Faculty training and development initiatives for effective instruction in distance higher education
Jeanette Marie Bartley, University of Cincinnati, United States
University of Cincinnati . Awarded
Distance education has emerged as perhaps the most rapidly growing and diversified of the significant advances in instructional technology of the past century. This phenomenon has fostered increasing opportunities for innovations in curriculum and instruction at all levels of education and in every discipline, while maximizing the potential of technology for learning at any time and any place, regardless of distance.
This descriptive research study examined various training and development initiatives implemented for and by faculty members to improve their instructional effectiveness in distance higher education. There were five research objectives to describe faculty perceptions of their current training and development needs in relation to their desired levels of preparation, competencies, and comfort for effective distance instruction.
Data were primarily collected by means of a mail-out survey involving purposive non-probability sampling of 132 faculty members, from 27 higher education institutions within the state of Ohio. There were also selective interviews with eight faculty members and eight distance education coordinators, and site visits to two nationally recognized institutions with exemplary distance education programs. This interpretive multi-method approach included descriptive data analysis (means, standard deviations and mode) with qualitative analysis of the contextual issues that support distance faculty preparation.
The main findings related to the nature of the faculty needs, their desired expectations, the prevailing barriers, and proposed solutions. Most participants (75%), including those who were self-taught (62%), were satisfied with their levels of preparation, competency and comfort levels on their preferred distance delivery modes. However, they expressed the need for a structured approach to training and development, and a supportive teaching culture within their institutions.
Participants were proactive in offering solutions for overcoming the barriers of the lack of institutional commitment to distance education, the lack of inter-institutional awareness and low involvement in statewide initiatives. Most significant in the findings were the ten critical success factors demonstrated by model institutions which have adopted strategic and systematic approaches to faculty development. The main conclusion of this study is that distance teaching is not just about using technology; it is about perfecting a pedagogical art for effective learning, through institutional collaboration and innovation.
Bartley, J.M. Faculty training and development initiatives for effective instruction in distance higher education. Ph.D. thesis, University of Cincinnati. Retrieved March 26, 2019 from https://www.learntechlib.org/p/122565/.
Citation reproduced with permission of ProQuest LLC.
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