Online Education: Needs Assessment for Faculty Development

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The rapidly evolving paradigm of technology-based education has increased the number of faculty teaching online. The role of faculty has changed from the traditional classroom instruction format to an online community of learning. Therefore, faculty development in online education becomes a critical component during this transitional period. A survey of faculty of the College of Applied Science and Technology in a midwestern university was conducted to identify their level of perceived expertise in online teaching and the priorities of areas to be addressed in faculty development sessions. Benner's five-stage sequential transformation from novice to expert was used to construct the questionnaire. Results showed that faculty who taught online perceived their level of expertise to range from advanced beginner to competent, whereas faculty who had not taught online were at the novice and advanced beginner levels. Redesigning and rethinking faculty roles emerged as the number one priority area to be addressed in continuing education sessions. Implications for faculty development for online education sessions are presented.

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