Date of Award


Degree Name

EdD Doctor of Education


administrators, Delphi study, higher education, instructional design, online curriculum, online graduate business learning environments, pedagogy, professors


Many higher education institutions have decided to offer graduate business online courses and full degree online programs. Offering a quality education for graduate business students online is of concern to business school professors, administrators, and students. Instructors are concerned with the content, delivery method, and level of student achievement. Instructional design support for the online instructors is often lacking in the online curriculum and pedagogy, leaving the faculty with a great deal of freedom to create their own course content, structure, and delivery without any formal distance education training. For this reason, it is imperative for universities to establish online best practices guidelines. This study examined the pedagogical beliefs and best practices of professors who are considered experts in the field of teaching in online graduate business programs. The panel was composed of thirty-six business professors from various AACSB accredited universities who have taught online graduate business courses. The Delphi method was employed to examine the study’s research questions given that the subjects were geographically dispersed across three countries. Iterative questioning allowed professors to give meaningful input on pedagogical best practices for online teaching; the anonymity afforded by the method enabled leaders to freely express their perspectives. Data collected indicated that professors who teach online need support from a central location on their campus so that they can master the technology provided to them by the university, and more importantly, learn the pedagogical principles of teaching online. There was a clear consensus that incentives to professors and a top-down commitment would encourage faculty to discuss online pedagogy with their colleagues, but also design, develop and implement more online graduate business courses. Professors identified what they believed to be the ideal number of students for an online graduate business course, and set forth guidelines for building rapport with students and for electronic mail correspondence with students. Findings also included the most ineffective pedagogical principles that professors employ when teaching online.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access