Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)




James H Stronge

Committee Member

Peggie M Constantino

Committee Member

Tom J Ward


Technology development is shifting teaching modality and online education has become a normal teaching mode. This shift informed teachers of changes in instructional planning. To help teachers better understand planning for online instruction, this study investigates Mid-Atlantic State Virtual Program K-12 teachers’ online instructional planning beliefs and practices through a sequential explanatory mixed method. A total of 73 teachers participated in the survey, and 15 were interviewed. Through descriptive statistical analysis and thematic analysis, this study reveals that (1) eight elements are identified as key elements to online instructional planning. Among them, six align with the framework used in this study. Engagement and time are two newly found elements. (2) Most teachers prioritize content design, learning activities and/or teaching strategies, and communication and/or interaction over learning tools and media, learner analysis, and assessment and/or evaluation. However, they use all six elements regularly in their planning. (3) There are no statistically significant differences among teachers with different online teaching experiences in prioritizing or the frequency of using the six identified elements. (4) High school teachers place less importance on content design than middle and elementary teachers. High school teachers also attach less importance to learner analysis than elementary school teachers. (5) Online instructional planning differs from face-to-face planning in many aspects. This study discusses many challenges to teaching online. Teachers who participated in this study suggest that new online teachers be prepared for online instruction with appropriate dispositions, knowledge, and skills. In addition, administrators should play an essential role in supporting teachers.



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