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.
3. Culturally relevant pedagogical training may not be required but is still prevalent: While not quite 17 percent of respondents indicated that training on digital learning, diversity, equity, and inclusion was required of online adjunct faculty prior to teaching, over a third of respondents indicated that all of their online adjunct faculty had access to training on culturally relevant pedagogical practices.
4. The pandemic did not significantly change professional development requirements for faculty: Over 54 percent of respondents indicated that the pandemic has not changed the amount of professional development required of online adjunct faculty.
5. The most effective online pedagogical practices are often those identified as the most challenging to implement: Some of the same practices associated with the most effective online adjunct faculty are also identified as some of the most challenging practices to implement. Many of these practices also correspond with evidence-based teaching practices known to be particularly beneficial to students.
“Understanding the role that adjunct instructors play in online education is critical as the amount of students engaged in online education continues to rise. This study provides insight into the current campus policies and practices associated with online adjunct instructors, especially regarding professional development,” said contributing author Van L. Davis, Ph.D., Chief Strategy Officer, WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET).
“Equally important, the study helps us understand the primary challenges such instructors face as well as the promising practices they employ. We believe this information can help campuses create effective policies and practices that will benefit both instructors and students alike.”
Contributing authors include: Van L. Davis, Ph.D., Chief Strategy Officer, WCET; Abby McGuire, Ed.D., Director of Research, Online Learning Consortium; Russ Poulin, Executive Director, WCET.
Material from a press release was used in this report.
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