NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED558633
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 118
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3032-6789-5
The Faculty-Student Relationship Dynamic: A Study of Faculty Who Teach Online Courses at a Public Four-Year University
Kent, Tracy Ann
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Drexel University
With the growing market for online courses in California and the United States, institutions must better understand how the faculty-student dynamic, defined as the interactions between faculty and students in the online environment, impacts student engagement and success. The purpose of this study was an in-depth exploration of faculty assumptions, perspectives, and lived experiences related to online courses in order to aid institutions and faculty in identifying effective practices for teaching in the online environment. The study drew upon theories of online course design, technology-mediated communication, and faculty presence to answer three questions: How do instructors of online courses perceive their interactions with students? What instructional practices do these faculty members believe have a positive impact on student success in their courses? Why do faculty members believe the identified instructional practices have positive impact on student success? This study employed a phenomenological qualitative methodology entailing open-ended, face-to-face interviews of six professors from diverse subject areas at California State University, Sacramento, a four-year public institution of higher education. The study's findings related to a) the efficiency of the online modality, b) the effects of class size, c) methods for maximizing student motivation, engagement, and interaction, d) the tracking of outcomes, e) computer literacy (of both students and faculty), and f) the policing of student contributions and cheating. The study resulted in three main conclusions. First, faculty-student interaction was seen as essential to student success and engagement but difficult and time-consuming to promote, especially if traditional teaching methods are employed. Second, greater faculty use of interactive tools and practices was related to their attitudes toward and familiarity with technology and associated with more favorable assessment in terms of impact on student engagement. Third, impact on student engagement and success was believed to be related to the applicability of both instructional practices and course discipline to the online environment. Broader cultural and economic factors shaping student motivation, student computer access and literacy, and cheating were also identified as factors impacting student success. Recommendations are made for policy change, reform of institutional practices, and future research. [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: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California