Expert Interviews: Q&As with Today's Online Learning Leaders

Expert interviews are integral to our mission of delivering reliable, well researched information about online degree programs. These college professors, technology providers, and other online learning experts offer valuable insights into the trends and practices shaping online education today–insights not conveyed through data alone. We publish interviews in their entirety and compile them here, alphabetically by last name, for easy access.

Interview with Susan Aldridge, Ph.D. – Drexel University

Dr. Susan Aldridge is the President of Drexel University Online and the Vice President of Online Learning at Drexel University. In this interview Dr. Aldridge shares what it is like to learn and teach online, and how to succeed in each. Additional topics include academic honesty measures, online student support services, and distance learning trends.

Interview with Neal Caidin – Apereo Foundation

Neal Caidin, Community Coordinator for the Apereo Foundation, formerly the Sakai Foundation, discusses the open source Sakai learning management system and its features.

Interview with Thomas Cavanagh, Ph.D. – University of Central Florida

Dr. Thomas Cavanagh is the Associate Vice President of Distributed Learning at the University of Central Florida (UCF), the second largest university in the nation, where he oversees the distance learning strategy, policies, and practices. In this interview Dr. Cavanagh discusses online learning and instructional design, and offers advice for students considering their first online degrees.

Interview with Kenneth Chapman – Desire2Learn

Kenneth Chapman is the Vice President of Marketing Strategy for Desire2Learn, creator of the Brightspace learning management system (LMS). Here he discusses key features, like adaptive learning tools.

Interview with Jill Dyché – SAS Institute

Jill Dyché serves as Vice President of Best Practices at SAS, where she and her team counsel business and IT leaders on how to succeed and make changes stick. She has worked in and written about business intelligence for more than 20 years. Here Ms. Dyché discusses today’s business intelligence market and how one can succeed it in.

Megan Garcia – Director, New America CA

Megan Garcia is a New America think tank policy expert on cybersecurity issues, including the role of women in the field. In this interview she addresses the challenges faced in the cybersecurity workforce and how these challenges represent opportunities for professionals with a diverse range of skills.

Interview with Aaron Gowins – National Institutes of Health

Aaron Gowins is a data scientist and research fellow in the Laboratory of Biological Modeling at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases where he develops mathematical models to simulate energy use and mass deposition during childhood growth. In this interview, Mr. Gowins discusses the programming languages, analytics tools, and key skills one needs in the field of data science, and offers advice for the next generation of data analysts.

Interview with James F. Groves, Ph.D. – University of Virginia

Dr. James F. Groves, an associate professor in the Departments of Engineering & Society and Materials Science & Engineering at the University of Virginia, discusses how online students studying engineering access practical training.

Interview with David Harley – Senior Research Fellow, ESET

A senior IT security researcher and consultant, David Harley is an expert in computer viruses and malware. He managed the UK National Health Service’s Threat Assessment Centre in the 2000s, is a former director of the Anti-Malware Testing Standards Organization, and co-authored the 2001 book Viruses Revealed. In this interview, he offers insights on how we conceptualize work and training in the field of cybersecurity.

Interview with Kelly Jackson Higgins – Dark Reading

As Executive Editor of the information security news site Dark Matter, Kelly Jackson Higgins has been reporting on and writing about issues in the field of cybersecurity for over a decade. New developments in the Internet of Things, security awareness training, and cyber criminal activity are three areas she delves into in this interview.

Interview with Jennifer Hunter – Southern Utah University

As the Senior Instructional Designer for Southern Utah University’s online course and degree programs, Jennifer Hunter is responsible for implementing and overseeing SSU Online’s overall educational strategy. In our interview with her, she delves into the process of taking a course online, the quality control measure she utilizes, and the kinds of faculty support that can help smooth the transition from traditional classroom to online teaching.

Interview with James Kobielus – IBM

James Kobielus is IBM’s Big Data Evangelist–a title that recognizes his thought leadership and deep subject knowledge of data analytics. In this Q&A with OnlineEducation.com, Mr. Kobielus sheds light upon the modern state and history of big data, and the type of skills and expertise one needs to thrive in the field.

Interview with Dr. Stacey Ludwig-Johnson – Western Governors University

Dr. Stacey Ludwig-Johnson is the Associate Provost for Academic Services at Western Governors University where she manages the groups responsible for many of the institution’s online student support services.

