Swapna Kumar

Swapna Kumar 

Clinical Professor, Educational Technology

Swapna Kumar





PO Box 117048
Gainesville, FL 32611



Dr. Kumar is a Clinical Professor and has led the design and implementation of the online EdD in Educational Technology since 2010. She studies various aspects of online education, with the aim of identifying what constitutes excellence in online education in general, and online doctoral education in particular. Her current research centers around online pedagogy, online dissertation supervision/mentoring, and online program quality, with an emphasis on connections between theory, research, and practice. She strives to provide guidelines for online education practice, such as online program design, online course design, online dissertation mentoring, online instructor competencies, online instructor support, virtual exchanges, etc.

Her research has contributed to the development of models and frameworks in the emerging field of online doctoral education such as an evidence-based model for a research-focused online professional doctorate (Kumar & Dawson, 2018), and a framework for online dissertation mentoring (Kumar et al., 2018) that can guide administrators and faculty. Dr. Kumar has published several journal articles, book chapters, and conference proceedings; has presented at numerous national and international conferences; and conducted several workshops and webinars related to online education internationally. She bridges cultures and countries in her work, was a Fulbright Scholar to Hungary, a Visiting Professor in Germany, and has engaged in numerous international collaborations.


  • School of Teaching and Learning
  • Institute for Advanced Learning Technologies

Research Interests

Adult Education, Blended Learning, Educational / Instructional Design, Faculty Development, Learning Culture and Technology, Mentoring, Mixed Methods, Online Mentoring, Online and Distance Education, Postsecondary Education, Professional Development, Qualitative Research, Systematic Review Methods and Meta-analysis, Technology Trends and Issues


  • Ed.D. - Boston University. 2007. Curriculum and Instruction.Ed.M. - Boston University. 2001. Educational Media and Technology.
  • M.A. - Central Institute of English and Foreign Languages, India. 1994. German Literature and Translation
  • B.A. - Jawaharlal Nehru University, India. 1991. German Studies.

Professional Appointments

  • Clinical Professor of Educational Technology, University of Florida, 2021-Present
  • Clinical Associate Professor of Educational Technology, University of Florida, 2015-2021
  • Clinical Assistant Professor of Educational Technology, University of Florida, 2009-2015
  • Instructor & Coordinator of Online Education, School of Education, Boston University, 2007-2009
  • Adjunct Instructor, School of Education, Boston University, 2001-2007
  • Senior Consultant, Learning and Performance Strategy Practice, Productivity Dynamics, Boston, 2001-2007

Activities and Honors

  • 2020 Distance Education Best Practice Award for: Marull, C. & Kumar, S. Authentic Language Learning through Telecollaboration in Online Courses. TechTrends, 64, 628-635. Division of Distance Learning, Association of Educational Communications and Technology (AECT), 2020.
  • Best Qualitative Journal Article Award (2nd place) for: Kumar, S., Martin, F., Budhrani, K., & Ritzhaupt, A. (2019). Award-winning faculty online teaching practices: Elements of award-winning courses. Online Learning Journal, 23(4), 160-180. Division of Distance Learning, Association of Educational Communications and Technology (AECT), 2020.
  • Rosser Educator Excellence Award 2019-2020. College of Education, University of Florida.
  • Best Qualitative Journal Article Award for: Martin, F., Budhrani, K., Kumar, S. & Ritzhaupt, A. (2019). Award-Winning Faculty Online Teaching Practices: Roles and Competencies. Online Learning Journal, 23(1), 184-205. Division of Distance Learning, Association of Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) 2019.
  • Fulbright Scholar Award 2016-2017. Designing Blended Learning Environments in Hungarian Higher Education. Central European University, Hungary. Council for International Exchange of Scholars, USA.
  • Superior Accomplishment Award, 2016. Division Three. University of Florida

