Dr. Jacqueline Stephen

Assistant Professor of Instructional Design
Instructional Designer
Director of The Office of Distance Learning


  • B.S., Elementary Education, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania
  • M.S., Instructional Technology, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania
  • Ed.D.,  Instruction and Curricular Leadership, Concentration: Instructional Design and Technology, The University of Memphis
  • Certificate of Distance Learning, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Dr. Jacqueline S. Stephen is an instructional designer and educator who holds a Ed.D. in Instruction and Curricular Leadership with a concentration in instructional design and technology (The University of Memphis), a M.S. in Instructional Technology (Bloomsburg University), and a B.S. in Elementary Education (Bloomsburg University). She has more than 20 years of national and international experience in higher education. Currently, she serves as Assistant Professor, Director of The Office of Distance Learning, and Instructional Designer, in the College of Professional Advancement at Mercer University, in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Her research has examined factors associated with persistence of undergraduate online students, with much of her research focusing on self-regulated learning, self-directed learning, online learning self-efficacy, and high-impact practices for online teaching. Additionally, Jacqueline has authored and co-authored peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters on topics such as undergraduate and graduate online learner persistence, instructional design, effective practices for online educators, and virtual peer mentoring for racial and ethnic minority women in STEM, which received the American Educational Research Associations’ 2021 Distinguished Research Paper Award on Mentorship and Mentoring Practices. Other research interests are centered around diversity, equity, inclusion, and career readiness and preparedness through curriculum and course design. She has presented at national and international conferences as an invited speaker and delivered keynote speeches. She serves as a reviewer for international peer-reviewed journals and conferences, and as past-president of the Association Supporting Computer Users in Education (ASCUE). In 2023, she received a Fulbright U.S. Scholar award to teach for a semester at a university in Azerbaijan and a Fulbright Specialist award to carry out a project at the Office of Ombudsman for Human Rights and Justice in Timor-Leste. Her co-edited volume, Global Perspectives on Higher Education: From Crisis to Opportunity, was published in 2023 and includes 33 chapters by international researchers, practitioners, and experts from 20 countries. Her book, Academic Success in Online Programs: A Resource for College Students, was published in 2024 and includes 14 chapters that address a wide selection of topics emphasizing a myriad of factors that impact a student’s persistence, and ultimate success, in an online program or course.

Courses Taught

  • HRAD250: Introduction to Training & Development
  • HRAD305: Assessment and Evaluation
  • HRAD365: Curriculum Design and Materials Development
  • HRAD385: Instructional Design & Delivery Strategies III: E-Learning
  • UNIV110: The Culture of the University
  • ORGL210: Foundations of Leadership

Leadership Positions in the Profession/Discipline

  • Past-President, Association Supporting Computer Users in Education (ASCUE)

Research and professional interests

  • Instructional design in corporate and education settings
  • Online learning self-efficacy
  • Self-direction and persistence in online programs
  • Student self-regulation
  • Technology tools to support online teaching and learning
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion in online learning environments
  • Virtual peer mentoring for racial and ethnic minority women in STEM
  • Effective online pedagogy

Recent Publications

  • Rockinson-Szapkiw, A., Holmes, J. & Stephen, J. S. (2019). The integration of distance doctoral students: Personal, familial, and program factors that make a difference. Online Learning Journal, 23(4). 313-335. doi:10.24059/olj. v23i4.1579
  • Rockinson-Szapkiw, A.J., Stephen, J. S., Lowell, V., & Holmes, J. (in press). A model for distance doctoral persistence: Integration, self-regulated learning, self-efficacy, and self-direction. Online Learning Journal.
  • Rockinson-Szapkiw, A.J., & Wendt, J. & Stephen, J. S. (2021). The efficacy of a virtual peer mentoring experience for racial and ethnic minority women in STEM at historically black institutions: Academic, professional, and psychosocial outcomes for mentors and mentees. Journal for STEM Education Research. https://doi.org/10.1007/s41979-020-00048-6
    • Recipient of the 2021 Distinguished Research Paper Award on Mentorship and Mentoring Practices Special Interest Group, American Educational Research Association (AERA).
  • Sharpe, K., Rockinson-Szapkiw, A. J., Stephen, J. S. (2020). Building Human Agency through the Peer Mentoring Process. Navigating the Peer Mentoring Relationship: A Handbook for Women and Other Underrepresented Populations in STEM.
  • Shipley, S. L., Stephen, J. S., & Tawfik, A. A. (2018). Revisiting the historical roots of task analysis in instructional design. TechTrends, 62(4), 319-320.
  • Stephen, J. S. (2020). Transforming Yourself into an Online Educator. In Professionalizing Your English Language Teaching (pp. 185-195). Springer, Cham.
  • Stephen, J. S. (2021). Impact of Perception on Readiness for Online Teaching. In: Mohebbi H., Coombe C. (eds) Research Questions in Language Education and Applied Linguistics. Springer Texts in Education. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-79143-8_113
  • Stephen, J.S. (2022, September 26). Student development of human agency in an online course: Strategies for instructors. Faculty Focus. https://tinyurl.com/y5mjc4v3
  • Stephen, J. S. (2022). Persistence of nontraditional undergraduate online students: Towards a contemporary conceptual framework. Journal of Adult and Continuing Education, 0(0). https://doi.org/10.1177/14779714221142908
  • Stephen, J.S.(2023). Strategies for Instructors: Establishing and Maintaining Presence in an Online Course. In: Stephen, J.S., Kormpas, G., & Coombe, C. (eds) Global Perspectives on Higher Education: From Crisis to Opportunity. Springer.
  • Stephen, J.S., Barnett, N.G., & Ben Ramadan, A.A.. (2023). Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Course Design and Instructional Material Development. In: Stephen, J.S., Kormpas, G., & Coombe, C. (eds) Global Perspectives on Higher Education: From Crisis to Opportunity. Springer.
  • Stephen, J.S. & Coombe, C. (2023). Volume Introduction – Global Perspectives on Higher Education: From Crisis to Opportunity. In: Stephen, J.S., Kormpas, G., & Coombe, C. (eds) Global Perspectives on Higher Education: From Crisis to Opportunity. Springer.
  • Stephen, J.S., Fru, A. (2023). Cultivating Student Employability Skills: Classroom to Career Preparedness and Readiness. In: Stephen, J.S., Kormpas, G., & Coombe, C. (eds) Global Perspectives on Higher Education: From Crisis to Opportunity. Springer.
    • Publication with an undergraduate student.
  • Stephen J.S., & Rockinson-Szapkiw A. (2022) Promoting Online Student Persistence: Strategies to Promote Online Learning Self-efficacy. In: Khine M.S., Nielsen T. (eds) Academic Self-efficacy in Education. Springer, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-16-8240-7_10
  • Stephen, J. S., & Rockinson-Szapkiw, A. J. (2021). A high-impact practice for online students: the use of a first-semester seminar course to promote self-regulation, self-direction, online learning self-efficacy. Smart Learning Environments, 8(6). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40561-021-00151-0
  • Stephen, J.S., Rockinson-Szapkiw, A.J., & Dubay, C. (2020). Persistence model for online non-traditional students: Self-regulated learning, self-efficacy, and self-direction. American Journal of Distance Education. doi: 1080/08923647.2020.1745619
  • Stephen, J. S., Tawfik, A. (2022). Self-efficacy sources and impact on readiness to teach online. Routledge Encyclopedia of Education. Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781138609877-REE106-1
    • Featured as a “Top Pick” on Routledge’s Resources Online – Education.

Contact Jacqueline Stephen

Office Location: Administration and Conference Center (AACC) Building, Atlanta campus