This research study was an investigation of current faculty development practices for alternative delivery systems. Attention was given to faculty development in general as well as specific facets of faculty development for alternative delivery systems. Future or intended faculty development practices were pursued, along with factors that influence decisions related to faculty development practices for alternative delivery systems at Christian graduate institutions of higher education.
The examination of the precedent literature presented theological foundations for the study, current research on faculty development, and current research on alternative delivery systems. The concepts revealed in the literature review focused the structure of the research design and instrumentation.
The presentation of the methodological design included the primary research questions, an overview of the research design and coding criteria, discussion of the research population, samples and delimitations, and the limitations of generalization. This section also discussed instrumentation and procedural processes guiding the research.
The research then offered a summary and analysis of the data, organized according the order of the research questions. Conclusions based upon the research findings included a number of insights.
The principal type of faculty development for alternative delivery systems was consulting or help desk support. The interviewees stated that faculty learned the most from one-on-one sessions tailored to faculty members' specific topics when faculty need "just in time" assistance. The distance education coordinators were available for a faculty "crisis," and many coordinators would venture out into the faculty hallways to offer their services.
The second-most common type of faculty development for alternative delivery systems was the initial training session. Multiple institutions offered (and some required) a 1-3 day faculty boot camp in order to teach online, hybrid, or blended courses. These courses were followed up with journal articles, one-on-one meetings, and other resources. Institutions provided web sites and comprehensive printed notebooks to assist the faculty in their transition to alternative delivery systems. Hands-on training in a lab setting, with small groups of up to four professors, was communicated as the preferred training environment to provide both technical and pedagogical development.
Key Words: Faculty development, alternative delivery systems, distance education, online education, hybrid or blended courses, Great Commission