Electronic Theses and Dissertations


Sheila Seiler



Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Instruction & Curriculum Leadership

Committee Chair

Amanda Rockinson-Szapkiw

Committee Member

Susan Nordstrom

Committee Member

Craig Shepherd

Committee Member

Lisa Sosin


The purpose of this research is to uncover the essence of the lived experiences of nontraditional learners who persist in online mindfulness programs. While there are quantitative studies and meta-analyses of what makes online mindfulness programs effective, there has not been an investigation and analysis of the experiences participants have in the programs that result in their persistence. Therefore, this transcendental phenomenological study examined the factors that encourage people to persevere and remain in online mindfulness programs. Ten nontraditional learners were recruited through convenience and snowball sampling, then purposeful sampling. Data were collected using a survey, open-ended interviews with participants, and a focus group to triangulate the findings. A researchers journal was used to bracket out the researchers experience and reduce biases in the research. The findings of the research were that a combination of factors supported learner persistence in online mindfulness programs. These factors included academic integration, social integration, external factors, and institutional supports. Participants who felt academically and socially integrated, had values and priorities around their persistence in their programs, and felt supported by the online mindfulness programs felt encouraged to persist in their online mindfulness programs. Program instructors and instructional designers who understand how these factors contribute to learner persistence can rethink and redesign their online mindfulness programs. Their redesigns can enable learners to feel more supported by the online learning community, including the instructor, so that they see that their learning impacts their daily lives, so that their programs have clear learning outcomes and syllabi, and so that learners, ultimately, persist in their programs.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest