Journal on Empowering Teaching Excellence


Online education is increasing as a solution to manage increasing enrollment numbers at higher education institutions. Intentionally and thoughtfully constructed courses allow students to improve performance through practice and self-assessment and instructors benefit from improving consistency in providing content and assessing process, performance, and progress.

The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of student to instructor interaction on the student’s perception of quality for an online course. “Does increased online interaction between instructors and students positively affect a student’s perception of quality for an online course?”

The study included over 1200 courses over a three year time period in a public, degree-granting higher education institution. The top two findings of the case study included an overall linear relationship between interactions per student and overall perception of quality in addition to a statistically significant relationship between interactions per student and quality-of-course scoring by students using linear regression with fixed effects for colleges. These findings were significant at the 99% level.

The implications resulting from this study, based on the data, can be used by administrators and faculty to create high-quality online courses providing students a sense of belonging in an online learning environment.