High Quality Online Programs: The Role of Leadership and Teamwork to Support Student-Centered Graduate Education

High Quality Online Programs: The Role of Leadership and Teamwork to Support Student-Centered Graduate Education

Sharon E. Norris (Spring Arbor University, USA)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 24
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7844-4.ch009

Abstract

The development of high quality online programs requires ongoing commitment and dedication at all levels of colleges and universities. The availability of online programs and courses benefits working adults by making access to graduate education possible. Online education is also advantageous to the growth of colleges and universities by expanding market reach without requiring major capital expenditures for buildings and operational support staff in new locations. Even though there is ease of entry into new markets with online courses and programs, college and university leaders cannot ignore the need for integrating online programs with the entire institution and providing necessary support services to students and faculty. To ensure high quality in online program offerings, support for online programs must be embedded throughout the various departments within the institution. The role of leadership and teamwork is vital to developing high quality online programming and student-centered support for graduate education.
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Online Graduate Education

Distance learning through online programming is changing the nature and structure of higher education (King & Alperstein, 2015). Technological advancements and the availability of computer-mediated learning management systems now support learning environments that are entirely online, which has made a significant impact on the number of online programs available and the increase in students enrolled in online courses (Kunz & Cheek, 2016; Thiede, 2012). As a result, college and university faculty, staff, and administrators face new challenges that range from the need for appropriate infrastructures to the adoption of best practices in online teaching (Estep & Yates, 2012; Osbourne, 2012). While there are potential difficulties to overcome that are associated with online education, there are also many advantages. Online programs make it possible for college and university leaders to strategically expand educational offerings and extend market reach. Kunz and Cheek (2016) explain, “online distance learning provides the opportunity to reach a working adult market in an expanded, almost limitless geographical area, so institutions looking for growth in their enrollment numbers view online education as a cost-effective and far reaching potential target market” (p. 105).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Virtual Team: A team that is geographically dispersed with primary communication and coordination of work taking place using online technology.

Mature Learner: Individuals holding an undergraduate degree and work experience who return to the institution of higher learning to pursue advanced degrees.

Teamwork: A group of people with complementary skills who work together with a shared vision to achieve shared goals.

Online Education: Educational courses and programs offered entirely online using computer-mediated learning platforms.

Servant Leadership: A style of leadership that goes beyond self-interests and focuses on others.

Theory Y Management: A humanistic and democratic approach to management.

Theory X Management: A traditional hierarchical approach to management and use of authority.

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