Professional Experience


* 1986-present:  Distinguished Professor of Education, Department of Learning and Performance Systems. Teaching graduate courses in distance education and supervising doctoral dissertations. Teaching Master’s courses online.

* 1986 – present: Editor of The American Journal of Distance Education.

* 2008-09: Visiting Fellow, St. Edmund’s College, University of Cambridge, U.K.

Visiting Professor, The Open University, U.K.    (Sabbatical leave of absence).

* 1988-2001: Founding Director of the American Center for the Study of Distance Education.

* 1986- present: Experimenting in design and delivery of distance education by all technologies, beginning with print correspondence, up to and including designing and teaching courses on the World Wide Web with Web 2.0 applications.

* 1989-2001: Founder and supervisor of the Distance Education Online Symposium (DEOS).

* 1990-5: Established and taught a laboratory class to experiment with global teaching by telecommunications technologies, with regular graduate-level classes taught in multiple locations in Pennsylvania, Mexico, Finland, and Estonia.

* Organizing conferences and other events aimed at stimulating American research in distance education. Specifically planning and organizing the First (1988), Second (1991) and Third (1995) American Symposia on Research in Distance Education — bringing leading researchers together to develop a national research agenda. Organizing conferences and other events to stimulate American interest in internationalism in distance education, including conference on Internationalism in Distance Education, 1994 and a workshop on International Research in Distance Education, held in Caracas, Venezuela, in 1990. Organized conferences on Leadership in distance education (1998, 1999) and on Best Practices in computer conferencing for distance education (1996).

* Membership of Penn State committees to develop the use of distance education, especially the 1992-4 University Task Force that identified distance education as a key item in Penn State’s development strategy, leading to establishment of World Campus.

* Consulting on program design and evaluation of distance education programs for various public agencies and private corporations, including The Annenberg/CPB Project; U.N High Commission for Refugees; the U.S. Army Forum Project; the Los Alamos National Laboratory; the Lilly Foundation; American Association of Teachers of German; Florida Board of Regents; Florida Gulf Coast University; University of Puerto Rico; University of Houston, Clear Lake; Bank of Montreal; Kentucky Department of Education; Eastern Kentucky University; Secretariat of Higher Education, Ministry of Education, Mexico; Bank of Mexico; Ministry of Labour, Finland; Sampo Insurance Co.  Finland; Ministry of Education, Estonia; Department of Education, South Africa. The Commonwealth of Learning, Vancouver; National Science Foundation; Higher Education and Training Awards Council, Ireland.

* Giving numerous workshops and seminars on distance education, such as the annual workshops for corporate trainers organized by University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Engineering Professional Development 1989-94, and also in month-long programs at the Universities of Helsinki and Turku in Finland in 1989-94. Training programs for armed forces of Sweden and the combined forces of Sweden, Norway, and Denmark, 1992-94. Over a dozen workshops for administrative, design and teaching personnel of the Ministry of Education, Brasilia, between 1996 and Dec. 2002. Other workshops for training personnel in Brazilian cities of Cuiba, Goina, Recife, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, St. Caterina, Blumenau. Workshops at Universidade Oberta Catalania, Barcelona, (2001, 2003) and Universidade Nacional Educacion a Distancia, Madrid, Spain (2001) . Workshops and seminars for personnel of Ministry of Education in Republic of South Africa, Pretoria and for personnel of Centre for Industrial and Scientific Research and other agencies (1996 and 1997).  Workshops for personnel of State Secretariat of Education, Minas Gerais, Brazil, 1994 · 1996. Seminars at National Training Institute, Moscow and Moscow State University, 1994.

* Member of numerous non-university committees, such as the Distance Education Committee of the National Security Industrial Association, Washington, DC, and member of review group appointed by National Advisory Committee on the National Information Infrastructure. Judge of National Information Infrastructure Award Program, 1995.  Evaluator for National Science Foundation etc.  Appointed U.S. Member, Task Force on North American Distance Education Research Network. Founding member of the University of Wisconsin Annual Conference on Distance Education Planning Committee, 1985, and member 1985-94. Co-Chair with Dr. Alexander Ivanakov, First International Conference on Distance Education in Russia, Moscow, July 1994, and member of Program Committee, Second Conference July 1996. Member of International Commission to review South African Distance Education, appointed by South African Institute for Distance Education on behalf of African National Congress Education Committee, visiting South Africa and making recommendations, January – February 1994. United States Distance Learning Association Advisory Board. Past President, American Council for Distance Education and Training. Vice President of the International Council for Distance Education, 1988-92. Member of the ICDE World Conference Planning Committee, 1992 and 1997 Conferences. Member of ICDE since 1971 and member of European Distance Education Network since 2004.

Editorial Board member of distance education journals in UK, Canada, India, and article reviewer for these and other journals. Reviewer of numerous manuscripts for commercial book publishers.


* Visiting Fellow, Cambridge University England, St. Edmund’s College. 2008-09

Visiting Professor, Institute of Educational Technology, the Open University, United Kingdom. 2008-09.

* Guest professor in Oldenburg/ University of Maryland “Foundations of Distance Education” course, (2000-2003)

*  External examiner for University of Plymouth, U.K and Virginia Tech University, USA., 2006 -08; The Open University 2007; Higher Education and Training Awards Council, Ireland 2007-09.

* Member International Advisory Board, Open University of Catalania, Barcelona. 2004- Present

* Honorary Professor, Shanghai TV University, China. 2006 – present

* External assessor for faculty appointments include: Open University (2004); Bar-Ilan University, Israel (2008); University of Hong Kong (2008); Memorial University Canada (2008); Athabasca University (2009)


1977-81 and 1984-85: Senior Counselor. A managerial as well as academic position in Britain’s distance teaching university. Responsibilities included the selection, training and supervising of tutor-counsellor staff, and through them, giving guidance and support to some 1,500 undergraduate adult students. Took special interest in introduction of the university’s first continuing education (non-credit) courses.

1981-84: Education Studies Faculty. Participated as member of design teams including Education for Adults, the first university level distance education course in adult education.

1979-80: Taught Open University course E201 “Personality and Learning,” a 30-week distance education course in educational psychology.

Summers 1979 and 1984-86: Visiting professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Department of Continuing and Vocational Education. Teaching graduate seminars in distance education and the independent learner. At this time these were the only courses in distance education in the United States and probably the only graduate level courses in the world.


* Assistant Professor, teaching courses and advising graduate students in adult education; teaching students from developing countries at Coady International Institute; conducted research on cognitive styles of adult distance learners.


* Research and teaching about use of communications media in education as assistant to Charles Wedemeyer. Projects in U.W. Extension’s Independent Study Division, WHA Radio, the Educational Telephone Network, and the Educational Satellite Project. Researched and wrote article on distance learning theory, introducing the concept for the first time into English language.


* Responsible for university continuing education programs in each of the country’s four main cities (Kisumu, Mombasa, Nairobi, and Nakuru). Work included program planning and delivery of courses for the professions, the military, labor unions, and also basic education in rural communities through collaboration with health, literacy, and agricultural agencies.


* Various administrative responsibilities, and teaching courses in economics at the high school. Helped develop and taught a correspondence radio course in economics, one of the first distance education programs in Africa.

 1960-63: HORLEY, SURREY, U.K.

* Taught high school history and geography and also adult education courses.