A Case Study of the Development and Impact of Online Student Services Within Community Colleges
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AbstractOver the past ten years institutions of higher education throughout the country have begun to expand their educational offerings to the online environment. While the benefits of online education have been touted by administrators and institutions across the country, the actual impact on students' education is unclear (Distance learning student services: An interview with CTDLC executive director Ed Klonoski.2004; Planning reaps variety of benefits for distance programs.2006; Restauri, 2004; Yang & Cornelius, 2004). Many authors including Cox (2005) and Vail (2006) have found that in their rush to take advantage of the online market, many schools have failed to adequately prepare and develop both the educational and student services foundation needed for a successful online education program. This dissertation seeks to provide insight into the development of the online educational student services environment within the community college setting. Based on the work of Orlikowski and Gash (1994), an examination of the technological frames of institutional stakeholders was performed. Through this analysis a clearer picture of the online services development process was achieved. Furthermore, the theory of technological frames was examined to proved a framework from which organizations may examine their own institutional structures Using a multifaceted qualitative case study approach, this dissertation explored both the level of satisfaction students are receiving from the online student services environment and the technological frames of stakeholders that contributed to the current state of service. The findings of this research provided insight into current practices as well as contributed to the literature through the expansion of the theory of technological frames.