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Arkansas State University

Navigating Online Learning as a Higher Education Administrator

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, online learning became the only way students could participate in classes due to lockdown protocols. The closure of colleges and universities disrupted the higher education system with in-person classes shifting to an online format. As a result, educators and students had to reimagine how to teach and learn in a completely remote arrangement. While online education was in place before the pandemic, it became the only option during the pandemic until campuses opened for face-to-face classes.

An online Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership with a Concentration in Higher Education Administration from Arkansas State University (A-State) provides educators with the essential tools for successful institutional leadership, including an in-depth understanding of organizational theory, accreditation and assessment, policy and law, finance, educational problem solving and more. With courses like Higher Education Leadership and Organizational Change in Higher Education, this online program can prepare graduates to improve online learning operations and outcomes.

Adjusting to Online Learning

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, about a third of higher education classes were online, and the remainder were in-person on-campus classes. With a few years in the rearview mirror, some researchers have had the time to focus on the outcomes of online learning, how it affects students and how administrators can adapt to the online learning world. College and university administrators can learn from this research to modify how to design both in-person and online classes.

Some primary areas where administrators identified the need for assistance with online learning were related to expanded access to online digital materials, student support and advice for working from home. Skilled leadership can assist faculty and students while transforming online learning into a flexible path to education.

While some students and educators prefer face-to-face classes, others feel hopeful about online courses and their flexibility. Many professors taught online classes for the first time during the pandemic and discovered they enjoyed the format. The incorporation of hybrid, or blended, learning — such as taking tests online but having in-person classroom discussions and lectures — has become increasingly popular, and many future undergraduate classes will likely use this format.

Crucial to the evolution of online learning is educational policy and planning. Higher education administrators need to implement policies to support awareness regarding online learning. Factors such as student services, student training and educator training and support will help students and staff transition to online learning. The challenges that administrators face include financial management, how to properly design and deliver lessons, student support, providing technical support for online learning and teaching and encouraging online engagement. During times of change and uncertainty, students and staff look towards the administration for guidance and positive influence.

How a Doctorate from Arkansas State University Can Help

The world of higher education has a high demand for administrators who display skilled leadership and have solid plans for the future of online learning. Designed for working educators, this online Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership with a Concentration in Higher Education Administration program will immerse students in educational practices that combine research with theory. Students will be able to use their expertise in a number of roles to develop solutions to contemporary issues in higher education administration, such as online learning.

Students will complete a research project while collaborating one-on-one with highly qualified faculty as part of their dissertation. Online writing staff, dissertation mentors and a statistics expert are all available for students throughout their doctoral studies.

Learn more about Arkansas State University’s online Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership with a Concentration in Higher Education Administration program.  

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