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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Emotional Challenges of Teaching Online
by Sonnenberg, Danielle, Ph.D., Fielding Graduate University, 2021, 112; 28319186
Abstract (Summary)

The popularity of distance learning is increasing at a high rate. In the light of COVID-19, a high number of instructors are being forced to transition to teaching online. While this mode of learning offers convenience and flexibility, it has also increased the difficulty of instructors and students engaging on an emotional level. Teaching is not only based on knowledge and cognition but is also an emotional practice (Hargreaves, 1998). Research on the emotions of instructors is minimal, and even less data exist on the emotions of online instructors. In response, this qualitative study has included 19 participants from a variety of higher education institutions ranging from community college to graduate level. These 19 participants were interviewed over Zoom. Seven themes transpired as an outcome of the interviews: student engagement, emotional connection, unique benefits of online teaching, unique challenges of online teaching, unique challenges of in-person teaching, unique benefits of in-person teaching, and individual preference of medium. Engagement, diversity, emotional connection, the Internet as a unique medium for connection, spontaneity, emotional contagion and personal distress, and preference of medium will be analyzed in the discussion. The findings suggested that emotional connection is possible in the online medium. Instructors just need to use particular techniques to engage with students emotionally. Some of these explicit ways include instructors revealing themselves through sharing information about their personal lives, maintaining consistent contact with students by checking in, asking questions, affirming when they share personal stories, and taking advantage of applications such as Zoom and voiceover capacity in PowerPoint.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Isbouts, Jean-Pierre
Commitee: Rutledge, Pamela B., Guilarte, Miguel G., Mohabir-McKinley, Sandra , Kidd, David
School: Fielding Graduate University
Department: School for Leadership Studies
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 82/8(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Psychology, Education, Educational psychology, Educational technology
Keywords: Emotional labor, Emotional presence, Emotions, Instructors, Online teaching
Publication Number: 28319186
ISBN: 9798582533399
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