Student Support and Advising in a New Online Ed. D. of Instructional Systems Technology Program: A design case

Marisa Exter
Nulifer Korkmaz
Elizabeth Boling


This design case describes an online Ed.D. in Instructional Systems Technology (IST) launched in 2012. We will focus on a key aspect of the design: program advising and students’ relationship with their advisors. While the design was responsive in its earliest stages to organizational constraints, legislative requirements and the known configurations for higher education, it did not include detailed attention to student/advisor relationships. Consequently, the first set of students experienced difficulties and the faculty had to make adjustments. This paper will present critical decisions made during the design of this program and the reasons for those decisions, situations in which decisions did not work as planned, and description of the subsequent revision of the design.


Advising, Design case, Doctoral, Ed.D., Online, Program design


This design case describes an online ed.d in instructional systems technology launched in 2012. Focuses on program advising and students’ relationship with their advisors.
● Seven of the eight tenure-track faculty had only one year experience advising students in the IY online Master’s program and only four had significant experience with doctoral-level advising at this point in their careers.
● In this doctoral program, there are two types of advising: program advising and dissertation mentorship.
● Students described a range of experiences with their advisors. While some students were very pleased with the level of interaction and support they had received from their advisor, others indicated they felt isolated and confused.
● Expectations for the advising relationship varied between students and faculty and between individual faculty members.
● TO meet concerns, a program coordinator was assigned, sample messages for faculty to send to newly admitted students were created. Templates for several prototypical pathways through the program., a site forum for students was created, general advising session for ed.d students

APA Citation

Exter, M., Korkmaz, N., & Boling, E. (2014). Student support and advising in a new online Ed. D. of instructional systems technology program: A design case. TechTrends, 58(4), 36-44.

About the Study

Links to Article
Mode Online
Publication Type Journal Article
In Publication TechTrends
Type of Research Qualitative
Research Design Ethnography
Intervention/Areas of Study Advising and other institutional support
Level of Analysis Student-level, Program-level
Specific Populations Examined Graduates
Peer-Reviewed Unknown
Specific Institutional Characteristics of Interest Doctorate-granting
Specific Course or Program Characteristics Professions
Outcome Variables of Interest Institutional effectiveness
Student Sample Size
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