Drmelissaolt.com is an educational blog, whose mission is to encourage personal and academic integrity by providing students with “Just D.I.Y.” tools and resources for writing.

My Professional Summary

Welcome to my blog! My name is Dr. Melissa R. Olt, and I have worked in the field of distance education since 1996. Over the past 15 years, I have taught online ENG and EDU courses for multiple universities; I was instrumental in the curriculum development, design and launching of online courses for a national and regionally accredited K-12 homeschool.

My research interests include ethics in distance education, academic integrity and homeschooling. I have co-facilitated several virtual workshops for the Online Learnng Consortium (formerly known as Sloan Consortium) on academic integrity in online education and currently serve as mentor for the Online Learning Consortium Online Teaching Certificate Program.

I am a peer/manuscript reviewer for the Journal of Online Learning and Teaching as well as the Journal of Online Pedagogy and Course Design.

  • Doctor of Philosophy, Education with a specialization in Instructional Design for Online Learning, 2007
  • Master of Science, Curriculum, Instruction & Technology, 2001
  • Master of Arts, English, 2001
  • Bachelor of Arts, French, 1991
Areas of Specialty

I have acquired skills in the following areas:

  • Online/Distance Education
  • Curriculum Development
  • Academic Integrity
  • Research/Academic Writing
Academic Integrity and Why It Matters to Me

My first encounter with academic dishonesty occurred in the first college course I taught. While in the middle of reviewing answers to a test, we were asked to switch classrooms. After class, one student came to my desk and told me that I had incorrectly graded her exam. I knew that she had changed her answer, however, because her entire test was written in pencil except for the answer in question, which was written in pen. She admitted to changing the answer, and I was greatly disheartened; I had hoped to create a learning environment in which students were excited about the learning process and committed to academic integrity. I spent the next few years teaching online and researching how instructional design might contribute to the deterrence of cheating and plagiarism.  In 2007, I successfully defended my dissertation entitled “Developing an Instructional Design Model to Deter Plagiarism in Online Courses.”

While working on my dissertation, I received email correspondence from a graduate student, who brought to my attention that my first-published article on plagiarism may have been plagiarized. I confirmed that it had and sent a cease and desist letter to the institution and “author” that attempted to copyright and publish my work. The irony – plagiarizing a paper on academic dishonesty! That graduate student and I went on to facilitate workshops on academic integrity for online educators.

We will win the battle for academic integrity student by student. Will you join the cause? Take the Just D.I.Y. Pledge.

Are you an educator who is interested in deterring plagiarism in your own courses? You can purchase a copy of the Instructional Design Model that I developed for my dissertation for $ 5.00