Scott Greenberger, Grand Canyon University, Phoenix, Arizona, USA
Research exists that applies the dualistic model of passion to face-to-face teaching, but no research has applied this model to online instruction. Distance education theories imply a need to discover factors contributing to online faculty motivation to engage students. Although there has been extensive exploration of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation to teach online, factors contributing to consistent and optimal teaching behavior has received less attention. There is evidence that the passion construct is independent of both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. A stratified random sample of online and face-to-face faculty (n = 92) were surveyed using the Passion Scale. The results showed that 95 percent of the sampled online faculty self-identified as passionate for their online instruction. In the between-groups analysis, there were no significant differences in the variables of passion orientation, harmonious passion, and obsessive passion by modality. This research provides a basis for future research of passion in online instruction. In addition, this study adds another dimension for research within distance education theory, providing increased evidence for what motivates online instructors to consistently and effectively engage students.