An Analysis of Enhanced Faculty Engagement on Student Success and Satisfaction in an Online Classroom

Mingzhen Bao, Adam L. Selhorst, Teresa Taylor Moore, Andrea Dilworth


Difficulty building meaningful student and instructor relationships can create a challenge for online instructors. A Faculty of Practice (FoP) role was created in a large online university requiring greater faculty engagement to bolster student achievement. This study examined the impact of the FoP role on student success and satisfaction over a 6-month period. The position emphasized an increased engagement through enhanced personalized learning, subject-matter expertise, discipline mentoring, and community building. The increased engagement was promoted through requirements mandating a consistent presence in the classroom, personalized email interactions with students prior to course start, promotion and instruction of material through individual conferences, outreach to students with late or missing assignments, and weekly office hours including video conference options. None of these requirements are mandated for Associate Faculty (AF) teaching the courses. Data on student success included an analysis of student GPA, pass rates, completion rates, and progression to next course rates for FoP and AF courses. Student satisfaction was evaluated through the analysis of Student End-of-course Surveys (EoCS). Student data showed a significant increase in student GPA with the FoP when compared to AF courses. No differences were seen in pass, completion, or progression rates. Increase in student satisfaction for FoP courses as measured by EoCS was seen upon comparison with AF. Students noted a greater connection with the FoP and indicated stronger relationships with the FoP. Based on the analysis, we conclude the FoP role has the potential to improve student success and satisfaction in the online classroom.

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International Journal of Contemporary Education

ISSN 2575-3177 (Print)   ISSN 2575-3185 (Online)

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