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ERIC Number: ED548793
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 171
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: 978-1-2677-6588-8
Perceived Barriers and Strategies to Effective Online Earth and Space Science Instruction
Pottinger, James E.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Northcentral University
With the continual growth and demand of online courses, higher education institutions are attempting to meet the needs of today's learners by modifying and developing new student centered services and programs. As a result, faculty members are being forced into teaching online, including Earth and Space science faculty. Online Earth and Space science courses are different than typical online courses in that they need to incorporate an inquiry-based component to ensure students fully understand the course concepts and science principles in the Earth and Space sciences. Studies have addressed the barriers in other inquiry-based online science courses, including biology, physics, and chemistry. This holistic, multiple-case qualitative study investigated perceived barriers and strategies to effective online Earth and Space science instruction through in-depth interviews with six experienced post-secondary online science instructors. Data from this study was analyzed using a thematic analysis approach and revealed four common themes when teaching online Earth and Space science. A positive perception and philosophy of online teaching is essential, the instructor-student interaction is dynamic, course structure and design modification will occur, and online lab activities must make science operational and relevant. The findings in this study demonstrated that online Earth and Space science instructors need institutional support in the form of a strong faculty development program and support staff in order to be as effective as possible. From this study, instructors realize that the instructor-student relationship and course structure is paramount, especially when teaching online science with labs. A final understanding from this study was that online Earth and Space science lab activities must incorporate the use and application of scientific skills and knowledge. Recommendations for future research include (a) qualitative research conducted in specific areas within the Earth and Space sciences to determine if similar conclusions may be reached, (b) conduct a quantitative study looking at the available online technologies and their effectiveness in each area, and (c) utilize students that took online Earth and Space science classes and compare their perception of effectiveness to the instructor's perception of effectiveness in the online Earth and Space science classroom. [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