Mentoring University Faculty to Become High Quality Online Educators: A Program Evaluation

January 4, 2012


This study summarizes the results of a program evaluation of the Distance Education Mentoring Program (DEMP), an ongoing initiative at Purdue University Calumet, Indiana (USA) designed to enhance the development of online courses by mentoring faculty in instructional design principles and technology. The evaluation covers a four year period and is based on a survey of 47 protégé-participants, who are both faculty members and clients of the program, using an anonymous online questionnaire. The research questions yielded evidence that focused on two broad themes, one of which was faculty participation, satisfaction, and university impact of the program. The second theme addressed the programmatic modifications required by a changing faculty client base. Analysis showed that thirty percent of the university’s faculty have participated in the program and were teaching 44% of the online courses offered by the university. This suggests that the DEMP was making a mainstream impact on faculty views and abilities related to the online delivery of material. Participants were satisfied with the DEMP and its effectiveness, which was related to the collaborative nature of the program. It was also found that faculty participating in later cohort groups of the DEMP had different needs, which necessitated building more structure and accountability into the program. Policy implications for program administrators are discussed to help universities develop a competitive advantage in the growing market for online education.

SOURCE: Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration

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