Transforming the Teacher: Examining Personal Transformations of Faculty Redesigning Courses from Face-to-Face to Online


  • Katherine L. Terras University of North Dakota


transformative learning theory, online teaching, face-to-face, adult learning


This study investigated faculty’s personal transformations when redesigning face-to-face courses for online delivery.  The transformative learning theory provided a rich context for ascertaining transformed frames of reference.  Eight mid to late career faculty from a college of education participated.  Qualitative methods were employed, with data collected using semi-structured interviews and inductively analyzed for themes.  Findings revealed two frames of reference about online teaching and learning were transformed while one remained intact.  A transformed frame of reference was that quality learning can be achieved online, thus it is not inferior to face-to-face instruction.  Second, faculty’s self-identity as an exemplary, face-to-face teacher was transformed, as they identified the need for increased organization and detail.  Faculty’s frame of reference not transformed was that pedagogy is at the forefront of decision-making, not technology.  Implications are that challenging experiences can be provocations for growth and that pedagogy can remain constant across the two environments.

Author Biography

Katherine L. Terras, University of North Dakota

Katherine Terras is an Associate Professor in the Special Education program.  Her areas of expertise include emotional and behavioral disorders, applied behavior analysis, and assessment.



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