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Whitcomb Earns Grant to Study Online Educational Programs

Dr. Valerie Whitcomb, Perdue School’s M.B.A. Program instructional designer Dr. Valerie Whitcomb, the Perdue School’s M.B.A. Program instructional designer was awarded a grant by the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) Foundation to study “Critical Success Factors in eLearning Program Implementations.”

The grant is for one year and provides funds to do a mixed method study to determine how associations successfully launch eLearning programs. The goal is to learn, through empirical research, best practices that can be applied to current and future online programs at Perdue School of Business.

“Unlike building and teaching one online course, a program involves coordination of many additional factors” said Whitcomb. “The literature informing the ASAE study includes material almost exclusively from the educational sector and contains elements like common technology and structure among all courses, in addition to integrating curriculum across the entire program.”

Online learning programs offered by associations are similar to those provided by institutions of higher education because they both target adult professional learners with diverse backgrounds, and the learners are geographically disbursed.

“We are interested in learning how associations build and promote online professional certification programs, so we can apply some of these principles in our online M.B.A. Program” said Yvonne Downie Hanley, director of the M.B.A. Program.

Whitcomb recently completed a critical success factors study on learning management systems (LMS) implementations, which is an essential component of online programs. 

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