Online Instructor Voices: A Qualitative Study on Perceptions of Practice
Abstract: This study presents a qualitative analysis of data to help understand online teacher presence, self-perceptions, and experiences of faculty who are teaching online at a large adult learner University. Historically, online programs have been designed to facilitate high quality teaching to an adult learner population by combining elements of both synchronous to an asynchronous instruction. Decades of work on online learning has shown significant learning gains when students learn online. In this study, instructors were asked to describe their online teacher presence and experiences. A total of four focus groups were conducted with 19 faculty participants online using a web based conferencing tool (Zoom) to capture their voices. The transcripts from participants’ comments were analyzed qualitatively using a phenomenological method of inquiry. This analysis resulted in a narrative integration of significant statements, formulated meanings, and a cluster of themes. The themes centered around being present, making a positive impact, establishing connections with students, and related a sense of power through the interactive dynamics. These themes described behaviors that resulted in empowerment of faculty online presence and promoted a pathway to an understanding of teacher presence in online instruction.
Presider: Thomas Francl, National University