Master of Distance Education (MDE)

Dr. Linda Smith

I live in Tallahassee, Florida where I completed a doctorate in Instructional Systems in the Department of Educational Psychology and Learning Systems at Florida State University (FSU). I am active in doing research and writing with a focus on distance learning. My work has been shared in publications and presentations at international conferences. I am also a graduate of the Master of Distance Education (MDE) program at UMUC. It was the MDE that inspired me to enter a doctoral program to better prepare for a career in distance learning. I decided to begin a new career in distance learning because of the opportunities this field provides for learners of all ages not only in the U.S. but around the world. I am a consultant in higher education and work with the American Association of Registrars and Admissions Officers as Coordinator of Online Courses and Professional Development Consultant.

The term “life-long learner” describes me well. I began my post-secondary education with a three-year study in commercial art on a scholarship won in national competition for high school students. This art course was my first experience with distance learning—it was a correspondence course, and all instructor/student interactions were accomplished by traditional mail. Later, I completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in Humanities and continued study through a Master of Arts degree in English (both at FSU). I added post-graduate work in Information Systems Technology while working at the Social Security Administration (SSA) in Baltimore, MD.

At the SSA, I spent more than 30 years in a civil service career. I began work in computer programming, systems analysis and design. As my career progressed, I held a variety of senior management positions in quality assurance, process redesign evaluation, and program development and research. Many of the projects I worked on and led were national in scope.

When I’m not working online, I enjoy entertaining friends, working in my garden, playing in the pool, working logic puzzles, listening to music, and reading books on physics. 



Dr. Linda J. Smith
Director of the MDE program
University of Maryland University College, USA