From “Sage on the Stage” to Facilitator of Learning: A Transformative Learning Experience for New Online Nursing Faculty

From “Sage on the Stage” to Facilitator of Learning: A Transformative Learning Experience for New Online Nursing Faculty

Denise Passmore (University of South Florida, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5472-1.ch085
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This chapter explores through phenomenological methodology the experiences of nursing faculty who transitioned from live to online teaching. These experiences are further examined through the theory of transformative learning to determine whether participants were able to transform their teaching identity from traditional classroom teacher (sage on the stage) to facilitators of learning. One-on-one interviews were conducted with 16 full-time nursing faculty at 4 state universities. Findings revealed that most faculty were originally hesitant to teach online and had multiple misconceptions regarding teaching methods and online student communication. With one exception, professional development for online teaching was limited. Most participants described transforming their teaching methods and philosophies as they gained more experience. Results implicate that faculty development should focus not only on educational principles and technology but also ways to connect with students and develop course content that helps maintain faculty identities.
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Nationally, about one-third of faculty, feel they are being “pushed” into online venues by administration and those who had been teaching the longest were most reluctant to embrace online learning (Allen, Seaman, Lederman, Jaschik, 2012a). Market pressures and the demand to deliver education at reduced costs have been identified as possible reasons why institutions of higher education are driven to adopt online programs of study (Schejbal, 2012). Transitioning to a new style of teaching as faculty experience the move from traditional, lecture-oriented classes to the online venue can threaten a faculty member’s comfort level as well as their sense of accomplishments associated with a traditional mode of educating nursing students (Hoffmann & Dudjak, 2012). In an online environment, traditional approaches, such as lecture, are often not as successful as more active learning approaches, which include reflection and opportunities to demonstrate learning, and may lead to students feeling disconnected and dissatisfied with the course content (Boling, Hough, Krinsky, Saleem, & Stevens, 2012).

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