Latest Issue of Sloan-C’s Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks Explores Innovations, from Student Services to Professional Development

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Contributors share research on compliance, design and engagement.

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The Sloan Consortium’s (Sloan-C’s) Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks (Volume 16, Issue 5) features research on faculty development programs and studies named “Best in Track” at the 17th Annual International Sloan-C Conference on Online Learning. Contributors to the issue represent Athabasca University, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Florida State College at Jacksonville, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Monterey Institute for Technology and Education, Niagara University, The Pennsylvania State University, The University of Tampa, and SUNY Empire State College in collaboration with Toolwire Inc.

Highlights from JALN Volume 16 Issue 5

Edited by Laurie P. Dringus of Nova Southeastern University and Tony G. Picciano of the City University of New York, the best-in-track papers include:

“Meeting Accreditation Requirements: Are You Serving Distance Learners?,” by Kimberly Hardy and Katie Meyer-Griffith, gives an overview of the Florida State College Welcome Center, a model for delivering quality online student services that support strategic planning, assessment and evaluation, environmental work design, functions, staffing, training, and technological systems.

“Architecture and Impact of an Open, Online, Remixable, and Multimedia-Rich Algebra 1 Course,” by Ahrash N. Bissell, shows how structure and function of open educational resources can effectively meet the diverse needs of the nation’s math teachers and learners, perhaps paving the way to more personalized teaching and learning practices.

“Large Scale Quality Engineering in Distance Learning Programs,” by Rita I. Herron, Cinda Holsombach-Ebner, Alice K. Shomate and Kimberly J. Szathmary, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, details the actors and processes that harness Web 2.0, mobile, and cloud technologies to enable 800 geographically dispersed faculty members program to reach 36,000 students.

“Student-Student Online Coaching as a Relationship of Inquiry: An Exploratory Study from the Coach Perspective,” by Stefan Stenbom, Stefan Hrastinski and Martha Cleveland-Innes, provides valuable information about student-student online coaching from the coach’s perspective, demonstrating a unique pattern of interaction in online inquiry relationships.

“Bringing Life to Learning: Immersive Experiential Learning Simulations for Online and Blended Courses,” by John Beckem and Michael Watkins, highlights data from one Digital Media Simulation episode piloted by two cohorts of undergraduate business students at the State University of New York (SUNY), Empire State College, with evidence of increased student engagement and deeper learning.

Two additional papers are of interest to faculty developers and administrators who want to build effective faculty development programs.

“From Research to Practice: Towards the Development of an Integrated and Comprehensive Faculty Development Program,” by Paula Mae Bigatel, Lawrence C. Ragan, Shannon S. Kennan, and Janet May Dillon, presents research design and findings that directly apply professional development programs.

In “Faculty Development Programs: The Frequency and Variety of Professional Development Programs Available to Online Instructors,” Jennifer Heather Herman surveyed institutions to report that, since more than one-third of faculty members have taught or developed an online course, effective faculty development programs for online instruction are important to the improvement of the quality of educational programs. Established teaching and learning development units offer about fifteen different types of faculty development programs.

About JALN
Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks (JALN), published by the Sloan Consortium, is a major source of knowledge about online education. The aim of the JALN is to describe original work in asynchronous learning networks (ALN), including experimental results. It is available online and in print. For more information, visit

About Sloan-C
The Sloan Consortium (Sloan-C) is an institutional and professional leadership organization dedicated to integrating online education into the mainstream of higher education, helping institutions and individual educators improve the quality, scale, and breadth of education. For more information, visit

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