Date of Award:

8-2020

Document Type:

Dissertation

Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department:

Education

Committee

Ryan Knowles

Committee

Robert Wagner

Committee

Amy Piotrowski

Abstract

This multiple paper dissertation addresses the importance of improving student success in online higher education programs by providing support for instructors. The autonomy-supportive structures to improve instructional practice are explained through three main domains, including instructional development, instructional design, and instructional practice. The first paper addresses instructional leadership with the theoretical foundations and practical considerations necessary for instructional leaders. Recommendations are made to use microcredentials or digital badges to scaffold programming using self-determination theory. The second paper addresses the importance of instructional design in improving instructional practice including the intentionality involved in implementing a gamification strategy to improve online student motivation. The third paper addresses instructional practice with a mixed-method sequential explanatory case study. Using the community of inquiry framework, this paper explains intentional course design, course facilitation, and student perceptions of the digital powerups strategy. The conclusion considers implications for practice and the need for instructional leaders to scaffold an architecture of engagement to support instructors and improve student success.

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892f8d5653499b8807cc81df7336feda

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