Northwestern's online learning director earns doctorate

Rebecca Hoey, director of online learning at Northwestern College, has earned a doctorate from the University of South Dakota, after successfully defending her dissertation April 11. She will graduate on Saturday, May 5, with a Doctor of Education degree in curriculum and instruction from the university’s School of Education.

Hoey’s dissertation is entitled “Examining the Impact of Teacher-Generated Feedback in Online Math Courses Where Computer-Assisted Instruction is Embedded.” Starting from research that showed interpersonal communication between teachers and students in online courses has a significant impact on student success and satisfaction, Hoey sought to determine whether teacher feedback has an impact on high school students in self-paced online math courses where much of the instruction, practice and assessment is computer-based.

According to Hoey’s research, teacher-generated feedback did not improve the outcomes of the online math students in her study but did illuminate further research questions that could lead to a better understanding of best practices for online secondary students in self-paced, computer-assisted courses.

Hoey also has education degrees from Wayne State College in Nebraska and St. Mary’s University in Winona, Minn. She has designed curriculum and taught online courses at both the University of Phoenix and Northwest Iowa Community College in Sheldon. As Northwestern’s director of online learning, she is responsible for facilitating and assessing the college’s online curriculum and developing new online programs.