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ERIC Number: ED552767
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 140
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2679-9518-6
Narrowing the Distance: Bridging the Gap between Teaching Online and Faculty Development
Rochefort, Beth A.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Northeastern University
Online education is a steadily growing industry, and financial pressure at institutions, combined with the rising demand for online education, have caused many universities and colleges to rely on adjunct faculty to staff their online courses For instructors, the transition to teaching online can pose a variety of barriers not the least of which is the rapid advance of technology. Therefore, transitioning to online teaching requires, even for experienced online instructors, ongoing professional development Issues of quality of online instruction and faculty preparedness are frequently raised when examining online education, so as the market grows and technology evolves, expectations rise, and professional development becomes more important. This study asks specifically, "What ongoing professional development may be needed to more comprehensively support online adjunct faculty beyond the initial training program at Northeastern University's College of Professional Studies?" This research is specific to Northeastern University, but the findings should provide insight for universal concerns within the industry related to faculty professional development for online instructors. Accordingly, a formative program evaluation of the current offerings for online adjunct faculty development at Northeastern University's College of Professional Studies was performed from the perspective of three sets of stakeholders: instructors, instructional designers, and administrators. Analyzing data from interviews and a focus group, the research resulted in three major findings: (a) the use of web-based formats (synchronous and asynchronous) should be more heavily utilized for all faculty professional development training, and they should include more advanced options and breadth than was available at the time of this research; (b) communication must be improved between all stakeholders; and (c) opportunities should be provided to learn and discuss online pedagogy and teaching practice with peers in and across programs. Because of the increased attention on online education and the changing formats for teaching online, the implication in for the institution as well as the industry is that faculty professional development is increasingly important. It must be provided in the format that the online adjunct instructors can take advantage of, and needs to address not only technology issues, but pedagogical approaches as well. [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
Identifiers - Location: Massachusetts