online faculty support
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.
In online higher education, adjunct faculty members are an essential resource. These faculty members teach, research, perform service and outreach, and even oversee administrative aspects of higher education institutions (Doe, Barnes, Bowen, Gilkey, Smoak, Ryan, & Palmquist, 2011). Unfortunately, adjunct faculty members often feel isolated and set apart from the full-time faculty, administration, and staff. Dolan (2011) reported adjunct faculty members are generally disappointed with communication, recognition, and a lack of opportunity. One way to improve a sense of belonging is through the development of a strong professional learning community. A successful learning community is primarily focused on student learning, collaboration, and accountability for outcomes (DuFour, 2004).
Addressing faculty perceptions of distance learning has been a matter of intense concern since the beginnings of online course delivery. Many articles have been written discussing the reasons that faculty may be disinclined to participate in an online course and how to persuade them to change their minds. For Bernard Bull, assistance professor of educational
The presence of Teaching Assistants (TAs) in a college course benefits both instructor and students. An assistant’s responsibilities typically include grading, troubleshooting, and fielding student questions, and their role is evolving to meet the needs of the online classroom.
In a recent faculty-development program focusing on online learning, the number one request from participants was “How do I create a sense of community in my online course?” Online tools and technologies can help us create a sense of community to enhance teaching and learning at our institution. The following are benefits of such an undertaking:
Issues such as time and workload management, quality assurance, and the need for new skills and competencies remain real or perceived barriers for faculty who are new to teaching online. Join Lawrence Ragan of Penn State’s World Campus as he shares his observations, stories, and insights regarding where faculty struggle in the online classroom, and what can be done to help.
video Online Seminar • Recorded on Thursday, November 8th, 2012
Despite the continuing mainstreaming of online education, there are a number of myths that continue to persist, particularly in terms of the hiring practices for online instructors, and whether institutions make a sufficient effort to integrate remote instructors into the campus culture.
Regardless of how much teaching experience you have, there’s often a good measure of anxiety when you teach your very first online course. Beyond the pedagogical hurdles, you wonder if students will be able to tell that you’re new to the online classroom, whom you can turn to for tech support, and how you can be more efficient with your time.
Online faculty orientation can be a tricky proposition. It takes careful planning to seamlessly integrate a new instructor and create a high-quality learning experience for student right from the start. This seminar, led by a veteran of Penn State’s World Campus, will show you the proven techniques that make all the difference.
audio Online Seminar • Recorded on Thursday, April 14th, 2011
The 2009 Sloan Survey of Online Learning reveals that online enrollments rose by nearly 17 percent from the previous year. The survey of more than 2,500 colleges and universities nationwide finds approximately 4.6 million students were enrolled in at least one online course in fall 2008, the most recent term for which figures are available.