Supporting Online Faculty Holistically: Developing a Support Website Resource
Originally Published In
Higher Learning Research Communications
Current trends in post-secondary education enrollment indicate that colleges and universities are likely to experience an increase in the number of online students. The purpose of this study was to ascertain the type of resources and support features online faculty need, desire, and expect in a support website. The method used to collect research findings was an online survey. The participants for this study consisted of the online faculty population at an institution of higher learning in the southwestern United States. Participants were invited by email to participate in a 13 question survey which asked participants to rate the importance of the questions listed. Of the 2,522 survey invitations e-mailed to potential participants, 380 responded with completed surveys, providing a response rate of 15.06%. Although this was a relativity low response rate, researchers felt the demographics of the respondents provided an accurate representation of the population studied. Findings from the survey indicated participants agree there is a need to implement a support website. Participants indicated the support website should provide support resources, communication forums, and resources to increase connectivity to the institution. The authors note providing online faculty with support websites could be a differentiation strategy to recruit and retain quality online faculty.