Elliott, Rhoades, Jackson & Mandernach

Professional Development: Designing Initiatives to Meet the Needs of Online Faculty

Marquita Elliott, Grand Canyon University, Phoenix, Arizona, USA
Nicole Rhoades, Grand Canyon University, Phoenix, Arizona, USA
Christina M. Jackson, University of Nebraska, Kearney, Nebraska, USA
B. Jean Mandernach, Grand Canyon University, Phoenix, Arizona, USA


The increasing prevalence of online courses mandates an examination of the similarities – and differences – in the faculty training and development needs of those teaching online. With institutions facing increasingly limited resources, there is a need to prioritize faculty development initiatives that will encourage faculty participation. An examination of interest, attendance and completion rates of faculty development initiatives targeting online faculty revealed no distinct preferences in relation to the focus or format of programs offered. The authors recommend offering flexibility and diversity in faculty development initiatives to accommodate the disparate needs of a remote, heterogeneous faculty population; as such, a sample needs assessment is offered to help guide faculty development programming to support online teaching.


Professional development, training and development, faculty development initiatives, faculty participation in teaching online, faculty online teaching preferences

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