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Online Education: An Essential Innovation Suzanne G. James, Ph.D. David Binder, MBA Rapid Growth of Online Learning 2008 Sloan survey (Allen & Seaman, 2007) : 12% increase in online education over the past year Community colleges lead: Over 90% of community colleges offer online courses:

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online education an essential innovation

Online Education:An Essential Innovation

Suzanne G. James, Ph.D.

David Binder, MBA

rapid growth of online learning
Rapid Growth of Online Learning
  • 2008 Sloan survey (Allen & Seaman, 2007) : 12% increase in online education over the past year
  • Community colleges lead: Over 90% of community colleges offer online courses:

“Two-year associate’s institutions have the highest growth rates and account for over one-half of all online enrollments for the last five years.”

  • More online students at associate’s institutions than all others combined
rapid growth of online learning3
Rapid Growth of Online Learning

Definitions:% Content OnlineCourse Type

0% Traditional

<30% Web enhanced

30% to <80% Blended/Hybrid

> 80% Online

(Allen & Seaman, 2007)

rapid growth of online learning4
Rapid Growth of Online Learning
  • Increasing need for effective faculty (Waiwaiole & Noonan-Terry, 2008)
  • Reliable and effective training is rare (Ko and Stevens, 2004)
  • Nature of current training varies from
    • No formal training
    • Platform based training only
    • Few address faculty as adult learners
  • Student outcomes strongly affected by quality of faculty
problems related to rapid online growth
Problems related to rapid online growth
  • Faculty may resist change
  • Faculty must adapt to new way

of teaching and communicating

  • New skills and pedagogy

needed … effective online

teaching is different than

traditional classroom

  • Lecturer becomes facilitator
teacher centered vs learner centered style
Teacher-centered vs. Learner-centered Style
  • Teacher-centered style focuses on transmission of knowledge
  • Learner-centered style refers to “instruction in which authority for curriculum formatting is jointly shared by learner and practitioner” (Conti, 1985).
  • Retention is higher when faculty focus on learners (Carr, 2000)
community college faculty
Community College Faculty
  • Charged with engaging all types of learners
  • Faculty must have skills and knowledge to
    • Teach
    • Mentor
    • Engage students

“Sage on the stage” does not work online; think “Guide on the side”

  • Professional development dollars may be scarce
community college faculty development
Community College Faculty Development

Fugate & Amey (2000) found:

  • Typical community college faculty development includes:
    • faculty orientation
    • master teacher workshops
    • Brown bag sessions on teaching and learning
    • video conferences on learning
  • Typical institutional resources:
    • Educational technology center/department
    • Center/Department/Institute for Teaching and Learning
community college faculty development9
Community College Faculty Development

Fugate & Amey (2000) identified additional needs such as:

  • opportunities to update technological skills
  • workshops on diversity
  • pedagogical implications of the changing student population
community college faculty development10
Community College Faculty Development
  • Pankowski (2004) reported:
    • Faculty report lack of training on pedagogy
    • Only 20% received training in active learning and student collaboration
  • More recent studies have tended to confirm these and similar issues (Haber & Mills, 2008)
community college faculty development11
Community College Faculty Development
  • Barrett, Bower & Donovan (2007) looked at teaching styles of community college faculty
    • Teacher-centered focused on transmission of knowledge as in lecture
    • Learner-centered classes had shared participation of faculty and learners
    • Higher student retention in learner-centered environment.
principles of adult learning
Principles of Adult Learning
  • Active involvement
  • Opportunities for dialogue
  • Regular feedback
  • Incorporation of life experiences
  • Relevancy
  • Application immediacy
  • Creation of a social environment
the walden university model
The Walden University Model
  • Over 400 faculty employed in the Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership
  • Faculty are addressed as adult learners through faculty development stressing
    • Collaboration
    • Mentoring
    • Application immediacy
    • Supportive environment and community
    • Reflective practice
the walden model part one
The Walden Model – Part One
  • New Faculty Orientation
    • A four week course
    • Faculty are introduced to the history, mission, values, goals and educational philosophy of Walden
    • Faculty participate as students as they collaborate on assignments and participate in discussions and reflective practice
    • A sense of community is fostered
the walden model mentoring
The Walden Model – Mentoring
  • Lead faculty member in each course
    • An expert in subject matter
    • An experienced teacher
    • Understands the online modality
    • Holds periodic phone conferences
    • Promotes sharing of experiences
    • Provides positive feedback and coaching
the walden model post nfo training
The Walden Model – Post NFO training
  • A second four week course
  • Designed on adult learning principles
  • Provides opportunities for faculty to interact
  • Course must be successfully completed before a faculty member can serve as a doctoral committee chair
  • Faculty participate in teams to evaluate sample capstone papers
the walden model monthly faculty meetings
The Walden Model – Monthly Faculty Meetings
  • Evening toll-free telephone meetings
  • Both full-time and part-time faculty participate
  • Attendance not required but encouraged
  • Faculty suggest agenda items
  • Goal of meetings is to foster a sense of belonging and community, to provide mentoring from experienced faculty, and to provide opportunities to collaborate
the walden model monthly newsletter
The Walden Model – Monthly Newsletter
  • Electronic newsletter called

The Q and A

  • Addresses FAQs sent by


  • Responses have been very


  • Contributes to sense of community
the walden faculty development model summary
The Walden Faculty Development Model -- Summary
  • Through a variety of experiences, faculty development at Walden University incorporates collaboration, mentoring, application immediacy, sense of community and reflective practice.
  • Regardless of the course modality, the most important variable for course success is the instructor (Miller & King, 2003).

Each community college is unique:

  • Adapt Walden’s approach to your institution
  • Benchmark others, most folks will share if asked
  • Development of online faculty should be part of a total faculty development program, not stand alone
  • Apply Adult Learning Principles (faculty are adults too J)
  • Use your successful online faculty as models and mentors … focus on process, not content (Barczyk, Buckenmeyer & Feldman, 2010)

Allen, I. E. & Seaman, J. (2007). Online nation: five years of growth in online learning. Needham, MA: Sloan Consortium

Barczyk, C., Buckenmeyer, J., & Feldman, L. (2010). Mentoring professors: a model for developing quality online instructors and courses in higher education. International Journal on E-Learning, 9 (1), 7-26

Barrett, K R., Bower, B., & Donovan, N. (2007). Teaching styles of community college instructors. The American Journal of Distance Education, 21(1), 37-49.

Carr, S. (2000, February 11). As distance education comes of age, the challenge is keeping the students. The Chronicle of Higher Education, XLIV (23), A39-A41.

Conti, G. J., 1985. Assessing teaching style in adult education: how and why. Lifelong Learning, 8 (8), 7-11, 28


Fugate, A. L. & Amey, M. J. (2000). Career stages of community college faculty: a qualitative analysis of their career paths, roles, and development. Community College Review, 28 (1), 1-22

Haber, J. and Mills, M. (2008). Perceptions of barriers concerning effective online teaching and policies: Florida community college faculty. Community College Journal of Research and Practice, 32: 266–283

Ko, S, & Rossen, S. (2004). Teaching online, a practical guide. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin


Miller, T.W., & King, F.B. (2003). Distance education: pedagogy and best practices in the new millennium. International Journal of Leadership in Education, 6(3), 283-297

Pankowski, P. (2004). Faculty training for online teaching. THE Journal, September 1, 2004. Retrieved from

Waiwaiole, E. N. & Noonan-Terry, C. M. (2008). The need to equip, prepare community college faculty has never been greater. Retrieved from cache/print.php?articleId=10597

for more information
For More Information…

Online Education: An Essential Innovation


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