Faculty Participation in Online Higher Education: What Factors Motivate or Inhibit their Participation?

Faculty Participation in Online Higher Education: What Factors Motivate or Inhibit their Participation?

Michael S. Hoffman (St. Bonaventure University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5051-0.ch004
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Abstract

In the past decade, enrollments in distance education, and specifically online education, have grown dramatically in the United States. According to the 2009 Sloan Report (Allen & Seaman, 2010), enrollments in online courses increased from 9.6% of total postsecondary enrollments in 2002 to 25.3% in 2009. Unfortunately, a number of barriers exist that may result in an inability of higher education institutions to provide quality online education programming in sufficient scale to meet the expected student demand. The Managing Online Education report (Green, 2010) identifies the resistance of faculty towards teaching in an online environment as foremost among ten factors that “impede institutional efforts to expand online education programs” (p. 1). An understanding of the factors that both motivate and discourage faculty member participation in online education programs is critical if institutions are to leverage their existing faculty to meet the current and future demand for online education. This case study first presents a number of motivating and inhibiting factors and then discusses how St. Bonaventure University leveraged these factors in an attempt to boost faculty participation in online education.

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