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22st Annual OLC International Conference
November 16-18, 2016 | Orlando, Florida | Walt Disney World Swan/Dolphin Resort

OLC Innovate 2016 - Innovations in Blended and Online Learning
April 20-22, 2016 | New Orleans, LA | Sheraton New Orleans Hotel

Transform, Perform or Conform? The Changing Role of Faculty in Blended Learning

Marianne Greenfield (University of Phoenix, USA)
Session Information
July 8, 2014 - 5:30pm
Teaching & Learning Effectiveness
Areas of Special Interest: 
Blended Course
Major Emphasis of Presentation: 
Research and Evaluation
Institutional Level: 
Universities and Four Year Institutions
Audience Level: 
Session Type: 
Electronic Poster
Plaza Foyer
Session Duration: 
60 Minutes
Electronic Poster Session

Blended learning research finds that faculty success now requires a shift in perception of their role and responsibilities for learning. Faculty self-assessment techniques are shared.

Extended Abstract

Ten years ago, a thirty-one month multiple case study investigated the perception over time of adjunct faculty in regard to their role as instructors in the blended learning environment. Drivers for the research included 1) the trend to utilize adjunct faculty, 2) the operation cost savings to incorporate technological delivery of courses, and 3) previous research indicating dissatisfaction in these changes by all stakeholders. Things just weren’t working as planned. The study participants unanimously stated that a paradigm shift in the faculty role to that of a "leader of learning" was necessary for successful learning outcomes to be achieved in the future but this new role is not generally recognized by existing faculty or higher education administrators. Participants were not confident that the existing traditional faculty could transform their styles, attitudes, and classroom successes in order to be the leaders of learning that is expected. One of the emerging themes was that the blended faculty role needed to transform and that practitioner faculty are needed due to changes in our competitive world. It was concluded that a good student is a good student in any learning environment and will not be hindered by the modality. A good instructor, however, will not be a good instructor in the future in any learning environment unless they enjoy teaching in the environment and possess the characteristics of a leader: embracer of change, visionary, passionate, charismatic, good communicator, strategic, resourceful, and a life-long learner. For higher education to succeed in the future, a renaissance in faculty role, responsibility, and selection was reported to be required. With ten years of experience behind us, new research has reported that many faculty, students and institutional administrators continue to struggle with the blended learning model and move towards online or ground classes. With more familiarity now of instructional technology, decisions are being made from the fiscal perspective rather than an academic view. Again, faculty are at the center of success but faculty assessment, selection and training processes remain mostly unchanged. Discussion includes the individual faculty choice to transform, perform or conform in the online or blended delivery modality and the impact their choice has on student learning outcomes and institutional effectiveness.

Lead Presenter

I have enjoyed an interesting and varied career which developed both strategically and by seizing opportunities. At the beginning, my focus was on information technology but I soon realized that I enjoyed working with people as well as computers. In the second year of my career, I moved from mainframe programming to system development and project management within a manufacturing company. This began my career of change agent, organizational consultant, organizational development practitioner, and strategic leader. I have enjoyed working for both public and private firms, both international and local firms, taken companies through IPO and acquisitions, and most recently focused on OD initiatives at the executive level. I have served as VP of Human Resources specializing in Talent Management and currently am CEO of my own firm: The Educated Effect, LLC. I am passionate about education being the cornerstone of success as seen from my personal educational pursuits. My career in Higher Education began in 2002 as adjunct faculty but quickly became the FT program chair for the BSIT degree. In the past 12 years, I have held fulltime chair/dean positions at three universities with curriculum development, accreditation affirmation, faculty management, and teaching responsibilities. I currently am contracted to serve as the Institutional Effectiveness Director for a small Bible College as they are implementing strategic growth initiatives. My dissertation studied the possibilities of traditional faculty transforming into blended learning facilitators. This topic has continued to be my area of interest where both research and practical application continue to shape my thinking. I am an advocate for all stakeholders in the learning process from student to hiring organization. Let's make this work!