Date of Award



© 2016 Henri Moser

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Marylin Newell

Second Advisor

Ella Benson

Third Advisor

Lori Power


This study analyzed the effects of live academic support sessions on online graduate students’ interaction with the course content. This was accomplished through qualitative methods of data collection and analysis. In-depth interviews with eight purposely selected online graduate students provided the textual data. Through a systematic framework analysis of the data garnered through interview, it was found that students did perceive the live interactions as being especially effective in improving their interactions with the course content. Students partially attribute the effectiveness to connections made between the students and university stakeholders. This study also revealed that students recognize initial student distress using new technology can be resolved with guided practice. Also uncovered in this study were the students’ perceptions of staff behaviors and characteristics as being influential in their interactions with the content. Finally, it was discovered that all meeting types (writing support, content tutoring, and learning strategies) were all understood to be valuable from student perspective. The study concluded that live interaction plays a positive role in student interaction with the course content and recommended universities employ live interaction opportunities between their online graduate students and the academic support department.


Ed.D. Dissertation