The purpose of this descriptive quantitative study was to examine the quality elements of online learning in a regional doctoral
program. Utilizing the six quality dimensions of Hathaway’s (2009) theory of online learning quality as a framework, the study
investigated instructor-learner, learner-learner, learner-content, learner-interface, learner-instructional strategies, and social
presence in order to explore the frequency and importance of these elements. A likert-style survey administered through Qualtrics was used to report self-perceptions of the doctoral students and faculty members. Descriptive statistics for the survey and subscales indicated alignment with the review of literature. Course design, instructor’s facilitation, and student interaction were factors impacting learning outcomes (Eom, Wen, & Ashill, 2006). Faculty participation was also found to dramatically improve the performance and satisfaction of students (Arbaugh & Rau, 2007; Hrastinski, 2009). Resultantly, five conclusions emerged from
the study. First doctoral students and faculty valued the frequency of corporate interaction, clear prompt feedback, and multiple
opportunities to learn and demonstrate learning. Secondly, instructor to learner interaction has to be an intentional practice. Third, the inclusion of learning technologies is necessary for building relationships, making connections and giving credibility to the learning environment. The fourth conclusion revealed that students were more concerned with the quality of assignments than faculty; and finally, faculty responses to students’ discussions is an area for improvement in the online program.