Preparing and Training Higher Education Faculty to Ensure Quality Online Learning and Teaching

Preparing and Training Higher Education Faculty to Ensure Quality Online Learning and Teaching

Ben Seipel (University of Wisconsin – River Falls, USA & California State University – Chico, USA) and Chiara Francesca Ferrari (California State University – Chico, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3438-0.ch055

Abstract

In this chapter, the authors discuss the nature of quality online instruction from the perspectives of equity, quality preparation, professional development, and evaluation. Specifically, the authors describe the need for faculty preparation in pedagogical and andragogical practices in general by defining “quality” and qualified professionals. The authors provide initial support for instructors by describing the lesson planning cycle as a useful framework. The authors also delve into the importance of considering one's personal teaching philosophy as a grounding for quality instruction. Then, the authors apply these concepts to online andragogy and the need for continuing professional development opportunities. Next, the authors describe three evaluation tools/opportunities, rubric for online instruction, the quality online learning and teaching instrument, and quality matters, that have been useful to faculty at their institution. Finally, the authors conclude with future research directions regarding quality online instruction.
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Introduction

Education, whether intentional or not, has always been a platform for self-improvement, an exchange of ideas, and an opportunity for social justice. These three levels of intrapersonal, interpersonal, and extrapersonal growth are hallmarks of a just, formal education system. Accordingly, the content, tools, methods, and platforms that instructors use should be intentional, inclusive, and of high quality. However, in the pursuit of this educational excellence, higher education has always faced these essential questions: What is quality instruction? For whom are these educational experiences designed? Who is qualified to provide the instruction? And, who gets to make these decisions? These issues of quality, access, qualifications, and decision making are intensified in our modern era of online learning. In this chapter, we directly address these questions by examining the need for quality online instruction, the need for initial faculty training, the need for ongoing faculty training and professional learning communities, the existence of evaluation tools for online instruction, and make some predictions regarding the future for faculty training in online education.

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