Exploring the Experiences of Online Instructors Long-Term Instructor Study

About the study

Oregon State Ecampus partners with nearly 1,000 OSU faculty. We interviewed a sample of 105 of these instructors to explore their experiences and motivations for teaching online. Our first phase of this project included conducting three one-hour interviews with 33 instructors who have taught online at Oregon State for 10 years or more. The results revealed their professional development stories, teaching and course development practices, and attitudes and beliefs about online learning.

Phase One
Interviewed faculty who have taught online 10+ years

Preliminary results

Learn more

Wisdom from longtime instructors

“Sometimes students are seeing us on the other side of the screen as a blank slate for their fears and projections of their most scary professor figure. And I know that if we do not insert a warm and caring tone in our email consciously, it will not come through.”

“I just think time management is something that's really, really important. You could easily get sucked into checking in on your course and doing stuff 24 hours a day. That's just not healthy.”

“I think one skill is to be able to write succinctly and coherently. You're giving a lot of instructions…in writing, and if people are in different places and different times, [you] really need to have those written so that they're understandable.”

“I see online teaching as the antidote to urban and rural inequities… an antidote to ageism… an antidote to gender [inequity]… Single moms can now go to school and experience their social mobility… But there are some inequities. There is still an issue of financial access, but before [online learning], the financial burdens would be higher.”

Statistics from the study

Average years of teaching among interviewees
Minutes of
interview audio
Pages of interview transcripts

This study was conducted by the Oregon State University Ecampus Research Unit director Dr. Mary Ellen Dello Stritto and postdoctoral scholar Dr. Rebecca Thomas.

For press inquiries, please contact Tyler Hansen.