Kirwan & Roumell

Building a Conceptual Framework for Online Educator Dispositions

Jeral R. Kirwan, Ashford University, San Diego, California, USA
Elizabeth Anne Roumell, North Dakota State University, Fargo, North Dakota, USA


It has been argued that online instruction is distinctive from the conventional classroom. If an effective online practice is to emerge, the roles, characteristics and dispositions of the educators themselves should be studied more closely. The aim of this paper was to present an online educator dispositions model that addresses the underlying dimensions of the online educator’s dispositions and presence by reviewing and distilling scholarship on effective online instructional practice into a conceptual framework. The framework may be used in developing instruments for self-assessment and evaluation, as well as for research and inquiry into the desirable traits and characteristics of online educators. The presented conceptual framework for online educator dispositions could benefit all who are involved in supporting quality online education, in an effort to develop and impactful online practice that aligns with the corresponding educational needs, services, and resources.


Online educators, online instruction, dispositions, online presence, online educator characteristics

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