Campus Location

Dallas Campus (Online)

Date of Award


Document Type



Organizational Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Committee Chair or Primary Advisor

Leah Wickersham-Fish

Second Committee Member or Secondary Advisor

Christie Bledsoe

Third Committee Member or Committee Reader

Julie McElhany


This research provided a detailed description of the researcher’s experience as an online instructor who faced increasing demands while trying to maintain instructional effectiveness. This account provided online program directors who sought to balance instructor satisfaction, accreditation standards, and financial pressures with insight into the impact of class size choices on instructor behavior in the online classroom. A qualitative autoethnographic method was used to understand the nature of the connection between class size and instructor use of instructional posts and to identify factors that influence the way instructors participate in online discussions. The autoethnographic genre of qualitative research allowed the researcher to create a compelling narrative that can inform the experiences of readers. Although the demands faced by instructors at different institutions will vary, the introspection required by the autoethnographic approach creates an understanding of the phenomenon that is credible and valid. The sample for this study was the researcher’s experience as an instructor at one university. A review of artifacts such as email, discussion posts, workplace calendar, a personal journal, and professional development logs and personal experience was used to generate a researcher journal. The researcher journal was used as a mechanism for identifying pertinent themes.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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