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

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Contingent Faculty Workload and Employment Conditions

Melanie Shaw (Clemson University)
Session Information
July 7, 2015 - 5:30pm
Institutional Level: 
Audience Level: 
Session Type: 
Discovery Session
Plaza Foyer
Session Duration: 
60 Minutes
Discovery Session 1

Understand the factors that most influence adjuncts to seek and remain in positions in higher education as a contingent faculty member.

Extended Abstract

Adjunct instructors serve in an increasing number of faculty jobs in higher education. With a growing contingent workforce, higher education institutions continue to add positions for adjunct faculty members, yet little is known about the workload or work conditions of adjuncts. Leaders of higher education need to more fully understand these new types of adjuncts in order to make contingent assignments attractive to build and retain an active and effective pool of contingent personnel. In this poster session, I will share the results of a mixed methods study, which was designed to explore adjunct workload and employment conditions in higher education. Data from this study were used to understand the factors that most influence adjuncts to seek and remain in positions in higher education as a contingent faculty member.

Lead Presenter

Melanie Shaw (Clemson University)

Melanie Shaw has over fifteen years of educational experience ranging from classroom and graduate level teaching to counseling and administration. She is Director of Research and Strategic Advancement at Clemson University. In addition, Melanie is a dissertation chair, teaches undergraduate and graduate courses online, and develops curriculum for a variety of higher education institutions.

Melanie’s primary research interests include online teaching and learning, organizational leadership, and distance learning instructional practices. She is the author of several books, articles, and chapters including: An Evaluation of Student Outcomes by Course Duration in Online Higher Education; Establishing an Online Professional Development Community to Promote Faculty Engagement and Excellence; Distance Learning Courses: A Survey of Activities and Assignments; and Online Course Activities: A Survey of Assignment and Assessment Types. In addition to Melanie’s publications, she has presented at national conferences on topics related to distance learning. She is the winner of the Wagner Award for Outstanding Instructional Support and the Online Learning Consortium’s Effective Practice Award.

Melanie received a Ph.D. in Education with a specialization in Curriculum and Teaching from Northcentral University, a master’s degree in Education Administration from Grand Canyon University, and a second master’s degree in School Counseling for the University of West Alabama. She received her bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies and Music from Excelsior College. She holds teaching certificates in online teaching, elementary education, and guidance counseling. She lives near Colorado Springs with her husband and two daughters.