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An additional related point is the necessity of securing support from the hierarchy for any program that is unique. This is especially true of online programs, which administrators often have less experience with and which they may view as cost-saving programs. A unique program often requires special resources and has the potential to cause more work for administrators as pushing the envelope often means that someone will be unhappy and complain higher up the line, whether that someone be a student, faculty member, or someone else. For example, our program requires faculty who are collaborative and willing to let go of some of their own specific desires in order to fulfill the program mission. We also need faculty with a unique blend of abilities. They must be strong online teachers who believe in experiential learning, be willing to work in a professional learning community, and should have strong scholarly interests that can support both program improvement and dissemination of our successes. Failure by the hierarchy to appreciate these needs leads to the hiring of faculty who cannot fulfill the program needs. Examples of other items we needed support on include the extra cost of The Hickory Experience , cost of travel for making intern site visits, appeals of non-admitted applicants, and appeals of participants dismissed for poor performance.


Establishing a strong professional learning community is critical, especially for an online program. What we were able to achieve was the result of consistent and concerted work in a positive and supportive environment. The highs and the lows of the program seem to me to directly correspond with the robustness of our PLC, which in turn is a reflection of the strengths of multiple individual relationships. The PLC also helped to keep faculty in physical contact with each other. Physical proximity allowed for spontaneous professional and personal conversations that were less likely to occur when faculty were away form each other. These conversations helped maintain relationships. When the PLC was strong, the program was strong, and when relationships fractured, so did the program. In retrospect, we needed to revisit our norms more frequently. We also needed to be more willing to respectfully raise concerns about behaviors that interfered with the PLC and to be able to move programmatic concerns temporarily to a back burner in order to tend to relationships. Under the two years of constant changes, it seemed that faculty members withdrew from the university, physically and emotionally. This withdraw weakened the PLC, just at the time when we most needed each other.


I hope this story has offered rich opportunities for reflection. For me, writing this story has been a cathartic experience. Only now, through this process, have I been able to gain needed perspectives and to come to terms with the inevitability of our own and each other’s human strengths and weaknesses. Although I still carry a deep sense of loss, I believe I am better for having participated in our endeavor. As Tennyson (1850) so eloquently stated, “’Tis better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all” (line 27). Picking up the pieces is difficult, but a failure to confront my own sense of loss would leave me stuck and scarred. I have slowly worked out of the fall by consciously engaging in personal renewal, of which this story is a part. I have concluded that even now, the program we have is better than the one we inherited five years ago. I still control my own power to teach. I can still make a difference in the classroom, virtual or otherwise.

Finally, I will begin looking for another Camelot, another round table, another dream. I don’t believe that the quest is the most important part of the tale, but once you have seen the grail, it is almost impossible to not desire to see it again.


  • Brook, C.,&Oliver, R. (2003). Online learning communities: Investigating a design framework . Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 19 (2), 139-160.
  • Buskey, F. C.,&Topolka-Jorissen, K. (2010). No more silos: A new vision for principal preparation . Educational Leadership Review , 11 (2), 112-122.
  • Collins, J.,&Porras, J. (1996). Building your company's vision. Harvard Business Review , 74 (5), 65–77.
  • DuFour, R.,&Eaker, R. (1998). Professional learning communities at work: Best practices for enhancing student achievement . Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree.
  • Hord, S. M. (1997). Professional learning communities: Communities of continuous inquiry and improvement . Austin, TX: Southwest Educational Development Lab. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED410659).
  • Jacobs, J., Buskey, F., Topolka-Jorissen, K., Szlizewski, L.&Allen, A. (2010). Creating program transformation through a mantra. International Journal of Educational Leadership Preparation, 5 (2). Retrieved from (External Link)
  • Nash, R. J.,&Bradley, D. L. (2011). Me-search and re-search: A guide for writing scholarly personal narrative manuscripts. Charlotte, NC: Information Age.
  • Tennyson, A. (1850). In Memorium A. H. H . Retrieved from (External Link)
  • Tuckman, B. (1965). Developmental sequence in small groups.  Psychological Bulletin,   63 (6), 384-399. doi: 10.1037/h0022100

Questions & Answers

Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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