Award Date

May 2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Teaching and Learning

First Committee Member

Kendall Hartley

Second Committee Member

Hasan Deniz

Third Committee Member

Neal Strudler

Fourth Committee Member

Lisa Bendixen

Number of Pages



The experience of teaching online secondary science was investigated through the lens of developmental phenomenography. Recorded phenomenographic interviews were conducted with thirteen secondary science teachers who were teaching online in two countries and four states. After analyzing the transcripts individually and as a whole, seven themes were identified: (1) Virtual Labs and Learning, (2) Student Learning and Factors Involved, (3) Communication and Instruction, (4) Teaching as Collaboration/Social Aspect, (5) Teaching and Learning as Assessment, (6) Curriculum Effects on Teaching and Learning, and (7) Online Structure Effects on Teaching and Learning. The structures of awareness of these seven themes formed the overall structure of awareness of what it is to teach online secondary science. Some of the findings from this study included the need to both provide open-ended inquiry opportunities for online secondary students and to develop scientific argumentation practices in online secondary science courses. Implications developed from this structure of awareness for online secondary science teachers, virtual school administrators and virtual schools, and teacher education programs are discussed, and recommendations are provided for areas of future research.


inquiry; online secondary science; online teacher development; scientific argumentation; virtual school


Education | Science and Mathematics Education

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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