Online courses: A framework
This dissertation has two main purposes: 1) the introduction and application of a framework of online education that includes both the student and instructional perspectives during course implementation 2) to find validation for the framework using three separate studies: a detailed study of variables in online education and higher education literature; a course case study; and 15 student cases. In addition to addressing the experiences of four main actors (institution, instructor, media, and student) in the course, the theory proposed here makes a connection between many areas of online education literature that had previously been somewhat disparate. This connection is important because it allows for a broader perspective for a more holistic understanding of the issues in online courses. This broader perspective should help researchers and educators communicate not only what they are focusing their research and instruction on but also what is periphery. The studies analyzed whether the proposed f ramework accurately reflects the literature, a course case study, and 15 student cases. When it does not, this dissertation modified the framework to better reflect the results of these studies.