The Experience of A First-time Online Cultural Studies Instructor: A Case Study

Esther Smidt, Michelle McGowan, Timothy Kochem, Maria Van Liew


With enrollment in online courses continuing to rise, student learning and satisfaction have become the focus of a growing body of research. However, the first-time online instructor experience has not been as widely investigated. This study examines the experience of Pamela, a first-time online Cultural Studies instructor, through a series of interviews conducted throughout the semester in order to track her progression at four points in the semester. It also seeks to determine what factors the first-time online instructor perceives to have the greatest impact on course creation and teaching strategies, namely the nature of the Cultural Studies course as implemented online, Pamela’s digital immigrant mindset and growth throughout the semester, best practices and constraints in distance education, and the results of best practice.


first-time; online instructor; Cultural Studies; case study

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