Management of Online Programs

Authored by: Greg Kearsley

Handbook of Distance Education

Print publication date:  December  2012
Online publication date:  May  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415897648
eBook ISBN: 9780203803738
Adobe ISBN: 9781136635571


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Online programs require two different levels or types of management: project management and strategic management. Project management deals with the operational details of running a program, whereas strategic management is concerned with macro-level, institutional level, planning considerations. Both types of management might address the same issues, but would do so with different types of concern. For example, project management might involve finding a replacement instructor for one who is ill whereas strategic management might focus on deciding which departments might be funded to recruit new faculty to teach during the next semester or year. The difference in scope might be illustrated by another example. Consider the difference between enforcing a policy on cheating with a particular student versus dealing with cheating overall. The former might involve ensuring that the student is aware of the policy and the consequences of cheating, verifying that cheating occurred, and taking appropriate disciplinary actions. The latter could involve evaluating and implementing anti-plagiarism tools or changing the design of course tests or assignments to make them less susceptible to compromise. Strategic planning is often concerned with assessing future trends (e.g., enrollments, technology) and collecting data to make decisions. It also involves setting goals and priorities with respect to program focus, and resources.

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