Date of Award

Winter 12-2015

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Instructional Technology

Department

Instructional Technology

Committee Chair

Dr. Laurie Brantley-Dias

First Committee Member

Dr. Anissa Lokey-Vega

Second Committee Member

Dr. Julia S. Fuller

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to measure and explore factors influencing K-12 online teacher job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and turnover intentions K-12 online education. Using Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (1954), Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory of Satisfaction (1959, 1968), Meyer and Allen’s measure of Organizational Commitment (1997), and Fishbein and Ajzen’s Theory of Reasoned Action and Planned Behavior (1975), this mixed-methods study was conducted in public, private, charter, for-profit, and not-for-profit K-12 online schools in a single Southeastern state. The researcher used a sequential explanatory design by collecting and analyzing quantitative data and then qualitative data in two consecutive phases. Using a quantitative survey design, the study included responses from 105 participants. The results revealed that K-12 online teachers have a moderate-high level of job satisfaction, which correlates to their affective commitment to their organization and their intent to remain teaching in the online setting in the immediate, intermediate, and long-term future. Participants identified flexibility, meeting student needs, technical support and their professional community as the most satisfying aspects of their job, while compensation, workload, missing face-to-face interaction with students, and inactive students were identified as least satisfying. A logistic regression model indicated schedule flexibility, mentoring, number of students, number of years teaching experience, and affective commitment are predictors of online teacher’s likelihood of turnover. In the second phase of the study, eight qualitative focus group interviews were conducted and analyzed using a constant comparative method; these results confirmed and expounded upon the quantitative findings in phase one. These results inform K-12 online school leaders who seek to retain new hires of statistically significant variables that influence teacher retention.