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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10791/360

Authors: Jason, Openo
Supervisor(s): Dr. Constance Blomgren, Athabasca University
Examining Committee: Dr. Martha Cleveland-Innes, Athabasca University
Dr. Elan Paulson, Conestoga College
Dr. Lori Wallace, University of Manitoba
Degree: Doctor of Education (EdD) in Distance Education
Department: Centre for Distance Education
Keywords: online education
professional development
contract faculty
document analysis
email interviews
academic strategy
Issue Date: 2-Dec-2021
Abstract: The growth of contingent faculty and the growth of online education over the first two decades of the 21st century have generated an emergent but overlooked subgroup of faculty – online contingent faculty. These twin dynamics have placed the professional development of online faculty in a strategically important position for Canadian postsecondary institutions to mature online education and enhance instructional effectiveness. This two-phase multimethod research study employs Ursula Franklin’s technology as practice (1990) as its theoretical orientation to explore the following research questions: How are online faculty and their professional development represented in current Canadian postsecondary academic plans? How are the professional development needs of contingent online faculty being served by Canadian teaching and learning centres? What gaps, if any, exist between the projected reality of academic plans and the extended reality of teaching and learning centres in Canada? Phase one consists of a document analysis of 17 academic plans from Canadian colleges and institutes covering the current period and immediate future to reveal how faculty development is described and prioritized in academic strategy (the projected reality of the future). The document analysis highlights important strategic purposes of professional development, such as Indigenization and internationalization, but also shows that part-time and online faculty are marginally represented. Email interviews with 12 directors of Canadian teaching and learning centres comprise phase two (the extended reality of experience), and they illuminate the contested space of providing educational development services to online contingent faculty. The findings reveal formidable barriers to providing professional development opportunities to part-time faculty who teach online, but also innovative solutions to meet the needs of part-time online educators in Canada.
Graduation Date: Jun-2021
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10791/360
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