Ferencz

Shared Perceptions of Online Adjunct Faculty in the United States Who have a High Sense of Community

Tiffany LS Ferencz, Western Governors University

Abstract

The purpose of this transcendental phenomenological study was to understand the experiences of online adjunct faculty who have a high sense of community within their respective university. Sense of community was generally defined as feelings of connectedness within the university community. The central question that guided this study was: What are the experiences of online adjunct faculty who have a high sense of community within their respective universities? The research began with the Sense of Community Index, version 2 (Chavis, Lee, & Acosta, 2008), an online questionnaire, used to identify potential participants among online adjunct faculty who work for accredited universities in the United States and have a high sense of community. I also included focus groups and interviews conducted via Adobe Connect video conferencing that describe online adjunct faculty member’s perceptions of sense of community in the workplace. Using Moustakas’s (1994) approach, the data analysis focused on identifying shared themes experienced by online adjunct faculty who have a high sense of community. An analysis of the data revealed that online adjuncts with a high sense of community initiate collaborative dialogue with other faculty members in order to ensure they are able to clearly support their students, but they often see that leadership’s role is to initiate the connections online.

Keywords:

adjunct faculty, online education, sense of community, motivation, training, connectedness, collaboration, communication


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