Faculty Perspectives on Narrowing the Success Gap Between Online and Onsite Learning

By Abour H. Cherif, Farahnaz Movahedzadeh, Gerald Adams, Margaret Martyn, Jennifer D. Harris, Stefanos Gialamas


With growth in enrollment in online courses at the university level, the quality of those courses is coming under increased scrutiny. This study surveyed faculty with experience in online, onsite, and blended courses to identify factors most likely to impede student success in online courses as well as strategies to improve online courses. The most common responses for why students might find online courses more challenging focus in the areas time management, student-teacher interaction, and motivation. The strategies for improving student success in online courses fall into the categories of assignments, teaching strategies, and training for both faculty and students. Steps for students to take before enrolling in an online course and tips for faculty who want to teach online courses for the first time are also included as appendices.