Operations Administration in the Virtual World

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Course Number: DEL 7310
Course Name: Operations Administration in the Virtual World (Online)
Course Description:    Students will explore issues related to the effective management of operational units within the virtual environment, student recruitment, admissions, scheduling, training & development, finance, information services, and student services. Emphasis will be given to the development of seamless processes among departments, as well as scalable policies and procedures. The course will also integrate concepts in the management of key organizational resources—human, technological, and financial—in fulfilling strategic and operational goals.
Prerequisites:    None
Level: Graduate
Credits: 3
Format: Online
Program: MS in Distance Education Leadership

Registration Instructions

NOTE: The information below is representative of the course and is subject to change.  The specific details of the course will be available in the Desire2Learn course instance for the course in which a student registers.

Additional Information

Course Outcomes:
Upon completion of this course, you should be able to

  • Critique operational systems and teams within the virtual environment in light of organizational goals and student needs.
  • Design organizational processes to effectively advance institutional mission and student satisfaction.
  • Staff, develop, and assess teams to function within the virtual environment.
  • Understand, evaluate, and manage competing perspectives and needs within the operational team.
  • Design team building activities that encourage healthy operational cultures.

Modality Emphasis: A fundamental understanding of the different learning environment modalities for virtual education is valuable for individuals advancing in the field of Distance Education Leadership. This course is comprised of solely asynchronous components; however, the opportunity for synchronous sessions exists either via an orientation seminar with the instructor or if your group agrees to synchronous meetings regarding the group project.

Unit Descriptions:
Unit 1
Upon completion of this unit, you should be able to

  • Explain the theoretical foundations of distance education.
  • Describe a virtual learning environment and its application in academic and business settings.
  • Identify the leading issues that affect planning, design, implementation, and evaluation of virtual learning environments.
  • Discuss the five signs of organizational health.

Unit 2 - Strategic Planning and Operations
Upon completion of this unit, you should be able to

  • Explain the importance, function, and types of leadership in a virtual environment.
  • Assess the significance of a strategic plan.
  • Identify the components of a strategic plan.
  • Apply the strategic planning process.
  • Discuss the need to evaluate and assess the quality of online courses and programs.
  • Compare and contrast the challenges faced by new distance learning programs.
  • Explain the four disciplines model of organizational health.
  • Design a cohesive leadership team

Unit 3 - Policies, Processes, Compliance, and Accreditation
Upon completion of this unit, you should be able to

  • Analyze policies and issues in the daily operations of an online program.
  • Compare and contrast predominant course and program design models.
  • Apply key performance indicators in program evaluation to generate statistical data.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of online programs while using data to make program improvements.
  • Describe the accreditation process for regional or national accreditation of colleges, schools, and programs.

Unit 4 - Faculty Recruitment, Selection, and Development
Upon completion of this unit, you should be able to

  • Apply rigorous methods for online faculty recruitment and selection.
  • Examine industry standards for online course development and online instruction.
  • Formulate a comprehensive faculty compensation, support, and workload policy.
  • Design a comprehensive online course and faculty evaluation plan.
  • Assess current and future staffing trends for adjunct instructors.
  • Explain the role of leadership in communicating the focus and objectives of an institution.

Unit 5 - Student Services, Support, and Success
Upon completion of this unit, you should be able to

  • Evaluate the support and service needs of online learners.
  • Establish an online student support infrastructure to include all campus departments.
  • Revise or design guidelines and processes to facilitate online student access to campus services.
  • Evaluate all online student services to ensure ADA compliance.
  • Develop a comprehensive student online readiness, retention, and success plan.
  • Formulate consistent and ongoing communication processes across the organization.

Unit 6 - Technology and Information Services
Upon completion of this unit, you should be able to

  • Compare and select a robust learning management system (LMS) to meet the needs of students and faculty.
  • Explain the role of a student and faculty helpdesk.
  • Describe the applications and components to include in an academic Web portal.
  • Assess the requirements for library services and support for online learners.

Unit 7 - Marketing and Student Recruitment
Upon completion of this unit, you should be able to

  • Describe the steps to create a marketing plan for an online program.
  • Apply the elements of the marketing mix in a virtual environment.
  • Select appropriate promotional methods to appeal to potential online learners.
  • Recognize the importance of hiring, training, and compensation in organizational health.

Unit 8 - Organizational Health
Upon completion of this unit, you should be able to

  • Assess the value and importance of institutional commitment in online program success.
  • List the steps required to plan and conduct effective and efficient meetings.
  • Discuss the four aspects of organizational change in an academic setting.
  • Combine the four disciplines of organizational health to design or transform an organization.

Discussion Contributions (10 @ 25 pts.)
Article Reviews (2 @ 100 pts.)
Group Case Study/Strategic Assessment
Final Paper (Proposal @ 20 pts. & Paper @ 280 pts.)
Professional Development Journal Reflection
Total Points

Grading Scale:

A 940-1000 C 740-769
A- 900-939 C- 700-739
B+ 870-899 D+ 670-699
B 840-869 D 640-669
B- 798-839 D- 600-639
C+ 770-797 F 0-599


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