motivations for teaching online
Encouraging faculty to participate in distance learning has been a concern since the very first days of online delivery methods, and probably before. A look through the Distance Education Report archives will show the evolving concerns about pedagogical quality, academic rigor, reputation, and other factors that faculty members have expressed concerns about.
We all are familiar with the stereotype of the professional adjunct: a harried and underpaid soul cobbling together a marginal income by racing from campus to campus, teaching a class here and a couple of classes there, using their car as a mobile office, and hoping for the day that someone offers them a “real” tenure-track job on a single campus.
So often, universities hoping to expand their online course offerings think in terms of developing entire online programs from scratch, writing new courses, translating existing ones into the new delivery methods, and generally making a program that is separate from its campus analog. But for Northern Michigan University, expanding online offerings was a function of examining their existing course offerings and finding the opportunities to complete programs with courses already online.
I’ve been teaching online since 2001. I’ve always felt a certain sense of excitement when discussing philosophies, pedagogy, or instructional strategies with others and creating active, energetic online classrooms. So it was disheartening when I “hit a wall” and things started to feel really monotonous.
Staying the Course: Online Education in the United States, 2008 reports that higher education institutions believe that the economic changes will have a positive impact on overall college enrollments, with online courses and programs for working adults seeing the greatest interest.