Managing Online Teaching Faculty: A Case Study and Review of Literature on Mentoring of Online Faculty

Managing Online Teaching Faculty: A Case Study and Review of Literature on Mentoring of Online Faculty

Anne W. Kanga (The Catholic University of Eastern Africa, Kenya) and Caroline Nduku Isaboke (The Catholic University of Eastern Africa, Kenya)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-6322-8.ch017

Abstract

This chapter presents a Kenyan university context on issues surrounding management and mentoring of online faculty. Findings from literature, content analysis of documents, and raw data from experiences of mentees and mentor revealed the following: online teaching and learning is both a well-established discipline and appraised globally. However, levels of its implementation contrast sharply in different contexts, and especially between the developed and developing world contexts. Whereas quality assurance bodies in respective university contexts have standards and guidelines that meet global standards, implementation procedures are highly compromised as reflected by some themes that emerged such as (mis)conception of online learning, expectations and realities of virtual learning environments, lack of readiness/unpreparedness among others. Orientation of instructors, learners, continuous professional development of instructors and effective mentoring and monitoring of key stakeholders have been recommended to ensure quality outcomes.
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An Online Program At A Kenyan Private University: A Case Study

Started in 2014, the online program in the study context aimed to achieve the following objectives:

  • Provide broad access and participation to students through the ODeL modes.

  • Increase educational advancement opportunities for all regardless of their social, economic, cultural or religious inclinations.

  • Integrate learning opportunities to all categories of students including those with special needs.

  • Provide students with highly qualitative education that is affordable.

  • Provide capacity building in Open and Distance e-Learning with huge investment in staff development.

  • Encourage research and development activities especially those that contribute to ODeL practices and offer a range of opportunities for students to develop their potential, contribute decisions on curriculum issues and implementation strategies (Open and Distance e-Learning Policy, 2014).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Online Teaching and Learning: Online teaching and learning is education that takes place over the wide world web commonly known as the internet.

Mentor: Mentoring can be considered to be a way to support the mentee's own learning process. This process includes counseling, supervision, consultation and coaching. In this study, the mentor is the person in charge of the VLE in the study context.

Mentee/Online Instructor: The teacher/tutor responsible for managing and guiding the pedagogical and social interaction in the online/virtual learning classroom. In this study, the mentee is under the guidance of the mentor.

Transactional Distance: This refers to the psychological and communication space that is created between teachers and learners in an environment having the special characteristic of separation of teachers and learners.

Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs): This refers to a discipline that facilitates teaching/learning by integrating heterogeneous technologies and multiple pedagogical approaches using the Internet and particularly the World Wide Web (WWW).

Virtual Campus (VC): A virtual campus or e-campus refers to the online offerings of a college or university where college work is completed either partially or wholly online, often with the assistance of the teacher, professor, or teaching assistant. A VLE is therefore a sub-category of a VC/eC.

Non-traditional Learners: These are learners/students who return to a tertiary institution of higher learning at a later date after completing the usual elementary and secondary school education.

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