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: email@example.com).
O. Alharbi is with Educational Technology at University of Glasgow, Glasgow UK (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
A. Masmali is with Educational Technology at Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS USA (e-mail: email@example.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.