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ERIC Number: EJ898224
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 55
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1467-9620
Do Virtual Professors Dream of Electric Students? University Faculty Experiences with Online Distance Education
Major, Claire Howell
Teachers College Record, v112 n8 p2154-2208 2010
Background: Faculty acceptance of distance learning plays an important role in its success or failure in higher education. Information about faculty experiences of teaching online can improve understanding about this delivery mode's potential longevity in academe. Exploratory qualitative research has begun to uncover and unpack faculty experiences with online learning. Such studies provide a focused and detailed picture of faculty perceptions of teaching online; however, they have not been considered for what they add to cumulative knowledge. Purpose: The purpose of this research was to employ a rigorous and systematic approach to make meaning of individual studies that investigated faculty experiences of teaching online by considering the studies in aggregate. Research Design: This study drew upon qualitative synthesis methods to investigate faculty experiences with online teaching. In particular, the study used metaethnography, an interpretive approach, to synthesize findings from nine original studies conducted by 23 researchers involving interviews with 117 faculty members with online teaching experience. Data Collection and Analysis: This study involved searching electronic databases and tables of contents of key journals to gather relevant articles. It relied upon analysis techniques common to metaethnographic approaches, including reciprocal translation analysis (translating themes into each other), refutations synthesis (attempts to explain variations and contradictions), and lines-of-argument analysis (building a general interpretation from findings of separate studies through reliance on qualitative analysis such as constant comparison). Findings: This article presents findings from a qualitative synthesis of university faculty experiences with online distance education. Results show that faculty members believe teaching online changes the way they approach and think about teaching, course design, time, instruction, and students. Conclusions: Finding new ways to understand existing literature was one of the chief goals of this study. These results represent a starting place for improving current practice as well as for guiding future research.
Teachers College, Columbia University. P.O. Box 103, 525 West 120th Street, New York, NY 10027. Tel: 212-678-3774; Fax: 212-678-6619; e-mail: tcr@tc.edu; Web site: http://www.tcrecord.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A