A Holistic Professional Development Model: A Case Study to Support Faculty Transition to Online Teaching

A Holistic Professional Development Model: A Case Study to Support Faculty Transition to Online Teaching

Julie Ellen Golden, Victoria Brown
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1067-3.ch014
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Institutions struggle to develop online curriculum that meets increasing student demands for online education. The explosive growth of online learning necessitates that many higher education faculty transition from a traditional classroom to a web-based format, sometimes with little or no training. This chapter describes a holistic online faculty professional development (PD) model developed through use of a concerns-based adoption model (CBAM). The CBAM model provides an affective and behavioral lens for managing change. Through two of CBAM's components called stages of concern and levels of use, a PD plan was constructed that approaches the transition to distance learning as an ongoing process rather than simply as technology training. The holistic PD model considers each faculty member as an individual with unique needs. Components of the PD model and new Center for E-Learning (CeL) development and program building are explained. Impact on faculty and students and recommendations for program planning and future research are included.
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Evolution Of Distance Learning In U.S.

Distance learning has a long, rich history in the United States, which has changed overtime. An instructional delivery method where time and distance separate instructor and student, DL in the United States dates back to a shorthand course offered in 1728. In that course and many that followed, the U.S. Postal Service provided a delivery system for two-way correspondence between student and teacher (Holmberg, 2005). Early DL offered passive learning experiences with the student accessing instructional materials through text, photos, and, eventually, recordings. These formats delayed feedback extensively making communication with the instructor challenging. The Society to Encourage Study at Home, founded in 1873 by Anna Eliot Tickner (Holmberg, 2005), became the earliest formalized DL effort in the United States. Most of Tickner’s students at the time were women bound by family responsibilities, yet eager to advance their education.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Concerns-Based Adoption Model (CBAM): A model of change designed to assess concerns expressed in the adoption of innovations.

Online Learning: Internet or web-based learning, often used interchangeably with eLearning; although eLearning is a broader term. Similar to distance learning, online learning is a method of instruction whereby instructor and student are separated by time and/or distance and not geographically bound.

Holistic: Consideration of the whole individual, including affective and behavioral concerns.

eLearning: A broad term encompassing instruction conducted through electronic means, known as electronic learning. Typically refers to web-based instruction; however, classroom-based instruction making use of web-based or electronic resources also falls under the umbrella of eLearning.

Instructional Designer (ID): In an eLearning context, an individual concerned with the construction of instruction at the curriculum level, individual course level, or at the level of developing learning objects or training modules. Often paired with subject matter experts (SME), an ID acts as expert in the technology used to deliver instruction.

Change Management: From an organizational perspective, with recognition that change does not occur in isolation but rather has system-wide impact on people, change management is a process of coordinating a structured process for transitioning from original state to new, changed state.

Micro-Learning: Short, narrow-topic chunks of instruction or learning activities, often designed for use on mobile devices or in web-based formats. However short items of text, audio recordings, learning games, vocabulary lists, and self-check quizzes also apply to micro-learning.

Professional Development: Work-related skill building. Learning opportunities for improving job-related knowledge or skills through training and instruction.

Distance Learning: A method of instructional delivery in which instructor and student are separated by time and distance.

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