Date of Award



© 2019 Ruth Chisum

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Ann Burch

Second Advisor

Angela Young

Third Advisor

Brian Loft


A critical component in the successful implementation of online education hinges on providing faculty development opportunities that promote the utilization of pedagogical best practices in online teaching. While such training programs are on the rise, institutions are no closer to a universal consensus on how to design and evaluate such efforts. Historically, the success of faculty development programs has been measured via post-completion satisfaction surveys, attendance counts, and faculty perceptions of the usefulness of the content immediately following a training event. However, such metrics rarely provide an accurate measurement of the true efficacy of training, which in the context of online faculty development, points to the adoption of pedagogical best practices in online teaching. There is a clear call in the literature for institutions and faculty developers to adopt evidence-based models in faculty training to identify the strategies that work best. To that end, the purpose of this study was to document how a higher education institution implemented an evidence-based faculty development program for online teaching. The researcher mounted the investigation on a case study framework and centered the lens on the training developers who lent first-hand accounts of their experiences when implementing an evidence-based model. This study explored how the evidence-based program was designed, the factors that led to its implementation, the reported enablers and barriers to its deployment, the role of instructional designers in the program, and the institutional conditions perceived by participants to support the implementation. Data was collected through document analysis and through one-on-one interviews with trainers and middle-managers. The study revealed that traditional methods used to measure training programs (satisfaction surveys, participation counts) were insufficient in providing verification of learning, and that training developers viewed deeper, and more sophisticated methods of program evaluation as desirable. However, training developers also reported concern in regards to the scalability of evidence-based models in higher education and they perceived certain institutional conditions as enablers and barriers. The study also explored the role of the instructional designers as supporters of the learning experience. The researcher suggested several key areas for future investigations to continue to build upon the growing body of knowledge as it relates to supporting faculty teaching online.


Ed.D. Dissertation