Date of Award

Summer 2020

Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Lorne Olfman

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Shamini Dias

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

George Bradford

Terms of Use & License Information

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

Rights Information

© 2020 Swati Ramani


Activity Theory, Active Learning, Faculty Development, Online Program Management Providers (OPMs), Instructional Design Firms, Pedagogy

Subject Categories

Educational Leadership | Educational Technology | Higher Education and Teaching


As the number of online courses increase in Higher Education, many higher education institutions outsource online course development to an Online Program Management (OPM) provider because of a lack of budget, staff, and technology. Current research indicates that OPMs often do not have instructional design (ID) services tailored to a specific university. This research uses a Case Study in order to analyze how the nature and dynamics of a business partnership between a research university and an OPM provider impact faculty engagement and development of pedagogical and technological knowledge. They Activity Theory conceptual framework was used to direct inquiry and analysis. Results show a miss in the project management approach from the OPM side which made the process appear more like a start-up company and caused some faculty to lose motivation about the instructional design process. Impact on faculty pedagogical knowledge and development is different for each faculty and is dependent on faculty assumptions, personality, attitudes, training in pedagogy and technology, and past online teaching experiences. A Design Thinking approach from the OPM side and a learning mindset from the faculty side are very important to reap the most benefits of this relationship.