Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Abraham S. Fischler College of Education


John Kellmayer

Committee Member

Karen Bowser


APA and grammar, faculty perceptions, healthcare graduate students, nursing faculty, online learning, writing skills


This applied dissertation was designed to understand and explore common faculty perceptions of why some faculty engage their online healthcare graduate students who are deficient in writing skills to improve and what interventions they used. This study utilized a case study qualitative approach to collect and analyze the data. This study explored online faculty perceptions of online graduate healthcare students writing deficiencies, exploring how they defined it, what beliefs and motivations underlie their decision to engage these students in the improvement of their writing skills, and what interventions they used to address this problem in an online learning environment.

The participants in this study consisted of online faculty experienced in teaching online healthcare graduate students. The faculty participants were from two regionally accredited universities that predominantly provide healthcare based degrees including nursing, healthcare administration, and public health. The different locations, degree credentials, and healthcare programs utilized in this study allowed the researcher to create commonality between responses and the data reviewed to explore common faculty perceptions of online graduate healthcare students writing issues.

This study findings revealed that online faculty perceived the most prevalent writing problems of online graduate healthcare students to consist of grammar, writing structure, and APA issues. This study also revealed that online faculty perceived that providing detailed feedback to students on written submissions as the most effective means to help improve online graduate healthcare students writing problems, and escalating to one-on-one synchronous interventions to engage further students in improving as needed. Based on these findings higher education institutions are recommended to provide online faculty training specific to detailed feedback on written assignments, additional options for one-on-one synchronous student support on writing improvement, and enhancing student accountability for using faculty feedback provided to improve their writing skills.