Perceived barriers to the implementation of Web enhancement of courses by full-time Tennessee Board of Regents faculty
Thomas Barron Wallace, East Tennessee State University, United States
East Tennessee State University . Awarded
The purpose of this study was to examine faculty reluctance to providing students with access to course resources via the Internet. The study explored known barriers to the use of technology and the Internet within educational settings and provided opportunity for new barriers to be presented. Personal and professional demographic factors were collected to determine if certain characteristics were identifiable as predictors to web enhancement.
An online survey was designed to collect data to address research questions in the study. The survey consisted of 48 questions, including areas for comments and remarks from faculty members. One thousand two (1002) faculty, out of a possible 4,990 responded to the survey.
Based on the results, conclusions have been drawn. Female faculty and faculty ranked as assistant, associate, or full professors were most likely to web enhance. Faculty who had taught for between 1 and 15 years at a four-year university, were also more likely to web enhance than other faculty. Faculty in the fields of biology, business administration, communications, computer science, education, English, nursing and psychology appeared most likely to web enhance their courses. Major barriers to enhancement include increased time commitment, concerns regarding faculty work load, lack of person-to-person contact, and difficulty keeping current with technological changes.
Recommendations for removing some barriers included the need to recognize and reward innovation, provide incentives to enhance, and establish cultural change within institutions. Meaningful professional development training on enhancement techniques was also recommended, as well as providing release time for enhancement development. Contact standards on campus websites, providing a contact at each institution for research inquiries, and becoming more accessible to the public at large was also needed. Recommendations for further research included completing this study on an institutional basis, and studying the need for “revamping” the concept of “office hours” when used in connection with online courses. In addition, a qualitative study should be conducted on the pros and cons of web enhancement, as well as a time study comparison of students who complete a low level online course then take a higher level on-site course.
Wallace, T.B. Perceived barriers to the implementation of Web enhancement of courses by full-time Tennessee Board of Regents faculty. Ph.D. thesis, East Tennessee State University.
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