Best Practices for
Training and Retaining
Online Adjunct Faculty

      Featuring content from



         A MAGNA   PUBLI...
Best Practices for Training and Retaining Online
Adjunct Faculty
       Becoming a new faculty member is seldom easy. Whet...
Table of Contents
Giving Part-Time Online Instructors What They Need ........................................................
time consuming and if you add that

Giving Part-Time Online                                                               ...
FROM PAGE 4                   sometimes there is no substitute for         Providing instructors with the
                ...
FROM PAGE 5                   there was an instructor, I don’t know      philosophy, he created a forum in
               ...
the instructor is introduced to the

The Virtual Faculty Lounge:                                                          ...
FROM PAGE 7                   professor adjunct, based on a variety      on to the Virtual Faculty Lounge.
               ...
A Safe Place for Questions
Getting By With a Little Help                                                           Steven ...
FROM PAGE 9                    offer help when it can be most             amount of work, as FCCJ does not
               ...
One set of links available to the
                                                                                       c...
FROM PAGE 11                   best practices. One section includes         Clerkin and Berkeley College intend
          ...
FROM PAGE 12                                                                 group that views themselves primarily
       ...
FROM PAGE 13                   should assess their own level of social       The information should also be
              ...
FROM PAGE 14                   multimedia, technology-enhanced in-        connection, the more individualized
            ...
course’s effectiveness.

Jump Starting Faculty into                                                              Digital M...
FROM PAGE 16                    handle on the process. It also gets the    aside to work on that project,” says
          ...
that the teachers may feel more like

A System for Managing                                                               ...
Faculty Focus Report 657
Faculty Focus Report 657
Faculty Focus Report 657
Faculty Focus Report 657
Faculty Focus Report 657
Faculty Focus Report 657
Faculty Focus Report 657
Faculty Focus Report 657
Faculty Focus Report 657
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Faculty Focus Report 657

  1. 1. Best Practices for Training and Retaining Online Adjunct Faculty Featuring content from A MAGNA PUBLICATION
  2. 2. Best Practices for Training and Retaining Online Adjunct Faculty Becoming a new faculty member is seldom easy. Whether the instructor is simply transi- tioning to a new university or stepping into the classroom for the very first time, there are questions large and small that arise every day about policies, procedures, techniques, and technologies. For online instructors, many of whom teach only part-time, this sense of dis- orientation is made even more difficult by their off-site location and the growing list of tools and technologies they need to learn in order to create a rich learning environment. These challenges are a major concern, not only for new faculty members but for the college as well. The institution has invested significant time and resources in the recruit- ment and hiring process. To lose online instructors due to a difficult transition or inade- quate support would be a waste of time, effort, and resources, not to mention the potential impact on course quality. This Faculty Focus special report contains 12 articles pulled from the pages of Distance Education Report. The articles feature best practices from colleges and universities who have solved the training and retention puzzle and come up with innovative approaches to ensure their online instructors are trained, connected, and supported throughout their teaching experience. Here’s a sample of some of the articles you will find in Best Practices for Training and Retaining Online Adjunct Faculty: • Giving Part-Time Online Instructors What They Need • The Virtual Faculty Lounge: Providing Online Faculty Development for Adjunct Instructors • Eight Facts to Know About What Bothers Your Distance Education Faculty, and What Keeps Them Coming Back • Jump Starting Faculty into Online Course Development • A System for Managing Online Faculty • Tips for Designing an Online Faculty Workshop This special report will provide you with the best practices you need to improve the training and retention of your online faculty. Christopher Hill Editor Distance Education Report 2 Best Practices for Training and Retaining Online Adjunct Faculty • www.FacultyFocus.com
  3. 3. Table of Contents Giving Part-Time Online Instructors What They Need ................................................................................................4 Training Online Adjuncts the Florida Way ................................................................................................................5 The Virtual Faculty Lounge: Providing Online Faculty Development for Adjunct Instructors ..................................7 Getting By With a Little Help from One's Friends: Mentoring Program Boosts Faculty Retention ............................9 Tips for Designing an Online Faculty Workshop ......................................................................................................10 Eight Facts to Know About What Bothers Your Distance Education Faculty, and What Keeps Them Coming Back ................................................................................................................................................12 Training 60,000 Faculty to Go Online ......................................................................................................................14 Jump Starting Faculty into Online Course Development ..........................................................................................16 A System for Managing Online Faculty ....................................................................................................................18 How to Train and Maintain Your Distant Faculty ....................................................................................................20 Development on Demand: Professional Enhancement Resources for a Geographically-Diverse Faculty ................22 Designing a Certificate Program for Preparing Faculty for Online Teaching and Hybrid Course Development ......23 Best Practices for Training and Retaining Online Adjunct Faculty • www.FacultyFocus.com 3
  4. 4. time consuming and if you add that Giving Part-Time Online component to delivering the content, you’re basically doubling their Instructors What They Need workload, and who wants to work with an organization when their workload has doubled, and they’re not being compensated for it?” Although fair compensation is By Christopher Hill important, some instructors are motivated by other factors. “There are a lot of faculty members who know that online learning is hot and it’s the here are many benefits of online instructor, reminding them of T employing part-time instructors to teach online: they can relieve the instructional workload of full-time the services that we have in the Open Learning Centre that can make this teaching experience positive for them thing they need to get into. A lot of faculty do it to try to get into teaching full time, and if they show that they’re interested in using the technology, faculty; they can provide expertise because in a lot of cases, online they feel that makes them more at- that is not available within a program; faculty feel that the focus is on tractive as candidates for full-time and they can help keep program costs making sure that the student is happy positions. But ultimately, in order to manageable. Along with these and that no one is really there for retain the faculty, we’re trying to potential benefits, relying on part-time them,” Hickey says. make the experience less frustrating online instructors creates new chal- Each online instructor is assigned a and as positive as possible for them lenges, including high rates of instruc- specific staff member (according to with limited resources,” Hickey says. tor turnover. academic area), which provides a When an online learning program single point of contact for each relies heavily on part-time instructors, instructor. A faculty community Like students in an online course, a high turnover rate could negatively when instructors feel like they are affect course quality and increase Compensation part of a community, they will likely faculty development costs. This is Because