Date of Conferral







Deanne Otto


Quality online course design requires course designers to make carefully informed decisions based on current resources and considerations for the learner. Some faculty at historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) design online learning without the assistance of instructional designers, training, or a technological infrastructure that supports online learning. To date, there is a shortage of scholarly research about how HBCU faculty design online courses and what supports or barriers exist for them. Thus, this basic qualitative research study aimed to understand faculty’s online course design experiences at HBCUs. Instructional design, adult learning theory, and the HBCU context formed the conceptual framework and influenced the research questions. Semistructured, open-ended interviews were conducted with nine HBCU faculty who had participated in an online course design project, followed by open coding and thematic analysis. Four common themes emerged from the interviews: macrolevel factors, collaboration and experience, time and tools, and student-centered design. All themes highlighted the considerations unique to HBCUs but are also similar to broader online learning contexts. This study extends the educational technology and design field of research and may contribute to positive social change by helping faculty and administration consider the influences and resources needed for designing online learning for nontraditional diverse online learner populations. As institutions address concerns faculty observe as risks to student success in online learning, students can receive a higher quality education.