CEC Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Computing Technology in Education (DCTE)


Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences


Gertrude W Abramson

Committee Member

Marilyn Olander

Committee Member

Helen St. Aubin


The enormous growth of online learning creates the need to develop a set of standards and guidelines for fully online programs. While many guidelines do exist, web-based programs still fall short in the recognition, adoption, or the implementation of these standards. One consequence is the high attrition rates associated with web-based distance learning programs. This poor outcome has a negative impact on the perceived quality of these programs which in turn limits the resources that are made available to academic institutions for implementation. Faculty plays a significant role in this dilemma. While academic administrators strive to enhance their online offerings for a number of reasons, faculty are faced with a number of barriers that deter them from adapting to this mode of delivery.

This report outlines how an in-depth analysis of these barriers was carried out. A mixed research synthesis design approach known as metasummary was used to synthesize the quantitative, qualitative, and mixed research studies that address the issue. The outcome of the synthesis was a set of solutions and recommendations that can be used to increase faculty buy-in and ownership of online learning. Regulatory bodies responsible for accrediting distance programs can benefit from these recommendations by including specific guidelines that explicitly consider the level of faculty satisfaction as a measurement of effectiveness when evaluating fully online programs.

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