Author ORCID Identifier

Date of Award

Fall 1-7-2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Kinesiology and Health

First Advisor

Rachel Gurvitch

Second Advisor

Deborah Shapiro

Third Advisor

Jacalyn Lund

Fourth Advisor

Mike Metzler


Background: During the previous decade, online education has become an increasingly popular form of instruction in higher education and has displayed a greater growth rate. The proliferation of online course delivery demonstrates the undeniable impact that this teaching modality has on the realm of higher education including kinesiology. As educators in the field of kinesiology begin implementing online education in various forms, they face several challenges including technological issues and pedagogical concerns. However, online education currently receives very little attention in kinesiology literature, and discipline-specific online pedagogy is still quite rare.

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to examine online kinesiology courses. The community of inquiry model (CoI; Garrison, Archer, & Anderson, 2000) serves as the theoretical framework for this study. The following research questions guide this study: (a) What are the instructors’ intentions toward successful online teaching? (b) How are the content components organized within the learning management system? and (c) What are students’ perceptions on their online learning experience?

Method: This study adopted a multiple case study approach within a mixed-methods design in order to investigate online kinesiology courses. Six instructors and 79 students who were enrolled in the online courses participated in this study. Data were collected using the community of inquiry survey (Arbaugh et al., 2008), Learning Management System (LMS) analysis, and semi-structured interviews.

Results: According to instructors’ CoI survey scores, the instructional intentions to the aspects of teaching and cognitive presence were high, whereas social presence remained at a low level. Across all six courses, instructors planned for different types of learning activities that initiated a diverse range of students’ engagement levels. According to the LMS analysis, the expository category represents the largest portion of these learning activities followed by the active learning and interactive learning. In terms of student survey results, students expressed a positive learning perception within their online learning experience.

Discussion: This study provides initial evidence to support the need for training and mentoring of higher education professors in designing online instructional settings. It is important for instructors to recognize the value of students’ engagement within their online instructional settings, and design specific expository learning activities that lead to active and interactive learning.


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