Preparing Faculty for Distance Learning Teaching

Preparing Faculty for Distance Learning Teaching

Mohamed Ally (Athabasca University, Canada)
Copyright: © 2005 |Pages: 5
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-555-9.ch227
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Due to the recent development of delivery and communication technology and the success of distance learning, educational organizations are starting to use distance teaching to reach students so that they can learn anytime and from anywhere (Daniel, 1997). At the same time, businesses and organizations are increasingly using distance learning technology to bring the training to employees rather than send the employees for training. As a result, faculty and trainers are required to make the transition from classroom face-to-face teaching to distance teaching. One of the drawbacks in making the transition to distance delivery is faculty and trainers may not be prepared to function in the new role which is a major challenge for administrators (Agee, Holisky & Muir, 2003). Also, distance teaching is seen as an add-on for faculty in dual mode institutions (Wolcott, 2003), and resources are not available to prepare staff to work in the distance learning setting. At the same time, the commitment to distance learning from senior officials tend not to be as strong when compared to traditional delivery especially in dual mode institutions where there are both face-to-face delivery and distance delivery, and faculty have to teach both classroom delivery and distance delivery (Betts, 1998; Hislop & Atwood, 2000). Hence, it is important that administrators support distance delivery for it to be successful. According to Betts (1998), administrators who show interest in distance learning and who have experience in distance learning will influence faculty to use distance learning methods. To make the transition to distance delivery, training of faculty is important to make sure they are prepared to perform effectively and efficiently so that they can be productive and meet the needs of learners when working in the distance learning environment. The faculty should experience the distance delivery method as a student, and the format of the training should model the distance delivery process (Moloney & Tello, 2003). This entry will describe why training of faculty is important and what type of training should be provided for distance teaching.

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