Institutional support of technology-based distance education, faculty views, and participation

Angela Ohenebema Owusu-Ansah

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to survey faculty views and participation in technology-based distance education (TBDE) and to determine if higher education institutional support was related to faculty concerns and their participation in TBDE. Three hundred and thirty-four instructional faculty and 24 TBDE academic facilitators from three universities in the southern part of the United States participated in the study. The three universities are recipients of the Pew Grant Program in Course Redesign for technology in higher education. The causal-comparative study compared two components of the study. First, the concerns of faculty across three universities were obtained using the Stages of Concern Questionnaire (SoCQ) founded on the Concerns-Based Adoption Model (CBAM) and designed for the purpose of diagnosing innovation concerns experienced by educators. Second, data on the academic facilitators were obtained using the GPC questionnaire developed by the researcher on the assumptions of CBAM and used to compare the self perceptions the facilitators had of the effectiveness of their institutional support. Using GLM, Pearson's R , and chi square to analyze the data, the following findings were revealed to be statistically significant: The faculty of the university at the initial stage of using TBDE (U-3) want to know more about TBDE and how it will affect them personally and professionally. Faculty of the university 3 years (U-1) into using TBDE are more interested in how TBDE affects their students. Faculty of U-2 participate the least with faculty of U-1 participating the most. Among the various colleges, the faculty of the college of nursing use TBDE the most and the arts use it the least. The longer the employment of faculty the least interested they were in TBDE. The older the faculty member the less interested they are in TBDE. Female faculty are more interested in TBDE and in how it affects their students than male faculty. Among the three universities, the facilitators' perceptions of their institution's TBDE effectiveness in various roles did not differ except for the function of sanctioning decisions in faculty training.