Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.

Department (Legacy)

Department of Leadership, Foundations, and Human Resource Education

Committee Chair

Rude-Parkins, Carolyn

Author's Keywords

Development time; Online; Postsecondary instruction; Distance education; Course development


Computer-assisted instruction--Planning; Universities and colleges--Technological innovations; Distance education


This study focused on the development and validation of a web-based survey instrument designed to measure faculty perceptions on the importance of 24 variables that contribute to the facilitation of online postsecondary course development. It builds on the work of Lee (2001, 2002) and Easton (2003) who also investigated the faculty perceptions of the importance of specific variables in the development and delivery on online postsecondary education. Knowing which variables contribute most to online course development is important because it helps faculty members estimate the time needed to develop particular courses by considering which variables apply to their situation; and it helps administrators make informed decisions about support for variables that facilitate online course development. Because there was no validated instrument that measured the importance of these specific variables, faculty and administrators often addressed the issues above using only anecdotal data. The research questions addressed in this study were: (1) which variables have been researched in connection with online postsecondary instruction; and (2) which of those variables are most relevant to facilitating the development of online postsecondary course materials? Online postsecondary instruction is defined by the Kentucky Virtual University (KYVU) as courses that have 70% or more of their instructional content on the Internet; and facilitate is defined by Merriam-Webster Online (2004) as "to make easier or to help bring about." The development and validation of the survey instrument was a four-step process: (1) using a literature search to identify independent variables connected with online postsecondary instruction, (2) using an expert panel to identify which variables were most relevant to the issue of facilitating online postsecondary course development and to establish face validity, (3) developing an online survey instrument to measure faculty perceptions of the importance of 24 independent variables that facilitate the development of online postsecondary courses, and (4) validating the survey instrument using factor analysis to identify the latent structure (dimensions) of the 24 independent variables (Garson, 2004), and Cronbach's alpha to estimate the reliability of data (Shifflett, 2004). The alpha was .8898, and 21 of the 24 variables loaded onto six factors that presented as logical categories. Three variables overlapped several factors, but no variables failed to load on a factor.