Humber College is decen- stick around, Hickey says. To create a why retaining good part-time online tralized, part-time instructors’ pay sense of community, the Open instructors is a priority at Humber varies among the different academic Learning Centre invites part-time College’s Open Learning Centre, programs. Some are paid hourly and online instructors to campus events where 90 percent of online courses some are paid according to the such as course showcases and faculty are taught by part-time instructors. number of students they teach. development opportunities. (Most of Ruth Hickey, director of the Open “There’s a lot of work involved with the part-time online live near the Learning Centre, provides centralized teaching online. That’s the hardest Humber’s Toronto campus.) support for online instructors in an part in retaining faculty—the fact that An important part of creating this otherwise decentralized institution. initially it looks like you’re not getting sense of community as well as Hickey works with academic program paid for what you do because you improving instructors’ technology coordinators to identify which courses spend so much time fumbling around skills is the WebCT clinic the Open will be offered online. (Currently with the technology,” Hickey says. Learning Centre offers. After complet- there are approximately 200 online The goal of the Open Learning ing this clinic—Hickey recommends courses that have been developed for Centre is to support faculty and that all online instructors complete it online delivery, and 130 to 150 of provide the services needed to allow before teaching online—instructors these are offered each term.) them to “focus on the content and can take part in an ongoing threaded Hickey encourages each department teaching their online courses so they discussion about online teaching tech- to identify its online faculty as early don’t have to deal with the nitty-gritty niques with other instructors who as possible, which enables the Open technical support for the students, have completed the clinic. “We try to Learning Centre to begin working such as navigation.” Hickey says. “I build a sense of community [online], with these instructors before the term think by providing that type of realizing that they’re not necessarily begins. service, the faculty aren’t so over- “I send out a welcome letter to each whelmed. Teaching online is very PAGE 5 4 Best Practices for Training and Retaining Online Adjunct Faculty • www.FacultyFocus.com
  5. 5. FROM PAGE 4 sometimes there is no substitute for Providing instructors with the individual attention from a support support they need likely will help on campus a whole lot. You have to staff member. As the number of retention, but the need for support utilize the technology in terms of courses grows, providing this support does not end even after they have building that sense of community the will be a challenge. “Because of our taught online for a long time, Hickey same way you do in your online large number of courses, our resources says. “You’re always going to need to classroom,” Hickey says. are grown, but not at the same rate [as do that little bit of handholding, even our online course offerings]. Our with experienced online instructors Timely support biggest challenge now is to make sure because technology changes so The Open Learning Centre’s website that our resources are set up in a way much.” G includes information that can help in- that our instructors can actually access structors manage their courses, but them,” Hickey says. Training Online Adjuncts the Florida Way By Christopher Hill lorida Community College are automatically assigned a mentor. pline are selected based on their per- F Jacksonville (FCCJ) is an online institution that employs only adjunct faculty. Since they ventured FCCJ has a lead mentor who is a fulltime faculty member, with about ten other adjunct mentors. There is a formance. “They are really good en- thusiastic instructors, who wanted to get involved and who wanted to online, they have developed a system mentor for each discipline area. Each help. We tried to pick out ones so for training their adjuncts, building that we’d have one for each different community among them so that they discipline,” Hardy says. The mentors train each other, and building a sense were paid a stipend depending on of professional spirit among them. how many mentees they were Every new adjunct that’s hired Kim Hardy, Dean of Instruction and assigned, but with funding cuts Student Success at FCCJ, recently is required to go through an Hardy is not sure the program is explained to Distance Education going to be able to do that any more. Report some of the more effective online orientation program, FCCJ is looking at how they might be tools in their adjunct program. able to revise the program to com- taught by an FCCJ mentor. pensate for that. 1.The orientation program. Every new adjunct that’s hired is required 3. Certification program Another to go through an online orientation thing new faculty are required to do program, taught by an FCCJ mentor. new hire is matched with a mentor. is go through a certificate program. FCCJ trainers built the orientation The mentor has access to the That was created by FCCJ’s profes- class in BlackBoard. It includes six to mentees classes, so they can judge sional development office. Subjects 10 modules and it talks to the new the help that the mentee may need. covered include how to build an adjuncts about some of the adminis- This relationship lasts for a semester online course, online pedagogy, how trative tasks and other technical but if the new adjunct wants it for a to use BlackBoard, introduction to functions they are responsible for. year they have that option. multimedia, how to do Podcasts and Lead mentors are instructors who wikis, and more. 2. The mentor program. The are teaching full-time online, and At the end of the program they get mentoring program was designed for they coordinate the adjuncts. The PAGE 6 any new online instructor. Adjuncts regular online mentors for each disci- Best Practices for Training and Retaining Online Adjunct Faculty • www.FacultyFocus.com 5
  6. 6. FROM PAGE 5 there was an instructor, I don’t know philosophy, he created a forum in where he was but he wasn’t here, BlackBoard and invited all adjuncts a certificate and a small salary and he was having a hard time trying who were interested in creating a increase. Mentees then have to serve to figure out how to do something in new quality assurance program to as a mentor to a new adjunct. BlackBoard. We have an administra- take part in it. Every week for eight tor monitoring this but before she weeks he did a video cast with them, 4. Electronic newsletter This goes could even respond, a couple of talking with them on a different out twice a semester. It serves a adjuncts jumped in and said, ‘I topic--courses, discussions, quality in community-building function, con- haven’t exactly done this but here’s assessments, and so forth. When taining news of adjunct achievement FCCJ put this new quality assurance and other news briefs. It alerts into place, the adjuncts felt like they adjuncts to events and opportunities. had a stake in it, some ownership. “That’s something else that helps us People felt like they had a say in how keep in touch with each other,” says Discussion boards are set up this quality assurance was going to Hardy. so if adjuncts need to talk to be implemented. 5. Live webinars For the last two other instructors, if they need 9. The resources page FCCJ has a years FCCJ has done webinars using page where adjuncts post different Elluminate for adjuncts at the time of resources in their subject, if resources that they come across. The the school’s fall convocation. They mentors contribute. use it to welcome the adjuncts and they need to know some offer useful advice. Some of the administrative policies or if Guiding Philosophy webinar is live, other portions prere- The guiding philosophy from start corded. There is a question and they don’t know how to use to finish at FCCJ is peer-to-peer com- answer period. munication. Hardy believes that it’s something in BlackBoard, they one thing to get input or direction 6. V-Compass FCCJ has a communi- from an academic superior or an ad- cations and information forum in can discuss those issues. ministrator. It’s another to hear sug- BlackBoard called V-Compass. gestions from peers. “It’s not so Instead of sending adjuncts a stream much you’re telling me what to do, of e-mails reminding them of various but instead here is a suggestions from things, they have created V-Compass as a clearing house for information. what I think’. And another person a colleague. I think that helps a lot,” Discussion boards are set up so if jumped in and