Holistic Evaluation Strategies to Empower Remote Adjunct Faculty

Holistic Evaluation Strategies to Empower Remote Adjunct Faculty

Marlene N. Blake (Grand Canyon University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-6758-6.ch020
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Abstract

To ensure a quality educational experience for students, it is important to establish effective evaluation strategies to support remote adjunct faculty. Adapting a comprehensive process of training, mentoring, evaluating, and providing ongoing support strategies and professional development opportunities builds a foundation for faculty success. Implementing scalable strategies for holistic evaluation offers opportunities to further support adjunct faculty teaching online. This chapter will share effective evaluation practices that provide purposeful strategies to empower adjunct faculty to strengthen skills and ultimately support student success as well as learning in the classroom.
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Training To Bridge The Gap

Considering that the teaching skills of adjunct faculty influence students, it is increasingly important to successfully support specific training needs and ongoing development for adjuncts (Lewis & Wang, 2015; Luna, 2018). A fundamental step to supporting adjunct faculty is creating comprehensive training for them. The critical components of this type of training program consist of orienting faculty to the institutional culture, mission, and vision along with navigating aspects of the learning management system, online teaching guidelines, and relevant resources (Ridge & Ritt, 2017). This training approach allows adjunct faculty to obtain a solid foundation for teaching online.

Researchers have revealed a variety of training programs to support remote adjunct faculty. A few examples consist of synchronous and on-demand trainings or a combined approach with an online, asynchronous facilitator-led class with self-directed activities. Considering the needs of communication, professional development, and online training, a dynamic program promotes proactive support in the form of structured training, mentoring, and ongoing activities (Luna, 2018). The elements embedded throughout the program provide a means of holistic support wherein faculty feedback, accountability, and community connections permeate the online teaching experience. One recommendation is a virtual self-directed environment available 24/7 to support remote adjunct faculty with information about orientation, training, courses, teaching tips, facilitation guidance, and opportunities for professional development (Luna, 2018).

With complex changes taking place in higher education, institutions are also exploring other options to meet training needs. For instance, to prepare adjunct faculty to teach online, a self-paced orientation course was developed. Although the training was self-paced, it was also facilitated and included participation requirements (Lewis & Wang, 2015). This critical component served the dual purpose of allowing the adjunct faculty to understand the student perspective and the relevant role of online discussions. The training comprehensively covered the essential elements an adjunct would need to know, and the modules focused on faculty responsibilities, intuitional policies, student demographics, assessing student learning, facilitation best practices, and teaching processes to support success (Lewis & Wang, 2015).

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