What are the key attributes of effective online teachers?


  • Sister Mary Rose O.P. (Angela Lavin) Rosary Tertiary Institute




Online teaching and learning, quality teaching, effective teaching


This article explores the key attributes of effective online tertiary educators. Using qualitative research methods, data were collected via semi-structured interviews which were conducted with a small group of university academics in New Zealand and Australia and analysed using an inductive approach and open and closed coding techniques. Results from the analysis identified the following five key attributes: effective online teachers avoid a didactic approach, vary their pedagogy, use productive failure, facilitate the learning process and provide a seamless structure. Given the limitations of the study, the findings cannot be generalised without further work, but do provide a roadmap which may support innovative adaptions to the teaching and learning process in an online space.  

Author Biography

Sister Mary Rose O.P. (Angela Lavin), Rosary Tertiary Institute

Angela Lavin (Sister Mary Rose O.P.) is a traditional Dominican Sister with perpetual vows. She holds a Master of Education (E-learning) from Massey University, New Zealand and is currently completing a PhD at Notre Dame University in Sydney, Australia. She also holds a B.A. degree in Education (Massey University) and a Graduate Diploma in Teaching (Secondary) (Bethlehem Tertiary Institute). Sister Rose has over 12 years’ experience as a secondary school teacher between St Dominic’s College Wanganui, New Zealand and St Thomas Aquinas College, Tynong, Australia.