Selected Publications

  • Kumar, S. & Arnold, P. (Eds.) (2022). Quality in Online Programs: Approaches and Practices in Higher Education. Brill/Sense Publishers and AECT.
  • Kumar, S. & Dawson, K. (2018). An Online Doctorate for Researching Professionals: Program Design, Implementation and Evaluation. Athabasca, Canada: Athabasca University Press. http://www.aupress.ca/index.php/books/120272
  • Kumar, S., Kumar, V., & Taylor, S. (2020). A Guide to Online Supervision. United Kingdom Council of Graduate Education (UKCGE). http://www.ukcge.ac.uk/media/download.aspx?MediaId=2268
  • Kumar, S., Bolliger, D. U., & Roumell, E. A. (2023). Technologies, Strategies, and Supports Helpful to Faculty in their E-mentoring of dissertations. Online Learning Journal, 27(3). https://doi.org/10.24059/olj.v27i3.3630
  • Kumar, S., Roumell, E. A., & Bolliger, D. U. (2023). Faculty Perceptions of e-Mentoring Doctoral Dissertations: Challenges, Strategies, and Institutional Support. American Journal of Distance Education. https://doi.org/10.1080/08923647.2023.2213137
  • Zhu, J. & Kumar, S. (2023). An Analysis of Online and Hybrid EdD programs in Educational Technology. TechTrends, 67, 693-705. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11528-023-00848-8
  • Martin, F., Kumar, S., Ritzhaupt, A. D., & Polly, D. (2022). Bichronous Online Learning: Award-Winning Online Instructor Practices of Blending Asynchronous and Synchronous Online Modalities. Internet and Higher Education, 56, 100879. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.iheduc.2022.100879
  • Kumar, S., Dawson, K., Pollard, R. & Jeter, G. (2022). Analyzing Theories, Conceptual Frameworks, and Research Methods in EdD Dissertations. TechTrends. 66(4), 721-728. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11528-022-00739-4
  • Dorner, H. & Kumar, S. (2022). Academic development for doctoral students: Exploring the relevance of teaching-research integration, discipline-sensitivity and collaboration. International Journal for Academic Development. https://doi.org/10.1080/1360144X.2022.2059486
  • Kumar, S., Ritzhaupt, A. D., & Pedro, N. S. (2022). Development and validation of the Online Instructor Support Survey (OISS). Online Learning Journal, 26(1), 221-244 https://doi.org/10.24059/olj.v26i1.2622
  • Pollard, R. & Kumar, S. (2022). Instructional Designers in Higher Education: Roles, Challenges, and Supports. Journal of Applied Instructional Design, 11(1). https://doi.org/10.51869/111/rp
  • Martin, F., Kumar, S. & She, L. (2021). Examining Higher Education Instructor Roles and Competencies in Online Teaching. Online Learning Journal, 25(4), 267-295. https://doi.org/10.24059/olj.v25i4.2570
  • Kumar, S., Pollard, R., Johnson, M. & Dogan, N. (2021). Online Research Group Supervision: Structure, Support, and Community. Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 58(6), 647-658. https://doi.org/10.1080/14703297.2021.1991430
  • Kumar, S., & Wisker, G. (2021). Editorial–IETI 58/6. Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 58(6), 609-611. https://doi.org/10.1080/14703297.2021.1999093
  • Kellen, K. & Kumar, S. (2021). Types of barriers experienced by online instructors in higher education. Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, 23(4). https://ojdla.com/articles/types-of-barriers-experienced-by-online-instructors-in-higher-education
  • Pollard, R. & Kumar, S. (2021). Mentoring Graduate Students Online: Strategies and Challenges. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 22(2), 267-284. https://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/5093
  • Pedro, N. S. & Kumar, S. (2020). Institutional support for online teaching in quality assurance frameworks. Online Learning Journal, 24(3), 50-66. https://doi.org/10.24059/olj.v24i3.2309
  • Marull, C. & Kumar, S. (2020). Authentic language learning through telecollaboration in online courses. TechTrends, 64, 628–635. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11528-020-00488-2
  • Kumar, S., Martin, F., Budhrani, K., & Ritzhaupt, A. (2019). Award-winning faculty online teaching practices: Elements of award-winning courses. Online Learning Journal, 23(4), 160-180. https://olj.onlinelearningconsortium.org/index.php/olj/article/view/2077
  • Kumar, S. & Johnson, M. (2019). Online mentoring of dissertations: the role of structure and support. Studies in Higher Education, 44(1), 59-71. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03075079.2017.1337736
  • Martin, F., Ritzhaupt, A., Kumar, S., & Budhrani, K. (2019). Award-winning faculty online teaching practices: Course design, assessment, and facilitation. Internet and Higher Education, 42, 34-43. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.iheduc.2019.04.001
  • Kumar, S. & Ritzhaupt, A. R. (2017). What do instructional designers in higher education really do? International Journal on E-learning, 16(4), 371-393.
  • Kumar, S. & Johnson, M. (2017). Mentoring doctoral students online: Mentor Strategies and Challenges. Mentoring and Tutoring: Partnerships in Learning, 27(2), 202-222. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13611267.2017.1326693
  • Kumar, S. & Coe, C. (2017). Online mentoring and student support in online doctoral programs. American Journal of Distance Education, 31(2), 128-142. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08923647.2017.1300464
  • Kumar, S. (2014). A systematic approach to the assessment of impact in a professional doctorate. Higher Education, Skills and Work-based Learning 4(2) 171-183. https://doi.org/10.1108/HESWBL-10-2013-0020
  • Kumar, S. (2014). Signature Pedagogy, Implementation and Evaluation of an Online Program that impacts Educational Practice. Internet and Higher Education, 21, 60-67.
Book Chapters
  • Martin, F., Kumar, S., & Ritzhaupt, A. D. (2022). An Overview of the Competencies and Career Outcomes in Educational Technology. In J. Stefaniak & R. Reese (Eds.) The Instructional Design Trainer’s Guide: Authentic Practices and Considerations for Mentoring ID and Ed Tech Professionals. Routledge.
  • Kumar, S., Johnson, M. L., Dogan, N., & Coe, C. (2022). A Framework for E-mentoring in Doctoral Education. In Information Resources Management Association (Ed.) Research Anthology on Doctoral Student Professional Development (pp. 232-251). Hershey, PA: IGI Global.
  • Martin, F., & Kumar, S. (2021). A Synthesis of Current Research on Graduate Online Education. In K. E. Rudestam, J. Schoenholtz-Read, & M. L. Snowden (Eds). The Handbook of Online Learning in Higher Education. (pp. 105-133). Santa Barbara, CA: Fielding University Press.
  • Martin, F. & Kumar, S. (2021). Barriers to online education and strategies for overcoming them. In L. A. Cifuentes (Ed.) Guide to Administering Distance Learning, pp. 43-60. Brill/Sense Publishers and AECT.
  • Miller, T. & Kumar, S. (2021). Student Experiences Learning Psychomotor Skills in a Blended Doctor of Physical Therapy Program. In A. Picciano, C. Dziuban, C. Graham, & P. Moskal (Eds.) Blended Learning Research Perspectives Volume III. (pp. 333- ). New York: Routledge.
  • Ritzhaupt, A. D., Kumar, S., & Martin, F. (2021). The Competencies for Instructional Designers in Higher Education. In J. E. Stefaniak, S. Conklin, B. Oyarzun, & R. Reese (Eds.), A Practitioners Guide to Instructional Design in Higher Education. EdTech Books. https://edtechbooks.org/id_highered/the_competencies_for