Date of Award

Summer 7-25-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Phillip Pendley, EdD

Second Advisor

Tod Burnett, EdD,

Third Advisor

George Giokaris, EdD


Purpose. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to discover what collaborative instructional, content specific, and social interaction learning strategies online community college instructors perceive to be most effective in helping students succeed.

Methodology. Data were collected through interviews and review of artifacts. The target population consisted of online community college instructors in southern California. Twelve participants from three community colleges were chosen using both criterion and convenience sampling procedures.

Findings. Most online community college instructors apply a variety of collaborative instructional strategies through shared discussions, relevant group projects for content specific learning, and community building interaction between instructor and students and among students aiming to effectively increase student success.

Conclusions. The participants in this study concurred that collaborative instructional, content-specific learning, and instructor-student and student-student collaboration were effective tools to increase student success. Although participants reported using various methods of collaboration, data collected demonstrated collaboration beyond personal introductions and discussions of content was constrained by student preparedness, limited motivation to work with others, and lack of experience using collaborative technology.

Recommendations. Although the research revealed online faculty used collaborative instructional strategies and perceived them to be an effective tool to help students succeed, it was apparent more work needs to be done to facilitate collaboration and strengthen the concept of learning communities. Faculty training for online instructors should no longer be left to trial and error, but formal training programs on the value and implementation of collaboration need to be strengthened. Study data showed facilitating collaboration, particularly in group projects and content discussions, was a challenge for most faculty due to varying degrees of student preparedness and the need for better collaboration technology tools.