This paper determines which instructional roles and outputs are important in the 21st century from the perspective of students in asynchronous learning environments. This research work uses a literature review, in-depth interviews with experts, and a pilot study with students to define the instructors’ outputs. Following this, roles are determined by using a quantitative methodology (in a sample of 925 students). To our knowledge, the remaining research works on this topic identify the online instructors' roles by a qualitative analysis. The findings suggest that a new role, the life skill promoter, has emerged. Furthermore, analysis of the remaining roles (pedagogical, designer, social, technical and managerial) showed that: (i) online instructors are, first and foremost, pedagogues; (ii) the design of the particular online program influences the pedagogical and designer roles and; (iii) the managerial role has declined in importance over the years due to the development of more intuitive and transparent online scenarios from the beginning of the course onward.
- asynchronous learning environments,
- higher education,
- instructors' roles,
- life skills,
- student's perceptions