Term of Award

Spring 2014

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Curriculum Studies (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Curriculum, Foundations, and Reading

Committee Chair

Hsiu-Lien Lu

Committee Member 1

Judith Repman

Committee Member 2

Delores Liston

Committee Member 3

Cheryl Aasheim

Committee Member 3 Email



The purpose of this study was to investigate and understand how middle-grades teachers describe the transition from brick and mortar to online teaching of middle-grades students. A qualitative, descriptive case study design provided the framework for this study. An investigation into the lived experiences of a group of online middle-grades instructors making the transition from a traditional classroom setting to an online environment was conducted using interviews and online journaling.

The questions guiding this study were (a) How does a middle-grade teacher describe the transition from brick and mortar to online teaching of middle-grades learners? (b) What do middle-school teachers recognize as being the most important characteristics, roles, and necessary skills of an online teacher of middle-grades learners? (c) What issues do online middle-school teachers identify as being specific to middle-grades learners?

Data analysis disclosed that transitioning teachers faced many challenges during the transition. Lack of preparedness, loss of control, and an intensified workload were all divulged as some of the areas of concern for transitioning teachers. The results also uncovered additional findings indicating a need to further investigate the roles and responsibilities of middle-grades parents and students who are making the transition to learning online.