Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Silber, Kenneth H.

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Educational Technology, Research and Assessment


Distance education--United States--Public opinion; Universities and colleges--United States--Faculty--Attitudes


This dissertation evaluated the factors associated with faculty members’ perceptions, resistance, and expectations associated with distance education. The theories utilized to collect and analyze the data were diffusion of innovation, motivation theory, and human performance theory. Nine universities participated in the research. The primary objectives of this study were to discover the factors which determine why a faculty member does or does not participate in distance education and to determine what type of adopter defined a faculty member’s role in distance education. Eight factors were identified: faculty satisfaction/intrinsic motivation, technology assistance/support, communication, distance education ease, technology training, reaching students, extrinsic motivations, and quality. This study shows that faculty members have a positive attitude toward distance education yet are not ready to be active participants in distance education. As far as Rogers diffusion of innovation adopters, early adopters and laggards were the largest participators in distance education. Laggards being participants in distance education was an unexpected finding. This study also revealed that a faculty member’s performance was more valuable than extrinsic motivators. Furthermore, the data revealed faculty satisfaction/intrinsic motivation was the number one factor that would motivate a faculty to participate in distance education.


Includes bibliographical references (pages 91-96).


vii, 141 pages




Northern Illinois University

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