Dissertation Defense Announcement

The College of Education announces the final dissertation defense of

Tracy McAllister

for the degree of Doctor of Education

March, 28, 2016 at 10:00 AM in 320 Ball Hall


Major Advisors: Clif Mims, PhD and Carmen Weaver, EdD

Examining Perceptions of Higher Education Faculty who Teach Online

With the advent of computer aided technologies and the internet, students are now equipped to avail themselves of courses offered across a broad spectrum of fields and for a variety of degree levels. Institutions of higher learning have identified the need to keep pace with competing institutions by offering courses online. As colleges and universities continue to meet the demand of students seeking enrollment in online courses, the need for recruiting, hiring, and developing faculty trained to teach in an online format continues to increase as well. Quality instruction cannot exist without systems of support to advance and improve faculty (Khan & Chishti, 2012). Employing teachers with pedagogical knowledge and technology skills necessary to teach effectively continue to influence decisions of chief academic officers and other stakeholders who realize quality instruction cannot be maintained without qualified and competent faculty. The purpose of this research was to explore various aspects of higher education online instruction by examining the perceptions of instructors who teach online courses and who complete a prescribed faculty development intervention for online teaching. The research addressed three questions: What are faculty perceptions of online instruction? Does participation in a faculty development intervention, “Instructional Strategies for Online teaching and Learning”, affect faculty members’ decisions to alter their online instruction? What do participants in a faculty development intervention, “Instructional Strategies for Online Teaching and Learning”, identify as challenges to implementing new strategies to their online instruction”? Data were gathered about faculty perceptions of online instruction. Research participants engaged in a prescribed faculty development which addressed strategies specific to online instruction. Participant perceptions of the effectiveness of the training and challenges to implementing strategies were collected. The results revealed faculty members generally have a positive attitude about online instruction. The data indicated faculty members have specific preferences and that faculty development should address adult learning theory. Indications of challenges to implementing instructional strategies for online practice include time, institutional incentives and student participation.