online courses has already been addressed when we addressed the charges for distance learning courses, and noted that today it is the norm for all courses where electronic components are utilized to have a “technology” or “distance learning” course fee. In 2000, 42% of the institutions charged a fee for distance courses, but in the 2008 survey that number was at 100%. The 2000 survey revealed that 94% of the institutions channeled the money from the technology fee into the regular academic program. As best we could glean, that figure has not gone down in recent years and perhaps is even higher today. In the 2000 survey, we collected reasons for the use of these two methods of course delivery as presented above. In 2008 the same reasons still seem to be valid but some new ones have been added. In 2000, reasons cited included: Recognition of changing needs of students, providing service to current students in order to keep them, meeting the efforts of competitors in order to attract new students, etc. In 2008, recognition was also given to the cost of fuel for students and faculty (the institution), and the fierce competition from the virtual universities entering the arena. Conclusions and Recommendations Universities engaged in the development of quality distance learning courses should be committed to establish policies that foster
  18. 18. 94 NATIONAL FORUM OF EDUCATIONAL ADMINISTRATION AND SUPERVISION JOURNAL growth and facilitate exemplary online course delivery. Due to the past and projected exponential increases in enrollment in online learning over the next seven years, additional faculty resources with knowledge and expertise in teaching online will be needed. As a result, dedication of additional training and development resources will emerge. Currently antiquated rules, regulations, policies and practices should be rescinded, changed or modified to meet the advancements in new and innovative course delivery modalities. The topics addressed in this research study along with other relevant issues related to distance learning and online education should be considered collaboratively among faculty members and administration to make appropriate policy decisions for the future.
  19. 19. Robert Marshall & Ben DeSpain 95 REFERENCES Allen, E., & Seaman J., (2007). Online nation: Five years of growth inonline learning. Retrieved from Betts, K. (1998). Factors influencing faculty participation in distance education in postsecondary education in the United States: An institutional study. (Doctoral dissertation, The George Washington University.) Dissertation Abstracts International: Section A. Humanities and Social Sciences. (UMI No. 99000) Guilford Technical Community College (2001). Distance learning market survey report: Faculty. Retrieved from Johnson, J. & DeSpain, B. (2000). Policies and practices in the utilization of interactive television and web-based delivery models in public universities. Retrieved from McKenzie, B. K. (2000). Needs, concerns and practices of online instructors. Online Journal of Distant Education Administration, 3(3); State University of West Georgia, Distance Education Center. [On-line]. Available: NCES (2006). Projections of education statistics to 2015. Retrieved from Rockwell, K., Schauer, J., Fritz, S. M., & Marx, D. B. (1999). Incentives and obstacles influencing higher education faculty and administrators to teach via distance. Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, 2(3); State University of West Georgia, Distance Education Center. [On-line].