said, ‘Yes but you says Hardy. adjuncts need to talk to other in- need to do this and that; and they structors, if they need resources in were all in there helping each other.” “Let’s use the resources we have,” their subject, if they need to know says Hardy. “We have some great in- some administrative policies or if 7. Online workshops and videos. structors here. They’re the ones who they don’t know how to use Short two or three minute demonstra- will be able to help our new instruc- something in BlackBoard, they can tions on how to do specific opera- tors really acclimate to this environ- discuss those issues. All the tions in BlackBoard are made ment and help them with a lot of webinars are on V-Compass. There available online to students and their questions that could be are also interactive tutorials, online faculty. answered not just by our administra- demonstrations and videos. Adjuncts tors here but also by our fellow can go on V-Compass any time. Adjuncts are encouraged to go online 8. Quality assurance. The dean of adjuncts.” G and answer each other’s questions, FCCJ’s online program decided it was to support each other , to post time to focus on quality. Because resources for each other, and get this was going to look at how FCCJ involved in mentoring each other, evaluated adjuncts as instructors, he either officially or unofficially. wanted to make sure they all had a Hardy tells a story: “I was on our voice in the creation of the evaluation V-Compass Forum the other day and system. In a move typical of FCCJ 6 Best Practices for Training and Retaining Online Adjunct Faculty • www.FacultyFocus.com
  7. 7. the instructor is introduced to the The Virtual Faculty Lounge: Blackboard system that serves as the shell for the Lounge and is granted access to it through a personal Providing Online Faculty account. The Lounge contains a variety of Development for Adjunct materials that the adjunct instructor will need, ranging from the highly Instructors practical to the more theoretical. For example, Bennett notes that many forms the institution uses may be difficult for the instructor to access during off-hours, when the instructor By Jennifer Patterson Lorenzetti is able to visit campus. Therefore, the committee that made recommenda- tions for the Lounge’s content ore and more, Ohio’s two- insisted that practical resources such M year colleges are turning to adjunct instructors to teach their courses. These instructors bring Helping adjunct faculty address these training needs will help as forms be made available for download. Additionally, the Lounge is filled a wealth of real-world experience and ensure that students receive a with resources to help adjuncts learn subject-matter expertise to their time more about pedagogical techniques. in the classroom. However, they often better education and that “Two-year college faculty are often lack the knowledge of pedagogical content experts, not education and learning theory that their full- valuable, part-time faculty experts,” Bennett says of these part- time counterparts may have obtained members are inspired to time faculty. As such, adjuncts can as part of their preparation to teach, bolster their classroom and teaching or in subsequent faculty-development continue to bring their skills by working through the infor- opportunities. Further, the adjunct mation found in the Lounge. population is typically a busy one, expertise to the college. BTC provides support and guidance with demands from full-time jobs, for adjuncts as they continue their making it difficult to take time out education, as well. Adjunct faculty during normal business hours for are typically observed in their continuing education. This is the problem that Cathy classroom by the department chair or If lack of training in pedagogical Bennett, associate dean of Learning, a member of the college’s administra- theory is a typical weakness of Information Services, and Technology tion, who assesses the instructor in adjunct faculty, it is very likely that for Belmont Technical College (BTC), areas including class organization, these instructors know it. Not only has been confronting for several presentation, student/faculty relation- can a lack of training in this area on years. Working with a committee of ship, professional competence, the part of adjunct faculty have a former adjunct instructors, BTC has content, interaction, and active negative impact on student retention, devised a Virtual Faculty Lounge that learning. These visitors might make it can also contribute to adjunct- allows adjunct instructors to access note of some areas the adjunct in- faculty attrition, as these otherwise training and resources any time of structor could strengthen, such as en- skilled professionals feel underpre- the day, whether they are on or off couraging class discussion or pared to successfully deal with a campus. understanding learning styles. Or, the classroom of learners. Helping adjunct may identify an area that he adjunct faculty address these training Providing resources for theory or she would like to improve. needs will help ensure that students and practice “Someone can suggest, or an adjunct receive a better education and that An adjunct faculty member is intro- can self-select,” says Bennett of this valuable, part-time faculty members duced to BTCs Virtual Faculty Lounge teaching-related training. are inspired to continue to bring their in a mandatory orientation during the expertise to the college. PAGE 8 instructor’s first term. At that time, Best Practices for Training and Retaining Online Adjunct Faculty • www.FacultyFocus.com 7
  8. 8. FROM PAGE 7 professor adjunct, based on a variety on to the Virtual Faculty Lounge. of criteria. While part of a faculty Other materials and tools the instruc- This assessment leads to the con- member’s eligibility for promotion tor may wish to utilize are also struction of an individualized hinges on formal education and available through the library, and learning plan. The learning plan degrees earned, total experience in library staff serve as support to help includes recommendations in four the field, as well as number of terms instructors use the resources, such as major areas: as an instructor, the faculty member integrating PowerPoint presentations • classroom organization and may also complete certain modules into their lectures. This lends a processes (including time man- from the Virtual Faculty Lounge as human component, as well as agement, classroom manage- part of demonstrating readiness for physical resources in support of the ment, syllabus development, the next level. virtual tool, The Lounge. course preparation, class processes, and A third type of information housed Recommendations for working computer/software use); in the lounge is a result of other pro- with other institutions • content presentation (including fessional development opportunities When it comes to supporting lecture/presentation techniques, that the adjunct instructors may not adjunct faculty, Bennett sees no communication skills — verbal, have been able to attend. For reason why individual institutions nonverbal, and written — profes- example, Bennett tells of a presenta- should go it alone. “There is no sionalism, and subject tion by the Ohio state attorney reason you can’t partner with other knowledge); general held during a professional de- institutions,” she says. She notes that • fostering learning (including velopment session for full-time BTC is beginning some early cross-in- brain-based learning, active faculty that addressed federal privacy stitutional dialog about ways to adapt learning, constructive feedback regulations. BTC secured permission the Virtual Faculty Lounge for use and evaluation, developing to post the PowerPoint presentation with other institutions. One proposal students’ lifelong learning skills, to the Virtual Faculty Lounge, where involves collaborating with other in- and fostering responsibility); and faculty members could access it at stitutions to offer a multi-institution, • learning environment (including their convenience. adjunct-orientation course; another cooperative learning, learning proposal suggests opening a Virtual communities, learning and Securing a physical space Faculty Lounge that would serve teaching styles, developing and Although the Virtual Faculty more than one institution, using the communicating high expecta- Lounge is, by definition, located in Ohio Learning Network’s tions, and supporting diversity). cyberspace, while delivering online (http://www.oln.org/) open-source Each area can include a specific and on-demand learning to adjunct pilot project. Both ideas are in the recommendation for additional faculty, BTC felt that it was also earliest stages of gauging interest, but training that the