Ensuring Quality: The Faculty Role in Online Higher Education

Ensuring Quality: The Faculty Role in Online Higher Education

Arthur Richardson Smith (Southwestern College, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5631-2.ch055

Abstract

A varied set of major stakeholders in higher education results in diverse perspectives on what entails quality in online higher education. Learners, employers, accreditation agencies, funding and regulatory authorities, and higher education institutions exist for different purposes. Yet, all have a common interest in the success of the learners' education. Examining the faculty role in ensuring quality in online higher education, developing a working definition of that role, and identifying considerations for faculty practice that are essential to achieving that end is the purpose of this chapter. The chapter conveys and explains the results of a thematic analysis of the requirements and expectations of the major stakeholders, their contribution toward the formulation of the working definition of the faculty role, their contribution toward the identification of significant considerations for faculty in exercising their role, and makes recommendations for further investigation.
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Background

Assessing the role of faculty in ensuring quality in online higher education necessitates stepping back to identify the expected characteristics of higher education quality of which faculty are a part. There are significant policy, standards, professional, quality assessment, and research-based resources that contribute toward their identification from diverse stakeholder perspectives. The primary stakeholders are learners, employers, accreditation agencies, funding and regulatory authorities, and higher education institutions.

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