A lack of common policies and mandatory training are among the challenges for institutions as they seek to guide their adjunct faculty, according to a survey from the Every Learner Everywhere network.
Following a decade of rising online enrollments nationwide, the survey of online adjunct faculty across 119 institutions aims to help leaders better understand the practices that impact adjuncts’ instruction and the equity, access, and quality of their delivery to students.
Online Adjunct Faculty: A Survey of Institutional Policies and Practices explores the policies and procedures that institutions use to support online adjunct faculty. The data and resulting recommendations are meant to be a resource that informs and guides institutions in developing promising practices in orienting, supporting, and evaluating online adjunct faculty.
The survey is a follow-up to one conducted in 2015 of more than 200 deans, directors, and provosts familiar with the online practices of adjunct faculty at their respective two- and four-year higher education institutions. Report findings are based upon a limited sample size and survey findings should be understood as within those bounds rather than a universal assessment of policies and practices for adjunct faculty.
Among the survey’s key findings:
1. Common policies are still lacking: When compared to 2015, more institutions are developing email response and time to grade policies; however, large numbers of schools still lack these policies. This also holds true for written policies on online office hours.
2. Mandatory training and instructional design support is decreasing: In a number of cases, institutions require less mandatory training prior to teaching online than in 2015. This is especially the case for online orientation to student services and online technologies as well as training in effective teaching methods.
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