The making of an exemplary online educator

Margaret Edwards, Beth Perry, Katherine Janzen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


What does it take to be an effective online educator? Can those who teach successfully face-to-face be equally effective online? This article details a descriptive qualitative research study of students' perspectives regarding qualities of exceptional online educators. Participants described interactions they had with online teachers they considered exemplary. Thematic analysis reveals qualities of exemplary online teachers. The article compares findings on excellence in online teaching with findings from an earlier study focused on exemplary face-to-face educators. Similarities and differences between exemplary online teachers and exemplary face-to-face teachers are explored. Findings reveal exemplary online and face-to-face teachers challenge and affirm learners, establish clear classroom presence, and are persons of influence. The findings inform online teachers. Questions for further research are suggested.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-118
Number of pages18
JournalDistance Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - May 2011


  • Distance education
  • Exemplary online education
  • Online presence
  • Online teaching
  • Persons of influence


Dive into the research topics of 'The making of an exemplary online educator'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this