Publication Date


Date of Final Oral Examination (Defense)


Type of Culminating Activity


Degree Title

Doctor of Education in Educational Technology


Educational Technology

Major Advisor

Patrick R. Lowenthal, Ph.D.


Norm Friesen, Ph.D.


Chareen Snelson, Ed.D.


Educators and students are using synchronous and asynchronous video communication technologies in unprecedented ways given the ongoing global pandemic. Despite continued educational research on video communication technology, less is known about the social implications of these forms of communication. Online learning has faced challenges (e.g., learner isolation, technological competency, and time management) since its inception; these challenges have been exacerbated in the rapid transition to emergency remote teaching. Given problems like these, additional research is needed to better understand how video communication technology can be used to improve communication and interaction in online learning. The following dissertation presents a series of qualitative studies aimed at exploring the communicative aspects of community and connectedness with video communication technology in the context of online teaching and learning. Chapter one presents an introduction to this research space and a statement of the problem that exists in text-based communication and how video communication may address some shortcomings of text-based communication online. Chapter two presents a synthesis of the literature on more recent (i.e., 2010-2020) uses of video as a teaching tool in online and blended courses; the themes that emerged from this study help identify common interdisciplinary uses of video communication technology and help identify gaps in the literature. The gaps identified led to two different studies. Chapter three presents an exploratory study of faculty perceptions of synchronous video-based communication technology in online courses relative to classroom community building and development; the themes that emerged from this study help highlight the potential of visual communication in community building and identify a need for pedagogical tact in synchronous sessions. Still, this study suggests that synchronous sessions in traditionally asynchronous online courses are not the only ways in which community may develop. Chapter four presents a phenomenological study of doctoral students’ lived experiences of the teacher-student relationship with online teachers; the thematization of aspects in this analysis suggests that prolonged communication and interaction between teacher and student are not the only ways that students may experience a sense of connectedness to online instructors. The two studies that comprise chapters three and four, respectively, inform an understanding of the communicative aspects of community and connectedness in different ways and from different perspectives that illuminate the qualitative consequences of video communication in online teaching and learning. In chapter five, a summary and synthesis of these three studies is presented along with implications for practice and areas in need of further research.