An Examination of the Relationship Between Online Class Size and Instructor Performance

Chris Sorensen, Ashford University, San Diego, California, USA


With no physical walls, the online classroom has the potential to house a large number of students. A concern by some is what happens to the quality of instruction in courses with high enrollments. The purpose of this research was to examine online class size and its relationship to, and potential influence on, an instructor’s performance. Results were mixed indicating that class size had a positive relationship with some the variables meant to measure online instructor performance and a negative relationship with others. Online class size was seen as having the most concerning relationship and potential influence on an instructor’s ability to provide quality feedback to students and for his/her expertise to be used consistently and effectively.


Online class size, Instructor performance, quality instruction, online learning, higher education

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