View Full Directory
William Diehl

Dr. William Diehl

Associate Teaching Professor of Education (LLAED); Coordinator of Online Graduate Programs; Professor in Charge, LLAED

Phone: 814-867-0228

303 Keller Building
University Park, PA 16802


  • Learning and Performance Systems


  • Lifelong Learning and Adult Education


Dr. William C. Diehl ("Will") is an adult education, distance, online, and open education expert and serves as associate editor for The American Journal of Distance Education. He is the director of The American Center for the Study of Distance Education and is the founder of the International Museum of Distance Education and Technology. He is also the coordinator of the Lifelong Learning and Adult Education online M.Ed. program.  At Penn State, Will has taught courses that include ADTED 505 (Teaching Adults), ADTED 531 (Distance Education and Design), ADTED 470 (Foundations of Distance Education), ADTED 533 (Global Online Distance Education), ADTED 460 (Foundations of Adult Education), ADTED 532 (Distance Education Research), and ADTED 507 (Research in Adult Education).


Diehl is co-editor of the 4th Edition of the Handbook of Distance Education and his book chapters include the Handbook of Distance Education (2nd, 3rd, 4th editions) and The Handbook of mLearning. Will's research interests include history of education and the evolution of distance, online, and open education; online teaching competencies; intercultural communication in virtual worlds. 


Will Diehl is the author and co-author of numerous academic journal articles and academic conference proceedings. A consultant in the corporate, higher education and government sectors, his professional experience also includes work as a K-12 teacher, technologist, web designer and developer, instructional designer, and multimedia consultant.


Will's work experience includes course design, development, program planning, and administration for organizations such as the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration, Washington, DC; UNordic, Sjøvegan, Norway; Communications Development Incorporated;, Sjøvegan, Norway;, Gratangen, Norway;  Maryland Online;  University of the Rockies; The Pennsylvania State University World Campus, University Park, PA ; Quality Matters; National Institute for Literacy, Washington, DC; NIIT (USA), Inc., Atlanta, GA; and the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation & Federation of American Scientists. He has developed intranets, database driven web applications, and developed courses that are delivered in scores of countries to medical doctors and clinicians for pharmaceutical cancer drug trials. He is the editor of the book Beyond the Science: The Business of Drug Development: Strategies, analysis, and issues for biotechnology companies in drug discovery and development (authored by Lynn C. Klotz, former Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Harvard University and a visiting Associate Professor at Princeton University. 


Will was the education director for the documentary film Arapaho Truths, which has been in 25 film festivals and won 8 awards, including Best Animated/Experimental Film at the North Beach American Film Festival, the Mitakuye Oyasin, "All My Relations" Inclusion in Filmmaking Award
Central States Indie Film Festival, Grand Prize Winner The 2020 Kids Video Connection Children's Film Festival, Best Documentary in the Popcorn Roulette Film Festival, Best Short Documentary in the Central States Indie Film Festival, Best Inspirational Film Award in The Culture and Diversity Film Festival, Hollywood, California, and The Culture Heritage Film Award
San Diego International Kids' Film Festival, and the Award of Merit, Best Shorts Competition. The film has aired on PBS and is currently on their web site. Will has also worked on OXFAM America's Forgotten Communities, Unmet Promises, among others. He was the education director for American Poverty. Other multimedia shorts can be found here


Will Diehl is an award-winning songwriter and artist, and his music can be found on music platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, and YouTube music. His song Sunflowers, a song in support of the Ukrainian people, won gold prize in the 2023 Mid-Atlantic Song Contest Freedom/Social Justice category. 


Dr. Diehl earned his Ph.D. in Adult Education with a focus in Distance Education from The Pennsylvania State University. His Penn State undergraduate degree focused on Elementary Education, and he did his student teaching in the United Kingdom via Durham University. Will was also a walk-on member of the Penn State men's 1980 NIT basketball team. 

Areas of Expertise

Age Levels



Media Literacy/Education


Computer Technology
Instructional Design

Education Levels

Adult Education

Education Types

Distance Ed

Educational Studies

Educational Theory
History of Ed
International Ed

Methodological Research

Historical Research
Qualitative Research
Quantitative Research
View Full Directory