Educational Administration, Department of


Date of this Version

Fall 9-27-2010


A DISSERTATION Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements For the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Major: Educational Studies, (Educational Leadership and Higher Education) Under the Supervision of Professor Jody Isernhagen. Lincoln, Nebraska: September, 2010
Copyright 2010 Kaye Shelton


As the demands for public accountability increase for the higher education industry, institutions are seeking methods for continuous improvement in order to demonstrate quality within programs and processes, including those provided through online education. Because of the rapid growth of online education programs, institutions are further called upon to demonstrate that quality education is being delivered to students at a distance. This study sought to create such a method to provide institutions offering online education an instrument for assessing quality within their programs: a quality scorecard for the administration of online education programs. A six round Delphi study was undertaken with 43 experts in the administration of online education programs. The panel of experts agreed upon 70 quality indicators that administrators of online education programs should examine within their programs to evaluate quality. A method for scoring was also developed. The original set of quality indicators from the Institute for Higher Education Policy study, Quality on the Line: Benchmarks for Success in Internet-Based Distance Education (2000) were used as a starting point and were determined to be still valid in 2010, with modifications. An additional 45 quality indicators were added that resulted in a quality scorecard that provides industry agreed upon standards for online education programs to use for quality evaluation.