The making of an exemplary online educator

Margaret Edwards, Beth Perry, Katherine Janzen

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

    49 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


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