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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

how can chip be made from sand
Eke Reply
is this allso about nanoscale material
are nano particles real
Missy Reply
Hello, if I study Physics teacher in bachelor, can I study Nanotechnology in master?
Lale Reply
no can't
where is the latest information on a no technology how can I find it
where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
nanopartical of organic/inorganic / physical chemistry , pdf / thesis / review
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
has a lot of application modern world
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
ya I also want to know the raman spectra
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
yes that's correct
I think
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
nanocopper obvius
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
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Source:  OpenStax, Ncpea handbook of online instruction and programs in education leadership. OpenStax CNX. Mar 06, 2012 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11375/1.24
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