instructor can important to link the lounge to a already it is easy to see how such a pursue with the help of the physical space. This follows the rec- resource could include information Virtual Faculty Lounge. ommendation from the committee of and training of use to adjunct instruc- former adjuncts, turned full-time tors at a variety of colleges across the At the end of the additional faculty, who made suggestions for state or across the country. G training, the instructor is assessed the program. “It [couldn’t] be just again, with the expectation that he or virtual; it had to have a physical she has integrated the new informa- piece,” Bennett says. tion into the classroom approach. For the physical piece, BTC selected “We hope they expand and grow as the Learning Resources educators,” Bennett says. One way Center/Library. The library proves to that this growth can be objectively be the ideal place to serve as an on- measured is by eligibility for campus base for the Virtual Faculty promotion. Adjunct faculty at BTC Lounge. One benefit is the extended move from the ranks of instructor hours held by the library, which adjunct, assistant professor adjunct, means that adjunct instructors can and associate professor adjunct, up to visit at a wide range of times to log 8 Best Practices for Training and Retaining Online Adjunct Faculty • www.FacultyFocus.com
  9. 9. A Safe Place for Questions Getting By With a Little Help Steven Huntley is a professor based in FCCJ's Kent Campus and the lead from One's Friends: Mentoring mentor for the Virtual Mentoring Program. He explains that the Program Boosts Faculty mentoring program is designed to encourage questions and avert problems for adjunct faculty in their Retention first semester teaching for FCCJ. The mentoring program employs ten mentors scattered around the country, each one a seasoned FCCJ By Jennifer Patterson Lorenzetti faculty member representing a specific academic discipline. As the college hires new faculty, they are assigned a mentor from their ecoming a new faculty member ments online in the 2004-05 academic B discipline. is seldom an easy transition. year. Each semester, FCCJ offers The mentor makes initial contact Whether the instructor is some 450 sections of online courses, with his or her assigned mentee, es- simply transitioning to a new univer- taught by 100 full time faculty and tablishing time frames for contact sity or stepping into a classroom for 200 adjuncts. throughout the semester. The pair the very first time, there are exchange contact information and set questions large and small that arise a schedule for checking in with one every day about policies, procedures, another, with at least two contacts techniques, and technologies. For The typical new faculty required each semester. However, the online instructor, this sense of Huntley finds that the adjuncts disorientation is only made more member with a question typically desire contact much more difficult by the faculty member's off- often. site location and the necessary tech- usually believes that the Huntley believes that this result is nology that can seem as much a due mainly to a general comfort level communication barrier as a commu- question must be posed to a with the mentor that may not exist nication tool. new boss, a daunting prospect for the typical new faculty member in This is a major concern, not only an academic department. The typical for the new faculty member but for that causes many questions to new faculty member with a question the university. The institution has usually believes that the question invested significant time and go unanswered. must be posed to a new boss, a resources in the recruitment and daunting prospect that causes many hiring process, and it will continue to questions to go unanswered. This is make investments in training and especially true of the software retention. To lose a faculty member Although approximately two-thirds questions that often plague a virtual due to a difficult transition would be of the virtual adjuncts reside in the instructor adjusting to a new system. a waste of time, effort, and the state of Florida, many are not local to “The mentees have a place to go. faculty member's potential. Jacksonville and therefore cannot They have a safe place to confide Florida Community College at easily visit campus to resolve in…they are more likely to ask Jacksonville is well aware of these problems or get to know other faculty questions,” says Huntley. It is this challenges. The college offers a and staff. To help smooth the road for safe, non-threatening relationship variety of distance learning programs these "virtual adjuncts," FCCJ has that is at the heart of virtual faculty delivered through online, blended, developed a mentoring program retention for FCCJ. CD-based, and telecourse platforms, designed to ease transitions and serving approximately 25,000 enroll- improve faculty retention. PAGE 10 Best Practices for Training and Retaining Online Adjunct Faculty • www.FacultyFocus.com 9
  10. 10. FROM PAGE 9 offer help when it can be most amount of work, as FCCJ does not effective. “The earlier the mentor is mandate the number of hours the An additional responsibility for the involved the more receptive [the mentor spends with each mentee, mentor is to help head off problems adjunct]. We want to help them,” only that regular communication take that often arise for new faculty says Huntley. place. members, proposing solutions before The relationship does not end the problem becomes too large. For An Effective and Efficient when the semester does. Although example, online courses are usually Approach no further formal contact between constructed with events that are time- A mentor’s life can range from idle mentor and mentee is suggested or based, such as an exam that must be to busy, depending on the demands mandated, the new faculty member completed by a certain time or a of hiring for a given semester. In one may look first to his or her old bulletin board that will be accessible recent semester, some 40 new faculty mentor when a question arises. And for a certain number of days for a members were hired, meaning that all faculty in the mentor’s discipline, required contribution. Even with the each of the 10 mentors averaged four including the new ones, receive best of intentions, links fail, instruc- regular communications from the tions are unclear, and students find mentor about what is going on in themselves frustrated attempting to that area. fulfill the requirements of the course. In sum, Huntley calls the Virtual Experienced faculty like Huntley Mentor Program “an effective, know to check in on time-sensitive An additional responsibility for efficient way to train new faculty.” tasks, ensuring that links are active the mentor is to help head off Assigning faculty mentors to new and checking email to see if students faculty, with a nominal compensation are having problems. By checking in problems that often arise for amount, is much more cost effective early, faculty can fix problems before than hiring a full time staff member they become course-wide difficulties. new faculty members, to handle the same duties. And, A new faculty member, however, may more importantly, new faculty at not think to do this. “New faculty proposing solutions before the FCCJ begin their work with a non- may not be in tune. They may not problem becomes too large. threatening relationship with an ac- know to check in when their students cessible mentor who sets the tone for are logging in,” says Huntley. By a career that is hopefully long and stepping in early in the term, the successful. G mentor can help the new faculty avoid problems and have a successful result. mentees per person. However, But what of questions of independ- simple averages may not tell the ence of the new faculty member, and story, since mentees are assigned by the traditional power of the faculty to the mentor’s academic discipline. teach as they see fit? “It’s not so Therefore, even in a relatively active much a challenge to academic semester, some mentors may not freedom, but to see how things are have mentees, while some may have working,” says Huntley. For this a full dance card. For the coming Fall reason, the mentors do not try to semester, with enrollments flat or prescribe teaching methods. “We slightly declining, FCCJ may hire only don’t advocate mentors get involved half that number of new faculty. [in pedagogy],” says Huntley. Each mentor with an active mentee Instead, the mentor may at most load receives a flat fee each semester choose to ask a well-placed, probing for serving as mentor, along with an question about the intention and additional amount for each new expected outcomes of a particular mentee. The amounts are modest, approach. The intention, however, is each ranging in the low hundreds of not to limit academic freedom but to dollars. This fee is for an unspecified 10 Best Practices for Training and Retaining Online Adjunct Faculty • www.FacultyFocus.com
