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Health Education and Promotion


Carol Spaulding


The need to make quick transitions online due to COVID-19 challenged many Health Education and Promotion (HEP) faculty to identify how to create quality online HEP courses. A review of the literature identified the need for qualitative research on the quality of online courses from the faculty’s perspective. The purpose of this general qualitative study was to explore the perceptions and experiences of HEP faculty at multiple universities, in terms of the organization and facilitation of their online courses, communication between instructor and student, and assessment of students. The community of inquiry (COI) framework, which evaluates the teaching, social, and cognitive presence in online classes, provided the conceptual framework for this study. The sample included 10 online HEP instructors from eight different universities. An online COI survey completed prior to individual interviews provided descriptive statistics that were used to form the individual interviews. The result of the study indicated that social presence was the most vital component when creating an online class; however, it was also the area that needed the most improvement. Additionally, participants asserted that it is essential that faculty members receive professional development and training before transitioning to online platforms and further, there is also a need for support after transitioning. The results of this study could have a positive social change at the organizational level of universities’ HEP programs by suggesting resources to faculty to develop high-quality online courses and providing the support they need to transition from face-to-face to online, even if it is a quick transition.