Date of Award

Spring 4-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Dr. Jason Lively

Second Advisor

Elizabeth Killingbeck-Pratte

Third Advisor

Dr. Yu Gu


The purpose of this mixed-method study was to discover the best practices of online education in Southwestern China in order to improve the quality of online education in the region. The Chinese overall higher education online courses and programs are continuously expanding (Chou & Lu, 2013). However, the Chinese southwest region’s online education was still in its initial stages, which lacks research and reports regarding regional online education development. This study is innovative research essential to assist in online education development in Southwestern China. The researcher conducted this study at four universities that reflected the local culture. According to Baghdad (2011), Jackson and Helms (2008), and Merrill (2003), online education needs the involvement of stakeholders, including faculty, staff members, administrators, and students. The researcher used quantitative and qualitative methods to evaluate the perceptions of existing online education from faculty, staff members, school administrators, and students, due to a lack of related research existing in the region. This mixed-method investigation of online education investigated online education stakeholders’ perceptions to determine the level of development of online education in the region. The researcher also referred to the existing literature and combined practices with online learning experiences in the United States to make best practice recommendations for online education in Southwestern China. The researcher collected a significant amount of online survey data and interview responses, and the research results were valid and reliable. The results from the four universities were reliable, and the suggestions for online education in this research are generalizable in Southwestern China iv and other frontier areas worldwide that have minorities, lower-income, and insufficient online resources. Keywords: Online education, Southwestern China, Higher Education, Initial Stage, Online Resource Insufficient


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