Author ORCID Identifier

Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

W. Monty Jones, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Michael D. Broda, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Ross Collin, Ph.D.

Fourth Advisor

Kathryn Murphy-Judy, Ph.D.


As K12 online learning continues to grow across the nation, the population of online students, much like the population of face-to face students, continues to change. As the online student population becomes increasingly diverse, not only in terms of race, but in terms of religion, sexual orientation and socioeconomic status, research must be undertaken to assess the level of preparation that K12 online teachers have in terms of teaching this population. This dissertation intends to serve as a baseline analysis, providing information on K12 online teachers' knowledge of the types of student characteristics and identities that may be present in their online students, as well as their abilities to meet the needs of these increasingly diverse students. Using the MAKSS-T survey measure and framed within the lens of Bourdieu's field theory, this study found that while K12 online teachers feel as if they have a "good" understanding of a number of possible characteristics and identities in their online students, that terms related to sexual orientation were not as well understood. Additionally, teachers felt "good" in terms of their skills in addressing the unique needs of these students. However, teachers felt weakest in their ability to critique multicultural research. Teachers also noted that they do not feel adequately prepared to handle this changing population and desire additional training in this area.


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