Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Donald R. Poplau


The increased enrollment of adult learners in colleges and universities that offer online

programs has provoked a need for skilled online adjunct faculty. Administrators at online

universities in the Mideastern region of the United States have sought to better

understand the relationship between formal evaluations and teaching practices of the

online adjunct faculty. Guided by the theory of adult learning, the purpose of this study

was to determine the relationship between formal evaluations of the teaching practices of

online adjunct faculty and their professional development. A correlational study was

completed to determine the association between online adjunct faculty's perceptions of

formal evaluation processes, attitudes about teaching and, decisions to make changes in

instructional behavior. This study also addressed the association between formal

evaluations and online adjunct faculty's willingness to participate in professional

development opportunities. Online adjunct faculty with 1 or more years of online

teaching experience at a local university who had experienced a formal evaluation

participated in this research. A Spearman correlation analysis indicated a positive

association between online adjunct faculty teaching practices and their perceptions of the

quality of formal evaluations. A Spearman correlation analysis also indicated a positive

association between online adjunct faculty willingness to seek and take advantage of

professional development and their perception of the quality of formal evaluations. The

project study supports strategies for developing and implementing evaluative processes

that measure effective teaching practices and encourage professional development for

online adjunct faculty. Formal evaluative processes can affect social change by ensuring

the maintenance of quality academic standards at online universities.