About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 718-727
Publication year: 2013
ISBN: 978-84-616-3822-2
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 5th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 1-3 July, 2013
Location: Barcelona, Spain

IMPLEMENTING A FULLY-ONLINE DEGREE PROGRAM: A CASE STUDY FROM KENNESAW STATE UNIVERSITY, USA

C. Gheorghiu-Stephens

Kennesaw State University (UNITED STATES)
Over the past decade, the number of fully online degree programs has been significantly expanding both in the United States and around the Globe. Faced with increasing student demand for flexible education and presented with an ever growing number of innovative distance learning technologies, traditional universities have gradually become open to implementing such degree programs. This expansion has been accompanied by general concerns surrounding the educational quality of fully online programs when compared to their traditional, face-to-face counterparts. The existing lack of a sound and comprehensive framework that would help universities plan, organize, implement and evaluate such online degree programs has left many departments with the task of experimenting and doing "bricolage" work during the initial stages of the project. Furthermore, little literature is available on discipline-specific experiences that various departments have had with the implementation of a fully-online degree program. This paper presents a case study of online degree program implementation by focusing on Kennesaw State University's first fully online degree major (Sociology). Kennesaw State University is a public, comprehensive university in the United States, located approximately 20 miles north of Atlanta. As the third-largest institution of higher education in the state of Georgia and one of the fastest growing, the university has become appealing to an increasing number of non-traditional students. In 2011, the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice opened the fully online undergraduate program in Sociology which is based on 4 consecutive years of full-time enrollment, courses that can be taken from any geographic location, and no face-to-face interaction required in the program. The first cohort enrolled with a Criminology concentration and additional concentrations in Cultural Diversity Studies, Organizational and Social Change, and Medical Sociology are planned to follow, with a new concentration available each subsequent year. The paper addresses the actual process of planning and program implementation, as well as the evolution of the program during its first two years. Discussed here are internal ideological divisions over the long-terms success of the program, recent growth, efforts for quality assurance, technologies used, administrative strategies, challenges - both administrative and discipline-specific - as well as future plans for assessment and evaluation. The paper also discusses transitions to rapidly changing learning management systems - including the most recent switch from the GA View Vista platform to Desire2Learn - and the university's online course quality certification program, "Quality Matters".
@InProceedings{GHEORGHIUSTEPHENS2013IMP,
author = {Gheorghiu-Stephens, C.},
title = {IMPLEMENTING A FULLY-ONLINE DEGREE PROGRAM: A CASE STUDY FROM KENNESAW STATE UNIVERSITY, USA},
series = {5th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN13 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-616-3822-2},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {1-3 July, 2013},
year = {2013},
pages = {718-727}}
TY - CONF
AU - C. Gheorghiu-Stephens
TI - IMPLEMENTING A FULLY-ONLINE DEGREE PROGRAM: A CASE STUDY FROM KENNESAW STATE UNIVERSITY, USA
SN - 978-84-616-3822-2/2340-1117
PY - 2013
Y1 - 1-3 July, 2013
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 5th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN13 Proceedings
SP - 718
EP - 727
ER -
C. Gheorghiu-Stephens (2013) IMPLEMENTING A FULLY-ONLINE DEGREE PROGRAM: A CASE STUDY FROM KENNESAW STATE UNIVERSITY, USA, EDULEARN13 Proceedings, pp. 718-727.
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