The purpose of this phenomenological study was to understand how experienced higher education faculty conceptualize authenticity in teaching. A second purpose of the study explored how faculty communicate authenticity in teaching in the online classroom through course design. Related to communicating authenticity through course design, this study explored how faculty use engagement tools and strategies in the online classroom. The overarching research question for this study was "How do faculty communicate their humanness in an online course?" The study was conducted at a State College in the Southeastern United States. Using semi-structured interviews and art-based inquiry, this study considered authenticity in teaching through the lens of person-centered learning and course design through the Community of Inquiry framework. This study found that experienced online faculty conceptualized authenticity from a professional and personal perspective as driven by a genuine concern for the learner. Carl Rogers' theory of person-centered learning, as related to conditions for the educator, emerged throughout the thematic analysis of the data. Faculty reported various ways of communicating authenticity through course design. Faculty found the Learning Management System (LMS) to be robust and expressed an aversion to adopting Web 2.0 tools external to the LMS. Finally, though not related to the research question driving this study, faculty discussed the immense time and energy required to design and facilitate an engaging online classroom. Implications for practice include purposeful faculty development initiatives that support person-centered online course design and institutional support for the faculty and the learner.
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Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
College of Community Innovation and Education
Educational Leadership and Higher Education
Educational Leadership; Higher Education Track
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Campus-only Access)
Lipsey, Jessica, "The Authentic Online Teacher: A Phenomenological Exploration of Faculty Experiences with Online Course Design" (2021). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 896.