Dissertations, Theses and Capstone Projects

Date of Award

Summer 2012

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Teacher Leadership (Ed.D)


Teacher Leadership for Learning

First Advisor

Dr. Tak Cheung Chan

Second Advisor

Dr. James Cope

Third Advisor

Dr. Traci Redish


To maintain a competitive advantage, many universities have expanded their online course offerings, and college faculty members are vital to the design, development, and delivery of online instruction (Allen & Seaman, 2007; Mitchell & Geva-May, 2009; Tabata & Johnsrud, 2008). In this study, a mixed-method approach is used to investigate faculty’s perceptions about teaching online at one university. Understanding the factors that motivate and impede faculty to teach online provided the knowledge to plan future strategies to increase faculty participation with this instructional medium.

At a large suburban university in the Southeastern United States, 363 faculty members were surveyed and 14 faculty members were interviewed using the frameworks of Innovation Diffusion Theory (Rogers, 2003) and the theory of self-efficacy (Bandura, 1986). The findings showed flexibility and convenience were the primary motivators for teaching online, as well as, the ability to reach a wide range of diverse learners. However, the findings were inconclusive concerning the role of extra financial compensation as a motivating factor. The large amount of time and effort needed to teach online, concerns about academic integrity, intellectual property rights, and tenure and promotion concerns proved to be the major obstacles for adopting online instruction. Additionally, the faculty had a negative opinion about the quality of online instruction.

In this study, future plans to stimulate more online teaching were discussed; moreover, these findings are beneficial to guide colleges, universities, or other organizations when adopting online instruction or other technology initiatives.