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ERIC Number: ED551584
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 176
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2678-4349-4
Staying Connected: Adjunct Faculty and the Community College Online Environment
Villagran-Glover, Frances
ProQuest LLC, D.A. Dissertation, George Mason University
Community colleges face extraordinary challenges in the 21st century. Driven by the economic downturn, shrinking state funding, and limited facilities, these forces have created a significant impact on community college enrollments as well as instructional methods. Student retention and completion success rates have climbed to the top of the national education agenda. Community colleges play a vital role in meeting this national imperative of student success. Online instruction has become an integral component of many institutional strategic plans. Over the past five years community colleges have experienced the highest growth rates and account for more than half of all online enrollments in higher education. National student engagement survey data indicates a need for more connection and engagement between faculty and student. At the same time, many community college faculty are approaching retirement age and community colleges are turning more to adjuncts to fill instructional demands. Adjunct faculty play an integral role in meeting the challenges of this ever-changing flexible 24/7 teaching and learning environment. A major distinction between the online classroom and the traditional learning environment is the lack of face-to-face (f2f) contact between participants. To compensate for this lack of physical presence, interaction and connectedness take on additional importance in the online environment. Using Garrison's Community of Inquiry (COI) model as a framework to guide, interpret, and analyze the collected data, an online survey was distributed to adjunct faculty and students enrolled in a Spring 2012 online class. This mixed method study examined the perceptions of adjunct faculty, who teach online at a community college, in relation to connecting and interacting with students in an online environment. Student perceptions were also examined to compare and contrast the level of connectedness in an online class. The results of this study can be used to help enhance the design and facilitation of interaction and connections in online classes as well as identify enhancements needed in the professional development curriculum geared towards engaging adjunct faculty and their students. [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: Two Year Colleges; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A