The Preparation of Faculty to Teach Online: A Qualitative Approach

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Virginia Tech

This study used a qualitative approach to explore how faculty were prepared to teach online at institutions of higher education. Six participants, including experienced (with three or more years of experience teaching online) and non-experienced (with less than two years of experience teaching online), were purposely selected to participate. The participants were interviewed concerning their preparation experiences, the preparation activities that were most beneficial to them, and the areas in which they wanted further development for teaching online. Data from the interviews were coded and analyzed. Findings revealed that although institutions were providing activities that faculty members found to be beneficial, workshops and one-to-one assistance, activities that incorporated both technical and pedagogical strategies were still necessary. This study provides information that can be used to assist faculty when preparing to teach online and to assist institutions in redesigning and developing faculty development activities for preparing faculty to teach online.

teaching online, distance learning, online teaching, distance education, faculty preparation, faculty development