Online Distance Learning in a Traditional Twenty-First Century Public College

Silvio Balzano, Fordham University


Research has shown that online learning at colleges and universities is continuing to grow. The rapid changes in technology and the increasing realization by higher education leaders that online learning is critical to proper strategic planning are driving this growth. The problem is that change in higher education is slow, and innovation does not always happen efficiently. How does a public college, one that is part of a more extensive university system, deploy online learning within these constraints? This mixed-methods case study examined a public college and its approach to online distance learning by surveying critical participants, in the process reviewing relevant documentation and exploring the history of online learning at the college. The results included key findings in leadership, vision, strategy, governance, and communication of the program. Pasmore’s theory of continuous change framed these results. The study showed areas where the program excelled in its support of tools and training for the faculty, while it had issues providing services that traditional students receive but online students do not. The study concluded with recommendations on improving the online program by disassociating it from campus learning, improving funding, and transforming leadership in support of distance learning.

Subject Area

Higher Education Administration|Higher education|Educational leadership|Educational technology

Recommended Citation

Balzano, Silvio, "Online Distance Learning in a Traditional Twenty-First Century Public College" (2020). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI27996243.