Date of Award

Fall 11-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Dr. Joseph Alsobrook

Second Advisor

Dr. Katherine Herrell

Third Advisor

Dr. Kevin Winslow


Background: Online learning is now at the forefront of education, making a college degree more accessible than ever before. With online enrollments at an all-time high, quality instruction is essential to the sustainability of the institution and ultimately affects student enrollment and retention. Research exists on the effectiveness of syllabus design and the use of inventories, but the gap in the existing literature lies in combining the two. Purpose: The purpose of this mixed methods study was to analyze possible relationships between syllabus design and student achievement, student engagement, student satisfaction, faculty instruction, and faculty satisfaction. Research Design: An Online Syllabus Inventory (OSI) was developed as an evaluative and instructional tool and served as the independent variable for syllabus design between administration of control and experimental courses. Data Collection and Analysis: This mixed methods study synthesized quantitative and qualitative data gathered from 28 online courses and 379 students. Data sources included student analytics from a learning management system, course evaluations from a student information system, and feedback from study participants. Findings: In the domain of student achievement, a significant difference was found between two control and experimental courses. In the domain of student engagement, a significant difference was found in six courses. Among the sample, course-level factors were found to be significantly different in the domain of student satisfaction. No significant difference was found among instructor-level factors.


Copyright 2018