Professional development for online faculty: instructors’ perspectives on cultivating technical, pedagogical and content knowledge in a distance program
In this qualitative case study, the researcher draws on interviews with 13 faculty in an online doctoral program to find out how professional development offerings strengthened distance instructors’ technical, pedagogical and content knowledge. Findings suggest that guided practice sessions in the virtual classroom strengthened newer faculty members’ technical knowledge. Biweekly meetings turned into a community of practice where newer and more experienced faculty could build content knowledge. Faculty in the distance program desired more professional development in the area of online pedagogy.
KeywordsProfessional development Online learning Community of practice
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The author declares that she has no conflict of interest.
- Allen, I. E., Seaman, J., Poulin, R., & Straut, T. T. (2016). Online report card: Tracking online education in the United States. Babson Park, MA: Babson Survey Research Group and Quahog Research Group LLC.Google Scholar
- Berry, S. (2017). Building community in online doctoral classrooms: Instructor practices that support community. Online Learning Journal. Retrieved from https://olj.onlinelearningconsortium.org/index.php/olj/article/view/875/265. Accessed 30 May 2018.
- Bigatel, P. M., Ragan, L. C., Kennan, S., May, J., & Redmond, B. F. (2012). The identification of competencies for online teaching success. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 16(1). http://sloanconsortium.org/sites/default/files/jaln_16n1_5_The_Identification_of_Competencies_for_Online_Teaching_Success.pdf. Accessed 30 May 2018.
- Bolliger, D. U., Inan, F. A., & Wasilik, O. (2014). Development and validation of the online instructor satisfaction measure (OISM). Journal of Educational Technology & Society, 17(2), 183.Google Scholar
- Chen, K. Z., Lowenthal, P. R., Bauer, C., Heaps, A., & Nielsen, C. (2017). Moving beyond smile sheets: A case study on the evaluation and iterative improvement of an online faculty development program. Online Learning, 21, 85–111.Google Scholar
- Chickering, A. W., & Ehrmann, S. C. (1996). Implementing the seven principles: Technology as lever. AAHE Bulletin, 49, 3–6.Google Scholar
- Chickering, A. W., & Gamson, Z. F. (1987). Seven principles for good practice in undergraduate education. AAHE Bulletin, 3, 7.Google Scholar
- Glaser, B. S., & Strauss, A. (1967). The discovery of grounded theory. New Brunswick, NJ: Aldine Transaction.Google Scholar
- Herman, J. H. (2012). Faculty development programs: The frequency and variety of professional development programs available to online instructors. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 16(5), 87–106.Google Scholar
- Hodges, C. B., Way, R., & Gaither Shepherd, S. S. (2013). Online teaching: Perceptions of Faculty at a Research University. In A. Sigal (Ed.), Advancing library education: Technological innovation and instructional design (pp. 16–26). Hershey, PA: IGI Global. https://doi.org/10.4018/978-1-4666-3688-0.ch002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Kang, H. (2012). Training online faculty: A phenomenology study. International Journal on E-Learning, 11(4), 391–406.Google Scholar
- Koehler, M., & Mishra, P. (2009). What is technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK)? Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 9(1), 60–70.Google Scholar
- Merriam, S. B. (2009). Qualitative research: a guide to design and interpretation. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
- Meyer, K. A., & Murrell, V. S. (2014). A national study of training content and activities for faculty development for online teaching. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 18(1), n1.Google Scholar
- Miles, M. B., & Huberman, A. M. (1994). Qualitative data analysis: An expanded sourcebook. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
- Mohr, S. C., & Shelton, K. (2017). Best practices framework for online faculty professional development: A Delphi study. Online Learning, 21(4), 123–140.Google Scholar
- Pagliari, L., Batts, D., & McFadden, C. (2009). Desired versus actual training for online instructors in community colleges. Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, 12(4). https://www.westga.edu/distance/ojdla/winter124/pagliari124.html. Accessed 30 May 2018.
- Patton, M. (1990). Qualitative evaluation and research methods (2nd ed.). Newbury Park, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
- Seaman, J. (2009). Online learning as a strategic asset. Babson Park, MA: Babson Survey Research Group.Google Scholar
- Wenger, E. C., & Snyder, W. M. (2000). Communities of practice: The organizational frontier. Harvard Business Review, 78(1), 139–146.Google Scholar