Liu, et al., “Exploring Four Dimensions of Online Instructor Roles: A Program Level Case Study”

Liu, Xiaojing, Curt J. Bonk, Richard J. Magjukia, Seung-hee Lee, and Bude Su, “Exploring Four Dimensions of Online Instructor Roles: A Program Level Case Study.”  Online Learning Journal, vol. 9, no. 4 (December 2005), 29-48.

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to understand the practice of online facilitation in a Midwestern university which has a highly successful traditional MBA program. This study explored the instructors’ perceptions regarding four dimensions of instructor roles using Berge’s [1] classifications: pedagogical, managerial, social, and technical. This study also examined the challenges and issues confronting online instructors when fulfilling these roles. The results suggest that instructors carried out several important roles to varying degrees. The findings reveal a stronger emphasis on the pedagogical roles (course designer, profession-inspirer, feedback-giver, and interaction-facilitator). Emphasizing those roles, the instructors promote three types of interactions: student-content, student-student, and student-teacher. A lesser emphasis on social roles represented mixed feelings regarding its importance to the instructors. While students rated the instructors very positively, the results also indicate that instructors still need to have their roles transformed pedagogically, socially, and technologically if they are to establish a more engaging and fruitful environment for online learning.

The article is available here:

Or, here: v9n4_liu_1

Rick W. Burkett runs the John A. Logan College Teaching and Learning Center, teaches history, and heads an educational nonprofit. He publishes blogs on a wide variety of topics, including history, teaching and learning, student success, and teaching online.
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