Faculty and online education as a mechanism of power

Harold G. Peach,, Jeffery P. Bieber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


This study uses a critical perspective to examine how online education is used in brick-and-mortar institutions as a mechanism through which power is exercised by and against professors who teach online. Based on a larger study of 25 professors and administrators at four institutions, this work focuses on the experiences of 12 professors. Foucault’s conceptualization of power framed our interpretation of interviews conducted with these professors. Our findings suggest online education enhanced faculty autonomy and visibility, but that it was also used to control faculty members, and for some professors, it was used to alter their professional identities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-40
Number of pages15
JournalDistance Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2015


  • college faculty
  • online education
  • organizational control
  • power relations
  • professional autonomy
  • professional identity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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