Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Instructional Technology and Educational Studies

Major Professor

Edward L. Counts, Jr.

Committee Members

John R. Ray, Laverne B. Lindsey, Carol Tenopir


Online learning has become an ever-increasing means of acquiring knowledge. As educational institutions worldwide are trying to keep pace with the demand, faculty is being urged or mandated to move their curriculum online.

This research addressed selected factors involved in developing quality and effective instruction and how these factors can be applied to the development of quality learning modules that are usable and effective in online teaching and learning. Specific emphasis was given to the pedagogical, instructional design, and developmental support issues involved in developing online learning modules.

Online learning modules (11) submitted in fulfillment of the Innovative Technology Center's 2001 Teaching with Technology Grant were evaluated on quality, usability, and potential effectiveness as a teaching tool. Independent reviewers were in agreement that overall, the modules met the criteria for being quality, and usable online learning modules. However, the reviewers agreed that six (55%) modules did not meet the criteria for potential effectiveness as a teaching tool. In fact, the reviewers were in agreement on the recommendation of only four (36%) modules as effective teaching tools. The developers' agreed as well that overall, their modules rated lower (satisfactory) on potential effectiveness than quality or usability.

Recommendations on factors to consider in developing online learning modules are provided. There are also recommendations for further research.

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