Date of Award

Spring 2-2-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Tamerin Capellino, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

Michele Barr, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Jeffery Lee, Ed.D.


Purpose: Online physical education (OLPE) is a burgeoning field with questions and disadvantages that need to be addressed for its continued growth. With out-of-date guidelines and best practice not established for OLPE, curricula are being designed and developed without consistency. Current standards are needed to assess the design of OLPE to ensure that courses meet state and/or national standards, and quality guidelines in the online environment. The purpose of this qualitative study was to identify and describe the best practices used in the design and development of high school OLPE curricula based on the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) National Standards for Quality Online Courses, as reported by OLPE curriculum design experts.

Methodology: This phenomenological qualitative study collected data using interviews of 13 OLPE curriculum design experts throughout the United States. Semi-structured interviews aligned to the iNACOL National Standards for Quality Online Courses were utilized for this study. Artifacts were also collected to add to the qualitative data. After the data were collected and transcribed, the coding process began and themes were identified and legitimized.

Findings: The study revealed 21 best practices used in the design and selection of content, instructional design, assessments, technology integration, evaluating effectiveness, and teacher and student support of high school OLPE curriculum based on the iNACOL National Standards for Quality Online Courses.

Conclusions: By identifying the best practices associated with the design and development of high school OLPE curriculum, curriculum designers have a starting point for developing courses that are equivalent to and superior to face-to-face high school physical education courses.

Recommendations: Further research is recommended to replicate this study utilizing a quantitative method to further validate this study’s findings and add to the sparse literature regarding best practice for high school OLPE curriculum.