Transformative Learning and Teaching: How Experienced Faculty Learned to Teach in the On-line Environment

Michelle Collay


Faculty development to improve instruction has never been a priority in higher education in the best of times. Nevertheless, emergent technologies and changing priorities in higher education are driving change in pedagogy and instructional practices in graduate education for professionals. How do instructors in an online doctoral program characterize their learning about designing and teaching a course in a fully online environment? This study documents faculty perspectives within a program of support provided to experienced faculty moving into a fully online teaching environment. Cranton’s (2002) facets of transformation structures were used to inform interview questions and to analyze faculty perspectives about their own development as online instructors. While a well-wrought curriculum design grounds decision-making and offers faculty a strong foundation, reflection on practice, making meaning together, and sharing of expertise are essential for those entering the brave new world of online teaching and learning. While early adopters developed and often taught courses online as independent contractors, they expressed appreciation for mentoring, technical support, and the emergence of a community of practice.



faculty development; transformative learning

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