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ERIC Number: ED518459
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 196
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1240-6745-2
Creating and Sustaining Virtual Communities of Practice by Operationalizing Constructs of Preparation, Collegiality, and Professional Development
Velez, Angela M.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Capella University
The purpose of this study was to investigate three constructs that affect online faculty: initial preparation, collegiality, and continued professional development. An increasing number of colleges and universities are responding to the demand for greater learning flexibility and, consequently, offering online and hybrid courses at an increasing rate. Institutions should prepare their online faculty for a new teaching role and a new teaching environment. This study explored what activities and experiences adequately prepare online faculty for their new role in this new environment. In addition, institutions should seek to develop collegial relationships with their online faculty. This study discovered what experiences develop collegial relationships with online faculty. Finally, although faculty members teach from locations around the world, they should have opportunities for professional development. The varying locations provide a challenge for institutions and this study's findings inform institutions what types of professional development activities meet the needs of online faculty. The end result of the operationalization of these constructs is for a virtual community of practice to be developed and sustained through the experiences and activities that operationalize them. After an extensive review of literature, a clear understanding of these three constructs remained elusive; however, the need to understand them was evident. This Delphi study gathered both qualitative and quantitative data from 30 experienced online faculty members who taught online for multiple institutions in the form of electronic surveys. These online faculty members were asked first to list activities and experiences that are important in these three construct areas, and then rank them in subsequent surveys to discover which activities and experiences were the most important in each area. The findings suggest that online faculty members have different perspectives about their careers, and those perspectives affect their wants and needs in these construct areas. However, what was found is that online faculty members desire adequate preparation, efforts to promote collegiality, and professional development opportunities from the institutions for which they work. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A