Interview with Steve Miller – Inquidia Consulting

Steve Miller Steve Miller is co-founder and President of Inquidia Consulting, a Chicago-based business intelligence, analytics, and professional services firm. In this interview, Mr. Miller discusses the differences between data science, analytics and business intelligence and provides insights into what employers look for when hiring data professionals.

Interview with Richard Moulton – Chiron Technology Services Inc.

Richard Moulton is an Air Force veteran with a background in military intelligence, who researches IT issues and conducts training in information systems security from the perspective of a software security engineer and a Subject Matter Expert at Chiron Technologies. In this interview, he delves into the cybersecurity mindset, the value of certifications in the field, and other valuable ways to prepare for a career in cybersecurity.

Interview with Karen Pedersen, Ph.D. – Online Learning Consortium

Dr. Karen Pederson is Chief Knowledge Officer for the Online Learning Consortium (OLC). OLC, formerly Sloan-C, aims to advance quality online education through professional development, faculty and institutional support, research, and best practices publications.

Interview with Andrea Peto – Central European University

Dr. Andrea Peto is a Professor of Gender Studies at Central European University (CEU) where she has gained extensive experience teaching internationally-attended courses in the classroom and online.

Interview with Matthew Rascoff – University of North Carolina

Matthew Rascoff is Vice President of Learning Technology and Innovation for the University of North Carolina (UNC) System. He oversees the University’s online and blended learning strategy, including research and development, student experience and outcomes, and faculty development.

Interview with Eran Raviv, Ph.D. – Sr. Quantitative Investment Analyst

Eran Raviv, Ph.D. is a Econometrician and Sr. Quantitative Financial Analyst for a large pension fund in the Netherlands. In this interview Dr. Raviv discusses the field of analytics, including what it takes to enter and succeed in big data today. He also clarifies some of the similarities and distinctions among analytics disciplines such as data analytics, data science, statistics, and econometrics.

Interview with Diane Reddy, Ph.D. – University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Dr. Diane M. Reddy, Professor of Psychology and Director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, discusses the U-Pace instructional method for self-directed, mastery-based online degree programs.

Interview with Jeff Seaman, Ph.D. – Babson Survey Research Group

Dr. Jeff Seaman, co-director of the Babson Survey Research Group (BSRG), discusses the group’s latest regional, national, and global research in the field of online education, including enrollment trends, institutional investments, and student demographics.

Interview with Patrick Shannon, Ph.D. – University of New Hampshire

Dr. Patrick Shannon is an associate professor in the University of New Hampshire’s Department of Social Work, and coordinator of its Graduate Certificate in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

Interview with Yvonne Simon – College for America

Yvonne Simon is Chief Learning Architect and a founding member of the Innovation Lab and College for America, a competency-based division of Southern New Hampshire University offering self-directed online degree programs.

Interview with Robert Slade – Information Security Consultant

Veteran information security consultant Robert Slade writes, teaches, and conducts research in the field of cybersecurity. He has written several books on the subject, including Software Forensics and the Dictionary of Information Security, and he spent several years preparing students to take the Certified Information Security Professional exam. He offers insights into the ongoing evolution of cybersecurity in this interview.

Interview with Jared Stein – Canvas by Instructure

Jared Stein, Vice President of Research and Education for Instructure’s Canvas learning management system, discusses emerging trends in online learning technologies and instructional methods.

Interview with Lachlan Turner – Ark Infosec Labs Inc.

Lachlan Turner is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional and founder of the cybersecurity consultancy firm Ark Infosec Labs. He specializes in testing and evaluating IT products to insure they meet Common Criteria and FIPS140-2 standards for security. Socially engineered hacks, defense-in-depth cyber strategies, and cryptography are three key cybersecurity concerns he discusses in detail in this interview.

Interview with Chris Wetherill – SafeAuto

Christopher Wetherill is a Data and Decision Science Analyst at Safe Auto Insurance Company, where he analyzes data in order to solve problems or help business leaders make more informed decisions. In this interview, Mr. Wetherill discusses the challenges of working in analytics and provides insights into the skills and aptitudes needed to be successful in this field.

Interview with Martin Zinaich – City of Tampa

Cybersecurity risk management, information governance, and the importance of aligning information security concerns with organization goals are some of the topics Martin Zinaich emphasizes in this interview. An Information Security Officer for the City of Tampa’s Technology and Innovation Department, Mr. Zinaich also offers his perspective on the day-to-day work of cybersecurity, and the value of professional certifications in the field.