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Sage, guide, both, or even more? An examination of instructor activity in online MBA courses

Computers & Education Volume 55, Number 3, ISSN 0360-1315 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


This study examined faculty characteristics and behaviors in 46 MBA courses conducted over a two-year period. We found that both formal instructor activities, referred to in the online learning literature as teaching presence, and informal instructor activities, known as immediacy behaviors, were positive predictors of student perceived learning and satisfaction with the educational delivery medium. We also found that instructor login intensity, the average amount of time spent per login session, was a negative predictor of perceived learning. Collectively, these findings suggest the need for instructors to structure and organize their courses beforehand so they can focus on efficient engagement with their students while the class is in session. Although teaching presence and instructor immediacy were significant predictors of delivery medium satisfaction, they explained only 6% of the variance. This finding should help instructors avoid taking unnecessary responsibility for students’ attitudes toward online learning. The paper concludes with a discussion of implications for training of online instructors and the appropriate use of multilevel analytical tools in online learning and education research.


Arbaugh, J.B. (2010). Sage, guide, both, or even more? An examination of instructor activity in online MBA courses. Computers & Education, 55(3), 1234-1244. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved April 16, 2021 from .

This record was imported from Computers & Education on January 30, 2019. Computers & Education is a publication of Elsevier.

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