  11. 11. One set of links available to the course participants is a listing of Tips for Designing an Online resources addressing current thinking about pedagogy. Links in this section Faculty Workshop include ones to Quality Matters, Merlot, and the Sloan-C Consortium. The online faculty workshop also includes several videos to personalize the information and allow campus By Jennifer Patterson Lorenzetti experts to talk about their own experi- ences. “We have lots of videos of ex- perienced online professors who share hat is the best way to train who range from busy new professors their best practices,” says Clerkin. W and support a beginning online faculty member? At some colleges, the only option is on to even busier department chairs who may not be able to carve several hours or days out of their schedule for face- Other videos are from the director of the library, the director of the help desk, the director of the academic site training held on the campus over to-face training. However, all of them support center, the instructional a day, a weekend, or a period of days are used to finding information online. designer, students, and Clerkin herself. during the summer. These on-site • Tip: Remember that although not • Tip: Videos can be a good way to workshops, while potentially very all online faculty will be physically personalize online training and to effective, commit the faculty members located off-campus, that doesn’t allow the participants to get to know to time, travel, and often inflexible mean they will have a great deal of the resource personnel they will need scheduling. However, Berkeley available time for face-to-face to be successful. College, with campuses in New York training. Online training can be a and New Jersey, has designed an good solution to varied and busy The online workshop also includes online faculty workshop and set of schedules. an online faculty resource center, training and support tools that ensures which features tools and resources that online faculty are never far away Clerkin notes that the college piloted that faculty likely will need. This from the assistance they need. an online workshop two quarters ago, includes a faculty handbook, a This is not to say that Berkeley with just seven faculty members as checklist for a successful course College has neglected its on-site participants. This initial group liked created by the dean, and a section on training and supporting online infor- the training, so the college made a academic integrity. mation components. Before designing two-week workshop for beginning The online faculty resource center is the online faculty workshop, the online instructors available. The team conceived as “a place where faculty college already offered an online is now working on offering courses for can share,” says Clerkin. For example, teaching tutorial; on-site beginning, advanced faculty and for instructional all faculty meetings are held online advanced, and instructional design design. through a section of the resource workshops and open labs at all Although the beginning instructor’s center dedicated to discussions. This campus locations; WebEx conferenc- workshop is billed as a two week section also includes discipline-specific ing; online peer mentoring by disci- endeavor, the actual amount of time discussions for faculty in certain pline, an online faculty recourse that completion will require depends subject areas, and an option for voice center, and a variety of personnel to on the individual faculty member’s discussions. There is even room for support faculty training. The center of technical expertise. The course is faculty-initiated interaction projects; all of this activity is Mary Jane replete with resources, including the for example, one faculty member has Clerkin, coordinator of online faculty textbook that complements the course. asked to run an online book club, so support. The text offers an excellent companion that discussion area is now found Clerkin explains that Berkeley has website and a link for beginning online. always made use of adjunct professors online teachers. • Tip: Allow faculty the chance to to teach some of its online courses, • Tip: Berkeley College uses personalize online space in order to but many of its online instructors are Teaching Online: A Practical Guide, keep them coming back. An online actually on site and teaching campus- by Susan Ko and Steve Rosen, as a book club or other non-work interac- based courses as well. Scheduling is a text and companion web site. PAGE 12 concern for these faculty members, Best Practices for Training and Retaining Online Adjunct Faculty • www.FacultyFocus.com 11
  12. 12. FROM PAGE 11 best practices. One section includes Clerkin and Berkeley College intend sample courses in a variety of disci- to keep upgrading the online faculty tion may make them feel more at plines, which allows participants to workshop so that all faculty continue home online. view a successful course and learn to have the tools they need to be what aspects they might adopt for effective in the online classroom. “It is The site also includes a number of their own. There are also many sets important that faculty have access to forms that the faculty members will of directions and instructions for using all new materials,” Clerkin says. For need as they do their work, such as common tools, like Blackboard. example, Blackboard, which the progress reports. “All they have to do Finally, the online faculty workshop school uses as its course management is click to take any one of those requires the participants to demon- system, has new portfolio features that forms,” says Clerkin. Additionally, the strate competence with practical appli- the faculty need to understand in site lists the various upcoming confer- cations. Each participant is asked to order to make use of them. ences that faculty may be interested in complete certain tasks, like posting a Clerkin and the college intend to attending, a feature that is additionally comment, to show their readiness to keep developing workshops to help nice because of the generous amount teach online. At the end of course faculty stay current in their field. An of grants Berkeley College makes completion, they are sent certificates advanced workshop and one on in- available to its faculty for attendance of completion to show that they suc- structional design are expected to be at these events. cessfully navigated the course. available by the beginning of the year. • Tip: Put all of the forms and infor- • Tip: Just as you would have tests G mation your faculty will need online and assignments for students in an in easily downloaded formats, so online course, consider having as- that they can be accessed at all sessment activities for participants hours from any computer. in an online training workshop, so that they may demonstrate mastery The site is filled with models and of the materials. Eight Facts to Know About What Bothers Your Distance Education Faculty, and What Keeps Them Coming Back By Christopher Hill hen Jennifer McLean, learning administrator. “More and tion. The findings are important for W director of instructional technology and distance learning for the Pennsylvania College more faculty are working totally remotely,” she says. “Is that an isolating experience? What does that any distance learning administrator to understand and address to create happier faculty. of Technology, looked through the mean for faculty retention? What do existing literature on distance they need and how can we support Stressor: Student Interaction education, she found many studies them?” McLean’s first finding was that and articles addressing the needs of McLean undertook a study using a distance learning faculty “didn’t expe- students and how to retain them. Delphi panel of distance educators, rience more stress than other faculty Unfortunately, she found few asking them about their causes of members, but from different sources.” mentions of studies of the faculty ex- stress and satisfaction with their jobs Much of this stress came from working perience, and here she saw a gap that and allowing them to discuss their with students who are not prepared to impacted her work as a distance opinions online in a sort of conversa- PAGE 13 12 Best Practices for Training and Retaining Online Adjunct Faculty • www.FacultyFocus.com
