Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ded)


Professional Studies in Education

First Advisor

Douglas Lare, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

George Bieger, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

David Rheinheimer, Ed.D.

Fourth Advisor

Keith Vanic, Ph.D.


Historically, courses offered at institutions of higher education took place within the confines of brick and mortar classrooms. Over time, opportunities to enroll in distance education courses through higher educational institutions have been available in many different formats; however, the most recent is online instruction and online learning. Online instruction requires a different type of preparation than traditional face-to-face instruction. It requires varied instructional, technological, and pedagogical tools. It has been found that little or no effective training is provided for instructors to teach online courses at the higher education level, and therefore instructors proceed to teach in a similar manner as a face-to-face classroom course, or in the way they were instructed as students. One of the flaws in online education is that instructors do not know how to be supportive of student engagement because of the limited pedagogical knowledge the instructors have of how to create an engaging online course as well as limited knowledge of the integration of technology. This research study includes surveying and interviewing instructors teaching an online graduate education course at an institution of higher education. This research will fill the gap in the literature that exists in regard to the training of online graduate education instructors as well as the instructors' perception of that training. A non-random mixed methods approach was utilized to examine the training online graduate education instructors receive prior to teaching an online course. It includes qualitative and quantitative components to measure the data received from the surveys and the interviews. Instructors who teach online graduate education courses at the three institutions of higher education were invited to participate in the study via email. The surveys were emailed to the sample population. The survey inquired about participation in an interview. Ten percent of those respondents who were interested in participating in an interview were contacted and interviews were scheduled. The analysis of the data identifies the instructors' training, comfort level, and perceived skill level of the participants to instruct in an online environment.