Date of Award

Summer 8-1-2021

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Interdisciplinary Studies and Professional Development

Committee Chair

Dr. Jon Beedle

Committee Chair School

Interdisciplinary Studies and Professional Development

Committee Member 2

Dr. Kyna Shelley

Committee Member 2 School


Committee Member 3

Dr. Tom Hutchinson

Committee Member 4

Dr. Holly Foster

Committee Member 4 School



This study investigated the effectiveness of office hours conducted within online classes and created a framework for instructors to use when adapting office hours, office hours structures, and office hours procedures for online educational environments. A mixed-method approach using a sequential explanatory design was used to first gather quantitative information concerning student perception and use of office hour within online classes and student interaction preferences within online classes. This information was then used to in the development of a framework base the ARCS Model of Motivational Design and Social Information Processing Theory for instructors to use when planning and implementing office hours within their online classes. The second part of the research methodology, a qualitative approach, used a case-study approach and a semi-structured interview protocol to evaluate the effectiveness of the framework implemented by an instructor within an online class. This evaluation focused on how effectively the framework addressed student barriers to attending office hours within online classes and how the framework increased the effectiveness of student-instructor interaction within online office hours sessions.

The findings of the study showed online students experience similar barriers to attending office hours as face-to-face students. The findings showed how online students are different than face-to-face students and new barriers appeared that were not found in prior office hours research. The findings showed how barriers could be organized by source type, which can make addressing student barriers easier for instructors and instructional designers. The findings showed the framework was useful in addressing student barriers to office hour attendance, motivating students to attend office hours, and motivating students to interact with their instructors. And, the findings showed the use of the framework by instructors increase instructor enjoyment of office hours and benefited other areas within an online course.

Implications and recommendations for future research are discussed in attrition to the findings and the benefits provided by the framework and the use of the framework within online classes.