DeCosta, Bergquist, Holbeck & Greenberger

“A Desire for Growth”: Online Full-Time Faculty’s Perceptions of Evaluation Processes

Meredith DeCosta, PhD, Grand Canyon University, Phoenix, Arizona, USA
Emily Bergquist, MEd, Grand Canyon University, Phoenix, Arizona, USA
Rick Holbeck, MEd, Grand Canyon University, Phoenix, Arizona, USA
Scott Greenberger, EdD, Grand Canyon University, Phoenix, Arizona, USA

Abstract

Post-secondary educational institutions use various means to evaluate the teaching performance of faculty members. There are benefits to effective faculty evaluation, including advancing the scholarship of teaching and learning, as well as improving the functionality and innovation of courses, curriculum, departments, and ultimately the broader community (Boyer, 1990; Glassick, Huber, & Maeroff, 1997). While there is a body of research related to the evaluation of faculty in traditional settings, there have been fewer studies examining online faculty members’ perceptions of evaluation processes. Further, due to the growth of online education, the existing evaluation scales, including those used in traditional settings, have been questioned (Berk, 2013; Hathorn & Hathorn, 2010; Rothman, Romeo, Brennan, & Mitchell, 2011). This qualitative study examines one university’s online full-time faculty and their perceptions of the tools and processes used to evaluate their teaching. Through a systematic content analysis of survey data, findings indicate that online faculty members have a desire to grow as instructors, infrequently focusing on modality or job expectations as a means for growth. Participants expressed an interest in holistic, descriptive evaluation feedback by a range of stakeholders, particularly those with content knowledge. Study findings have implications for administrators and other stakeholders related to online full-time faculty, including the processes and documents through which they are evaluated.

Keywords:

evaluation, online faculty, full-time faculty, faculty evaluation, online learning, e-learning, computer mediated learning


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