  13. 13. FROM PAGE 12 group that views themselves primarily Non-Stressor: University Pressures as teachers. “The faculty who are study online, and then attempting to Although distance learning faculty drawn to distance education are even remediate these students in an asyn- experience a good deal of stress from more independent” than the tradi- chronous environment. Faculty cite interactions with their students, some tional faculty member, says McLean. stress originating from “the reality that of the typical stresses faced by tradi- “They self-select into this, so they may much of the remediation they are tional faculty members are often not a be better teachers,” she notes. providing should have been provided consideration. For example, distance Even though they recognize the earlier in the student’s academic learning faculty are often not held to stresses that can come from relative career,” McLean writes in a paper for the traditional triad of expectations of isolation and pressure to meet unreal- the Distance Learning Administration teaching, research, and service, and so istic student demands, they are conference, “Forgotten Faculty: Stress they do not experience the stress that generally happy with the life they have and Job Satisfaction among Distance results from juggling these demands. elected. “They perceive the trade-off Educators.” Additionally, they do not feel bound as well worth it,” McLean says, noting by expectations for social interaction that faculty describe their jobs as “sat- Stressor: The Rolling Presence or even for earning a good evaluation. isfying and challenging.” Distance learning administrators Many of the faculty in McLean’s study often emphasize students’ desire to report that they rarely see a perform- Uncertainty: Knowledge of have rapid responses to their email ance evaluation and really do not care Colleagues messages and chat room postings, but to. They are also extremely unlikely to A point of low satisfaction among this can be very stressful for the look to the university for social inter- faculty members was knowledge of faculty member. “Students assume you action, so don’t expect these faculty, their colleagues. For example, a pair of are sitting at your computer 24/7,” even the locally-based ones, to hang questions asked the participants to says McLean. This perception is out in the department lounge or rate the degree to which their col- known as the “rolling presence,” and eagerly anticipate the holiday party. leagues were boring or lazy, and the it causes faculty a great deal of anxiety “They don’t perceive themselves as participants admitted they did not when they do decide to log off for an part of the university as a whole, and know these people well enough to evening or a weekend. McLean tells of they don’t feel left out,” McLean says. respond. one faculty member who checked her In fact, this population seems to This lack of personal connection email while at her daughter’s delight in being “out of sight, out of extends up the hierarchy. “One wedding, so concerned was she that a mind,” or “flying under the radar,” panelist didn’t even know who [his] student’s question would go unan- two phrases that came up repeatedly supervisor was,” says McLean, who swered. If our society as a whole in the study. “They don’t feel alone; notes that distance faculty often suffers from the “always on” phenom- they like it that way,” says McLean. simply receive a teaching assignment enon that makes professionals tote This fierce independence can have from the department secretary. This their Blackberries along on beach some serious implications for distance lack of interaction can create mistaken vacations, the pressure is even more learning administrators and depart- impressions, such as when campus intense for the faculty who work with ment deans who may try to reach out based colleagues assume distance students who expect them to be to their distance faculty, only to find a faculty are on something akin to a available at any time. lukewarm response. However, certain permanent vacation. other university populations are seen Stressor: Perfectionism as tremendously important by the Uncertainty: Equitability of Pay Further complicating the pressure to distance faculty. When asked about Finally, faculty in McLean’s study respond immediately is the fact that their interaction with colleagues, had a difficult time assessing the faculty as a group tend to be “fairly McLean reports that her study popula- fairness of their pay. Although many perfectionistic,” McLean says. This tions did not “talk about their disci- of the participants were quite experi- self-imposed stress can lead them to pline or their deans; they talk about enced faculty members at the end of berate themselves for not living up to tech support. That is their link to the successful careers, which muddied the 24/7 expectations of their university.” perceptions about the availability of students, and the pressure to be promotion opportunities, there was a available all day, late into the night, Satisfaction Point: feeling that the ratio of pay to and over the weekend can be very Independence workload may not accurately reflect wearing for a faculty member and his The faculty who elect to teach or her family. PAGE 14 online are often a very independent Best Practices for Training and Retaining Online Adjunct Faculty • www.FacultyFocus.com 13
  14. 14. FROM PAGE 13 should assess their own level of social The information should also be engagement needs to determine how quite useful for distance learning ad- the amount of effort distance learning well they will deal with the independ- ministrators who hope to understand requires. ence or isolation. They should also the stressors and uncertainties among realize that it is difficult to remediate their faculty and help them manage Lesson: Know Thyself students in the distance environment, them. McLean recommends communi- One obvious benefit of McLean’s and “it is very easy to get pulled under cation and support to help these study is the opportunity for faculty the wheels of rolling presence,” distance faculty feel a part of the uni- considering distance learning to McLean says. She recommends faculty versity as a whole. Just don’t expect measure their own preferences against set boundaries, as “the burn out factor them to show up at the next depart- known stressors. For example, faculty is the greatest threat to productivity.” ment meeting. G Training 60,000 Faculty to Go Online By Christopher Hill ohn Whitmer and his @One reach a much larger audience — the The video is accompanied by a phone J (pronounced at-one) group had to teach 60,000 faculty how to operate online. That’s the total entire system. “Your reach is very limited if you’re going to stay on the ground,” says Whitmer. “In a state as bridge so that the presenter and the participants can call in to an 866 number and converse. “That’s one of number of faculty and staff in the big as California you’re not going to the biggest tools for us and that’s whole California Community College get too far.” how we’re reaching several thousand (CCC) System — all 110 schools and @One has a core staff that does all people per term,” says Whitmer. 72 district offices. the administrative work: logistics and @One offers a variety of different The @One Project is a technology coordination, planning and pedagogy, types of training. One of their basic training and support program for the marketing, outreach, registration, and formats is the desktop seminar — faculty and staff of the CCC system. evaluation. But all the technology short 45 minute presentations with Their charge is to make it easier for and production work is outsourced. 15 minutes of Q&A. The desktop CCC faculty and staff to learn how to @One’s preferred outsourcing seminars cover everything from the use technology to enhance student suppliers are other chancellor’s office very basics — how to make PDF files learning. @ONE’s programs provide projects, where @One can largely get — t advanced desktop applications training, online resources and what they need for free. The most like Excel, PhotoShop, PowerPoint, support for free — or at a very low important of these services is access and Flash. cost — thanks to funding from the to CCC Confer, the California Lately, many of the seminars have California Community College Community College version of moved beyond strictly technological Chancellor's Office. Horizon Wimba, the e-conferencing skills, into pedagogical issues, solution. CCC Confer allows users to featuring training in online instruc- Scaling Up Training set up a web portal that presenter tion, effective evaluation skills and Before the @One project, the and participants both log on to. The detecting plagiarism. California Community College System presenter can show PowerPoint slides Whitmer concedes that 45 minutes had tried to address its training needs or even their own desktop (so partici- is not a lot of time to do all this with four peripatetic trainers going pants can see any other application training. Responding to this fact, from one school to the next. The idea running on the presenter’s computer @One has developed the most behind the @One Project was to use in real time). There’s also a chat popular of these desktop seminars distance education and distributed window, a white board, a polling tool learning technologies in order to and other interactive functionality. PAGE 15 14 Best Practices for Training and Retaining Online Adjunct Faculty • www.FacultyFocus.com
