Academic Leadership: The Online Journal


Carol Mullen


Professionals are being expected to function in a progressively complex environment in all fields (Twale & Kochan, 2000). Technology plays a significant role in this challenge (Diem, 2002; Karlen, 2001), particularly for educational leaders (Mendis, 2002). Teaching and leading have become increasingly multifaceted art forms with the advent of learning technologies. University and school faculty are being expected to design, deliver, and assess successful online courses (Fuks, Gerosa, & de Lucena, 2002; Mendis, 2002), often without the necessary training and support (Walker, 2002). As face-to-face contact becomes reduced through online environments, effective communication becomes essential and barriers more pronounced (e.g., Creanor, 2002). It is important to note that distance education studies have associated high-quality interaction with satisfaction for remote learners (e.g., Sorensen & Baylen, 2000). The results that this study shares provide support for this important finding in the context of doctoral learning.