Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Gary S. Straquadine


The purpose of this qualitative case study was to examine the experiences of instructional designers and professors during the online course development process and to determine if their experiences had an effect on the process itself. To gain an understanding of their experiences, open-ended interviews were conducted, seeking descriptions of participants’ interactions with project partners and their perspectives on technical aspects and current best practice guidelines. Five instructional designers and five professors from Utah State University (USU) who met selection criteria were purposefully selected and were recommended by an administrator from USU. Instructional designers included one female and four males, ranged from 2 to 6 years of development experience at USU. Professors, all male, had relatively little development experience, ranging from one to five courses, and had at the most, three years of online teaching experience. Data analysis revealed five emergent themes: communication, commitment to quality online courses, commitment to building robust working relationships, mutual respect for one another's time and talents, and satisfaction in working with online course development. Communication was the most prevalent factor identified as having a positive effect on the development process. Lack of time was most prevalent as an impediment to the process. In conclusion, a workplace culture that fostered good experiences and the opportunity to interact in a supportive environment was beneficial to the online course development process. Managers and others involved in the process should be mindful of the workplace culture and consider dedicating effort and resources to preserve its integrity.




This work made publicly available electronically on May 10, 2012.

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