Vol. 37 No. 1 (2022)
Research Articles

Online but Not Alone: Teachers’ Perceptions of Effective Online School Leadership (OSL)

Awneet Sivia
University of the Fraser Valley
Dr. Joanne Robertson
University of the Fraser Valley
Published June 30, 2022
How to Cite
Sivia, A., & Robertson, J. (2022). Online but Not Alone: Teachers’ Perceptions of Effective Online School Leadership (OSL). International Journal of E-Learning & Distance Education / Revue Internationale Du E-Learning Et La Formation à Distance, 37(1). https://doi.org/10.55667/ijede.2022.v37.i1.1230


Online school leadership (OSL) is of particular interest given the growing number of online education opportunities. As school districts develop more online and blended learning programs, particularly for secondary grade students, the need to examine leadership in these programs is paramount. The literature suggests that most studies focus on effective leadership in bricks and mortar schools, while limited research focuses on leadership in online programs. In this study, we aimed to explore teachers’ perceptions of leadership in online secondary schools in two districts. Our questions focused on secondary teachers’ experiences with leaders in their online schools and how these experiences contribute to perceptions of what makes for effective leadership practices. Using phenomenology, we interviewed six teachers, analyzed for themes and categorized these into a sense of community, organizational learning and empowerment to represent teachers' perceptions of OSL. Based on these results, we suggest that OSL consists of both foundational and contextualized practices, and that both are necessary for effective OSL. This research has implications for educational leadership broadly, but specifically for leadership in online education.




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