ERIC Number: ED503316
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Oct-15
Abstractor: As Provided
Teacher Autonomy Defined in Online Education
Reigle, Rosemary R.
The purpose of the study was to determine how online instructors interpret the extent to which they exercise autonomy in an online setting and the subsequent effect it has on perceived teaching quality. In April and May of 2008 a confidential Web survey was e-mailed to randomly selected higher education instructors across the country who were employed by community colleges, public and private four-year colleges, and universities. Questions were geared towards the nature of the curriculums as well as differences in teaching requirements compared to ground school courses. A follow-up e-mail was sent to respondents, requesting them to comment on what they believed "teacher autonomy" meant, and asking them how they believed it should be defined. Results showed that online instructors who taught pre-designed curriculums had more restrictions, added required classroom time, and additional retention responsibility. These factors played a role in many online instructors' sense of loss of autonomy and, consequently, lowered their perceived teaching quality. To ensure high teaching quality, administrators should seek ways to return autonomy to instructors of online courses. The first step in this process is to identify differences between online and classroom teaching, and define teacher autonomy as it applies to online instructors within the parameters dictated by the specific educational institution.
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A