  15. 15. FROM PAGE 14 multimedia, technology-enhanced in- connection, the more individualized struction. But @One has another attention someone gets, the higher into series, allowing the subject to be audience as well — the “techies” as they rate the service.” He adds that explored more deeply. Whitmer calls them — and they this is not just in response to The next level of @One instruction present a different challenge. The obviously related questions like how support is asynchronous online technologists in the CCC system are good the facilitator was, but also to classes, from three to six weeks long. only taught face to face, not via seemingly unrelated questions like Whitmer describes them as standard distance learning. “Techies can’t get “How well did the content meet your online classes, with course content away,” explains Whitmer. “We could needs?” “That gets a much higher online, each module with a discus- not do the techie training online rating if we have more one-on-one sion forum, often with multimedia because if they’re in front of a activity,” Whitmer says. In @One’s elements. computer they’re working, and the evaluation data people are happier It’s in designing their online only way they can get training is to and more satisfied, and get a better courses that @One staffers really call actually get them out of the office. learning experience, if they have a fa- on their outsourced support. “We We’d been very successful in getting cilitator helping them through. have people all over the state who to everybody else but the techies, and In the immediate future, @One is are instructional designers,” Whitmer we would talk to them and they planning a conference — the Online says – “Very talented people whom would say ‘Nice class, the technology Teaching Conference – for the we work with on a contract basis.” looks good but I can’t participate. summer of 2007 It will be a standard Though @One doesn’t have Because my choice is to learn two-day conference format, with a trainers or instructional designers on something new or fix a server.’ And projected attendance of about 300. staff, they do have a set of production we never won that battle. So we But, in line with @One’s mission, standards. “We have a design guide provide them all face-to-face they have their eyes on the 60,000 that we use,” says Whitmer. “We training.” strong CCC audience. So they’ve have a look and feel. We have a decided to stream the whole confer- template. We have other standard Reaching thousands ence while they hold it face-to-face policies and features for our classes. Over the course of the last four “We call it a hybrid event,” says We have it all standardized, but we years @One training has reached Whitmer. “We’re going to be web- don’t use a designer.” almost 12000 people. Last year alone casting the keynote speakers that’ll @One reached 8022 people. That go straight out to the Internet. Also, Using System Resources number breaks down this way: 1019 for some of the breakout sessions The resources of the CCC system through face to face training; 1259 we’ll be using CCC Confer and also provide Whitmer and his group through online courses; desk top offering those as interactive sessions. with subject matter experts to teach seminars 3262; video on demand The people in the audience will be the online courses. They have several 953; the other 1500-plus group is there but we’ll also have a virtual ways of locating potential instructors. made up of people who choose self- audience that can hear the presenter They can advertise on a system-wide paced materials. Self-paced materials in real time, that can ask questions listserv; the @One staff also knows are similar the online classes — and interact. There will be no charge many people who have worked in the sometimes it’s the same content — for virtual attendees. We’ll open it up CCC system capable of teaching a but repurposed so that learners go to the whole educational system.” course. And sometimes they recruit through at their own rate. There are And so the @One Project continues talented students — CCC faculty or no activities and no discussion. its mission. G staff — from the classes. Says Whitmer, “Drawing on the resources Evaluation and the talent and the knowledge @One does point-of-service evalua- that’s already in our system has been tion at the conclusion of all of their one of the biggest factors in our events – a formative ongoing evalua- ability to do this on a budget, and tion process with a core set of provide really a very rich and robust questions that are asked with every content.” service so that they can do compar- isons across services. “What we’ve @One teaches general topics to found,” says Whitmer, “is that the faculty and staff — Online teaching, more personalized service, the more Best Practices for Training and Retaining Online Adjunct Faculty • www.FacultyFocus.com 15
  16. 16. course’s effectiveness. Jump Starting Faculty into Digital Media Services (DMS), IUPUI’s in-house production facility, Online Course Development is another key part of the team. They are the people who will assemble and produce the finished course. Once the course has been designed, the faculty member, the instructional designer, By Christopher Hill and the IT consultant get together and create a plan the DMS will be able to use to create the course. ost distance education ad- would give them all the support they M ministrators know that there’s going to be a certain amount of hand-holding involved needed. The Jump Start team includes an instructional technology consultant, an instructional design The Jump Start process The heart of the Jump Start Process is an intensive four-day week where the faculty members work on devel- when they’re trying to get faculty consultant, production support, a members to produce their first online librarian to help them connect to oping a prototype model for their courses. On the other hand, at the online resources, and a copyright course. Center for Teaching and Learning at management office. Day 1: Tuesday Eight to 12 faculty Indiana University-Purdue University members gather, first for a series of Indianapolis (IUPUI), they get 12 workshops on the basics of online novice professors to produce 12 new course design. They then meet with courses in 90 days – and like it. Terri The Jump Start team includes their support team. They’ll see Tarr, Director of Instructional Design examples of previous Jump Start an instructional technology courses . People from Digital Media and Development and Rhett Services (DMS) come in and “sort of McDaniel, Director of Instructional consultant, an instructional Technology, explained to Distance put the parameters around what’s Education Report how IUPUI’s “Jump design consultant, production possible,” as McDaniel says. Together Start” program works. with the professors, the DMS people IUPUI had decided they wanted an support, a librarian to help develop a work plan, sitting down online degree option to offer with a calendar to plan their work for commuter and non-traditional them connect to online the next 90 days. students. But they had a problem resources, and a copyright with faculty. Says Tarr, “The faculty Day 2: Wednesday The next day, the was saying, yes, we’d like to develop management office. faculty members become familiar the courses but we don’t have the with online course development expertise, we don’t want to spend the guidelines, and begin to develop their time learning how to develop them, The instructional technology con- syllabus. Multicultural teaching we really want to focus on teaching, sultant from IUPUI’s Center for strategies are discussed. The profes- and so on.” “They just got lost,” says Teaching and Learning helps the pro- sors are introduced to the key McDaniel of the professors. “They fessors explore some of the possible concepts in intellectual property, and didn’t know where to start, they technology options. The instructional they work with librarians to learn didn’t know how to start. They didn’t design consultant helps the faculty about connecting to online resources. know what a course looked like member determine objectives for the They finish defining their goals and online.” course, and decide how to organize objectives for their courses. They’re It was in response to this that Tarr the content. The designer helps them introduced to different web interface and McDaniel began to develop the think through issues like creating in- options, and start thinking about Jump Start program. The idea was teractive exercises, or establishing a what kinds of interactivity are two-fold. One) Have the faculty social presence online. They can help available to them. members work collaboratively and them decide what sort of assessment two) surround them with a team that they’re going to use to gauge the PAGE 17 16 Best Practices for Training and Retaining Online Adjunct Faculty • www.FacultyFocus.com
