Faculty Development Needs for Distance Education

Faculty Development Needs for Distance Education

Anne Saylor (York College of Pennsylvania, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5631-2.ch079

Abstract

This report presents the results of a review that looked at what college resources are needed to support an online environment and how a small liberal arts college can prepare faculty for a shift in pedagogy is one of today's major issues, when using a Learning Management System (LMS) to teach. A literature review was done to review the ideas of what college resources are needed to support an online learning environment in Higher Education and the implications for faculty development in a small liberal arts college. The main themes surveyed were faculty and the support needed to move a classroom instructor to an online instructor. The research focused on how constructivist learning could support faculty development.
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Background

While technology can be used in many forms of teaching, the use of technology in teaching does not imply a distance education class. In comparison, any learning where the teacher and learner are separated by time and distance and must rely on a tool to convey the lesson should be considered distance education (Moore & Kearsley, 2012). Distance education is formal education that occurs between two or more groups of people who are not in the same location. The groups communicate through a common technology such as the Internet, television, letters and other similar communication tools (Simonson et al., 2011). The earliest example of distance education began with mail correspondence courses where students received their learning materials in the mail and returned them the same way. With the advent of radio and satellite television came more instantaneous learning. Distance education continues to develop and evolve as technology progresses. With the computer and Internet, more avenues of communication at a variety of price points have emerged (Moore & Kearsley, 2011). When speaking of distance education, learning can now occur thanks to the Internet as synchronous or asynchronous learning, or even a mixture of both in the same lesson. In this report, synchronous learning is not the main, but may be referenced as a component within an asynchronous classroom. Asynchronous learning refers to information that is shared when the learner and instructor are not able to connect, at the same moment, when there is no real time communication between the parties.

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