Vol. 29 No. 1 (2014)
Published August 5, 2014
How to Cite
Seaton, J. X., & Schwier, R. A. (2014). An Exploratory Case Study of Online Instructors: Factors Associated with Instructor Engagement. International Journal of E-Learning & Distance Education / Revue Internationale Du E-Learning Et La Formation à Distance, 29(1). Retrieved from https://www.ijede.ca/index.php/jde/article/view/870
AbstractThis study identified factors associated with instructor engagement in online courses. We believe that this topic deserves attention because quality of instruction is one of the strongest predictors of a successful online course. As researchers, our hope is that, by understanding the factors which influence perceptions of success by online instructors, policies and/or programs can be implemented to support online instructors, which, in turn, will result in higher quality online courses. This research was an exploratory case study in which the experiences of twelve online instructors were examined over one year. The identified themes based on the participants’ experiences will inform the direction of a larger quantitative study. Participant interviews were analyzed for evidence of positive and negative experiences and how frequently each occurred. We expected that participants who were less engaged in teaching would describe more negative experiences than other participants. Specific barriers to online engagement included lack of social presence, an increase in workload, and technological issues. Research priorities were determined to influence the instructors’ ability to cope with these barriers. Instructors who were hired to teach and conduct research held mixed and often negative feelings about teaching in online environments.
- Angelino, L. M., Williams, F. K., & Natvig, D. (2007). Strategies to engage online students and reduce attrition rates. The Journal of Educators Online, 4 (2), 1-14.
- Beer, C., Clarck, K., & Jones, D. (2010). Indicators of engagement. Proceedings ascilite. Sydney, AU.
- Bernard, R. M., Abrami, P. C., Lou, Y., Borokhovski, E., Wade, A., Wozney, L., et al. (2004). How does distance education compare with classroom instruction? A meta-analysis of the empirical literature. Review of Educational Research, 74 (3), 379-439.
- Booliger, D. U., & Wasilik, O. (2009). Factors influencing faculty satisfaction with online teaching and learning in higher education. Distance Education, 30 (1), 103-116.
- Dykman, C. A., & Davis, C. D. (2008). Online education forum: Part two - Teaching online versus teaching conventionally. Journal of Information Systems Education, 19 (2), 157-164.
- Fredricks, J. A., Blumenfeld, P. C., & Paris, A. H. (2004). School engagement: Potential of the concept, state of the evidence. Review of Educational Research, 74 (1), 59-109.
- Garrison, D. R., Anderson, T., & Archer, W. (1999). Critical inquiry in a text-based environment: Computer conferencing in higher education. The Internet and Higher Education, 2 (2-3), 87-106.
- Glaser, B. G., & Strauss, A. L. (2006). The discovery of grounded theory: Strategies for qualitative research. Piscataway: AldineTransaction.
- Hara, N. (2000). Student distress in a web-based distance education course. Information, Communication & Society, 3 (4), 557-579.
- Hartnett, M., St. George, A., & Dron, J. (2011). Examining motivation in online distance learning environments: Complex, multifaceted, and situation-dependent. The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 12 (6), 20-38.
- Hogan, R. L., & McKnight, M. A. (2007). Exploring burnout among university online instructors: An initial investigation. The Internet and Higher Education, 10, 117-124.
- Liu, X., Lee, S., Bonk, C. J., Su, B., & Magjuka, R. J. (2005). Exploring four dimensions of online instructor roles: A program level case study. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 9 (4), 29-48.
- Mandernach, B. J., Gonzales, R. M., & Garrett, A. L. (2006). An examination of online instructor presence via threaded discussion participation. Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 2 (4), 248-260.
- Oliver, R. (1999). Exploring strategies for online teaching and learning. Distance Education, 20 (2), 240-254.
- Schaufeli, W. B., Salanova, M., Gonzalez-Roma, V., & Bakker, A. B. (2002). The measurement of engagement and burnout: A two sample confirmatory factor analytic approach. Journal of Happiness Studies, 3, 71-92.
- Seale, C. (2006). Generating grounded theory. In C. Seale (Ed.), Researching society and culture (2nd ed., pp. 239-248). Oxford: SAGE Publications.