  17. 17. FROM PAGE 16 handle on the process. It also gets the aside to work on that project,” says faculty thinking concretely about the Tarr. course – what content they will need The program has been so success- Day 3: Thursday The group identi- to write, where they will need to ful that Tarr and McDaniel can now fies best practices for online teaching. build in interactivity, graphics they envision a time when it won’t be At this point the professors begin to will need, and so on. “Once they see needed. “When it was first created look at their course as a whole. They that first module and they have a there was a strong need to help decide how it will be structured -- by design for it, and DSM creates it so faculty create online courses -- they unit, chapters, weeks, subject area, they can see it, it’s a lot easier for were really lost,” she says. Now, she topic, etc. They pick out a representa- them to visualize the rest of the thinks the need may be becoming tive section to focus on. As the days course,” says Tarr. less pressing, although she thinks proceed, the professors are having that the model they have created of less and less facilitated time and are production support for faculty will spending more and more working in- continue to be valid. dependently on their own courses. One of the directions McDaniel and Once all the prototypes are Tarr want to go with Jump Start is to Day 4: Friday By Friday the profes- put more and more of it online. On sors are deep into designing their created, the faculty members their last Jump Start cycle they con- prototype. They start developing a sciously put more material online and plan for assessing course effective- come back in the summer for had the professors do some prepara- ness. They’ll finalize a work plan for a prototype showcase, where tory work online as well. They plan the next 90 days to complete their to do more of this that the faculty course. They turn in their design they present their prototype members will experience more of the document to DMS, who will have a student viewpoint online. prototype built. Faculty members modules to each other and Jump Start has had an institution- share their course design and view wide impact. The courses created out other faculty projects. describe their projects. of the process have now spread out into many of the schools and depart- Once all the prototypes are created, ments of IUPUI, and Jump Start the faculty members come back in courses have been used as models by the summer for a prototype One factor that helps the Jump other departments. “[Jump Start] has showcase, where they present their Start process work is money – profes- had a ripple impact on the institu- prototype modules to each other and sors receive a $5000 stipend for tion,” Tarr says. “In that way I think describe their projects. Over the creating their courses. But most it’s done a wonderful job.” G summer they continue to work with faculty actually enjoy the process as their team. The team is led by one of well. “Jump Start week is really, the instructional designers who is really intense and if it were not fun designated as project manager. The people would not be interested in professor develops course content coming,” says McDaniel. His and reviews it via e-mail with the assertion that Jump Start week is fun project manager. By the beginning of is borne out by the growing number fall term, the course is ready to go. of applications they get. “More than we can handle,” says Tarr. The impact of a Jump Start Tarr says that what makes this The main aim of Jump Start week intense week work is that the profes- is to have the professors actually sors are taken out of their routines – develop fully a section of their they’re away from their offices and course. This does a number of things. away from their phones, away from It makes the professors feel less over- people who drop in for a chat, away whelmed at the outset, giving them from their computers. “They are the sense that they’ve gotten a given the luxury of having time set Best Practices for Training and Retaining Online Adjunct Faculty • www.FacultyFocus.com 17
  18. 18. that the teachers may feel more like A System for Managing independent contractors than part of the university. They don’t necessarily Online Faculty feel they represent the institution, even though they do, of course, to their students. If they are detached from the school or if they become unhappy with something going on in By Kathleen Vail their course, they are more likely than full-time faculty to complain to their students. anaging faculty is one of the full time job somewhere else. Most “When we’ve run into problems in M big challenges in online education. It is especially difficult when a program uses adjunct are vice presidents or managers.” The advantages to using adjunct faculty in online learning programs the past, it’s when faculty got busy or were traveling. They didn’t realize that when there’s a lot more things impinging on their time, it draws you professors to teach many of its are many. Off-campus teachers, often classes. Norwich University in from the business world, are more away from your class,” says Orlando. Northfield, Vt., has developed a comfortable with the independent “We make sure they understand the system of training and monitoring time commitment. Faculty is the first online faculty for its online master’s connection to students. If they are degree programs that allows it to take not actively involved, we will lose advantage of using adjunct faculty Norwich’s faculty students.” while minimizing the problems asso- Norwich’s online faculty manage- ciated with off-campus teachers. management program ment program allows the school and Norwich’s faculty management students to enjoy the benefits of program investigates potential in- investigates potential using off-campus faculty while mini- structors during recruitment, provides mizing the problems they present. instructors during recruitment, clear expectations and extensive training before they teach, and close provides clear expectations Recruitment monitoring during the course. Orlando and his staff use a three- “We make sure we screen our and extensive training before part process to recruit faculty: resume faculty to make sure they aren’t over- reviews, phone interviews, and loading by taking on a teaching they teach, and close reference checks. That’s in addition position at Norwich,” says John to content knowledge and teaching monitoring during the course. experience. Most preferred is Orlando, associate program director for Norwich’s masters of Information someone with online teaching experi- Assurance (MSIA) program. “We ence. Newcomers to online teaching emphasize that you will put in 15 to style of work demanded by online tend to take a couple of classes to 20 hours per week online. You’d courses. The university can also take adjust, including making the lifestyle better have that time available.” advantage of choosing teachers from adjustments necessary to be available a wide variety of backgrounds, expe- to their students when required. Off-campus caveat rience, and qualifications. Orlando Candidates are fully briefed on Most of the online courses in the says this is particularly pertinent to what they’re expected to do. They masters program are taught by the MSIA degree program -- informa- also are asked about their business adjunct faculty, who are, in large tion security being a new field, where travel schedule, in case there is a part, working professionals in there are few academic experts to be conflict with the school’s schedule. addition to their teaching duties “We found. Finally, adjunct faculty can be do require them to have teaching ex- removed from their positions more Training perience,” Orlando says, “but we easily than tenured professors. Training and support is essential for want them to have practical experi- However, off-campus status can ence in the field. A majority have a pose problems. First among them is PAGE 19 18 Best Practices for Training and Retaining Online Adjunct Faculty • www.FacultyFocus.com

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