Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Influences of Institutional Structure, Policy, and Practice on Faculty Participation in Online Teaching
by Mazer, Vickie M., Ed.D., Frostburg State University, 2015, 372; 10189876
Abstract (Summary)

Online education is growing in response to demands of increased access, quality, and affordability. However, implementation and expansion are often challenged by faculty resistance, due in large part to perceived lack of quality and administrative support. This case study sought to determine how the presence or absence of quality elements, as defined by the Online Learning Consortium Quality Scorecard, in institutional structure, policy, and practice influences (motivates or inhibits) faculty decisions to teach online at Frostburg State University, a comprehensive, public university in western Maryland.

This mixed methods, sequential explanatory research collected data from three sources: an online survey of 387 faculty, a review of institutional documents, semistructured interviews with nine key university stakeholders and 13 faculty. To analyze these data, the study used descriptive statistics, logistic regression, application of the Online Learning Consortium Quality Scorecard rubric, and triangulation of data from all sources.

Findings suggest that faculty’s initial motivation to teach online was intrinsic, enhanced by extrinsic institutional factors–those within the control of the university. However, institutional factors played a more significant role in faculty decisions to continue/expand online teaching. Additionally, the findings suggest that faculty were most likely to teach online when their intrinsic motivation was aligned with the institution’s mission of online education and a shared strategic value of online education that balances the shared interests of the institution, students, and faculty.

The key finding in this study was that quality was a significant concern regarding online education. However, administrative support for online education was central to shaping faculty’s definition of quality in online education. These findings suggest that quality in online education is defined by faculty as the presence or absence of administrative support which creates institutional structure, policy and practice to support faculty to deliver quality instruction.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Makang, Doris Santamaria
Commitee: Bowman, John, Hall, Kelly, Singh, Sudhir
School: Frostburg State University
Department: Educational Professions
School Location: United States -- Maryland
Source: DAI-A 79/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Higher Education Administration, Educational leadership, Educational technology, Higher education
Keywords: Administrative support, Faculty motivators and inhibitors, Online Learning Consortium Quality Scorecard, Online education, Power Gould-Morven iron triangle, Quality
Publication Number: 10189876
ISBN: 9780355453461
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