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ERIC Number: ED550642
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 143
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2678-9803-6
The Online Instructional Dynamic: A Study of Community College Faculty Teaching Online Courses and Their Perceptions of Barriers to Student Success
Hadsell, Jory Andrew
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Drexel University
Online students at some California community colleges are experiencing lower success rates than their peers in face-to-face versions of the same courses. Insight into the forces shaping student success in online courses is needed to address such disparities. The purpose of this study was to explore, in-depth, the lived experiences of faculty teaching courses online at a California community college to inform instructional practice so barriers to student success may be avoided. This "online instructional dynamic" is defined as the experiences surrounding instructor-student interaction, including factors impacted by the use of various technologies and instructional design approaches. The following questions guided the study: 1) How do faculty perceive their interactions with students in an online course? 2) What instructional practices do faculty believe have a positive impact on student success in their courses? 3) Why do faculty members believe the identified instructional practices have positive impacts on student success? A phenomenological research design was employed. Participants consisted of eight community college faculty with significant teaching experience in online Math, English, or Business courses. Data were gathered via in-depth interviews, observation, and artifact analysis. A computerized qualitative analysis software program was used to code and analyze the data for emergent themes. The study included five major findings: a) Challenges teaching in an online environment, b) Communication issues, c) Potential hindering factors for online students, d) Overall perceptions of the online instructional dynamic, and e) Practices that promote engagement and success. Results of the study included: a) The online teaching model presents unique challenges for faculty, b) Communication challenges may hamper online effectiveness, c) Student population differences may make comparisons difficult between face-to-face and online, and d) Online teaching is both frustrating and enriching for faculty. The study conclusions were: a) Challenges adapting technique and content to the online environment, b) Dominant communication strategies may lead to frustration, c) Student perceptions and attitudes may hinder success, d) Teaching online is both frustrating and rewarding, and e) Six identified practices faculty believe have positive impacts on student success. Recommendations for institutional leaders and further research are provided. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Two Year Colleges; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California