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IJIET 2018 Vol.8(2): 156-160 ISSN: 2010-3689
doi: 10.18178/ijiet.2018.8.2.1026

Effective Leadership in Virtual Learning Environments

H. Alotebi, O. Alharbi, and A. Masmali

Abstract—Effective leadership in virtual learning environments (VLEs) is considered to enhance students’ learning experiences by overcoming barriers associated with web based learning. This paper presents a review of the literature concerned with the impact of different leadership models on learning processes in VLEs. The aims of the review were to distinguish which leadership models were effective in VLEs, and identify the key factors that impede learning in VLEs. The current review highlights that transactional leadership, which utilizes extrinsic rewards, may be beneficial in terms of achieving goals and increasing productivity in the short-term, but is deemed less effective on long-term change. Whereas transformational leadership, which focuses on intrinsic motivation and role modelling, is thought to be superior in terms of increasing performance, innovation, creativity, group cohesiveness, and learner satisfaction. Key barriers associated with VLEs are concerned with a lack of social interaction and collaboration that may increase the risk of learner isolation and detachment. Consequently, leaders face challenges in communication, trust building, development of interpersonal and technical skills, and group cohesion. Research indicates that these barriers may be minimized through the use of effective transformational leadership models. Further research is required in order to improve understanding of the impact of leadership on learner performance in VLEs.

Index Terms—Leadership, transactional, transformational, virtual learning environment.

H. Alotebi. is with Urban Education at Cleveland State University, Cleveland, OH USA (e-mail: h.alotebi@vikes.csuohio.edu).
O. Alharbi is with Educational Technology at University of Glasgow, Glasgow UK (e-mail: king20014@hotmail.com).
A. Masmali is with Educational Technology at Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS USA (e-mail: ab_mas@hotmail.com).


Cite: H. Alotebi, O. Alharbi, and A. Masmali, "Effective Leadership in Virtual Learning Environments," International Journal of Information and Education Technology vol. 8, no. 2, pp. 156-160, 2018.

General Information

  • ISSN: 2010-3689 (Online)
  • Abbreviated Title: Int. J. Inf. Educ. Technol.
  • Frequency: Monthly
  • DOI: 10.18178/IJIET
  • Editor-in-Chief: Prof. Dr. Steve Thatcher
  • Executive Editor: Ms. Nancy Y. Liu
  • Abstracting/ Indexing: Scopus (CiteScore 2022: 2.0), INSPEC (IET), UGC-CARE List (India), CNKI, EBSCO, Google Scholar
  • E-mail: ijiet@ejournal.net


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