Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ed. D.


Educational Leadership, Evaluation and Organizational Development

Degree Program

Educational Leadership and Organizational Development, EDD

Committee Chair

Ingle, W. Kyle

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Davis, Keith

Committee Member

Davis, Keith

Committee Member

Rivers, Ishwanzya

Committee Member

Wisman, R. Aaron

Author's Keywords

Connectedness; online learning; non-traditional instruction; student connectedness; sense of connectedness


The school setting also has an influence on students' sense of connectedness. Because of the novel coronavirus pandemic, schools across the United States and the world were forced to close in March 2020. The sampled district began the 2020-2021 school year with non-traditional instruction (NTI). With NTI, teachers and students continued academic instruction through an online communication platform such as Zoom, Google Meet, or Microsoft Teams. Researchers and school leaders are uncertain how effective online learning was. Furthermore, minimal research explores the interaction effect between student characteristics (grade level, gender, and race/ethnicity) and their perceived sense of connectedness in a non-traditional online learning. A study analyzing this topic was necessary to understand students’ feelings of connectedness within nontraditional instruction. Accordingly, my research used an adapted version of the Online Student Connectedness Survey (OSCS) to measure student sense of connectedness (Bolliger & Inan, 2012). Additional student-level data were also collected, including student grade level, gender, and race/ethnicity. I used a quantitative design of a factorial Kendra M. Nolan vi ANOVA to determine if there were any statistically significant interaction effects between student characteristics (grade level, gender, and race/ethnicity) and their sense of connectedness in a non-traditional online learning environment. My analysis concluded that grade level nor gender independently were associated with students perceived connectedness during online instruction. Students’ race/ethnicity, however, was associated with their perceived sense of connectedness in an online school setting. Furthermore, gender as a factor by itself did not influence student sense of connectedness. Although, gender associated with grade level or gender associated with race/ethnicity did have an interaction effect on feelings of connectedness.