Reflections on the role of faculty in distance learning and changing pedagogies

Marilyn Ryan, Kay Hodson Carlton, Nagia S Ali
Nursing Education Perspectives 2004, 25 (2): 73-80
The increasing number of nursing faculty teaching in distance education programs represents a paradigm shift that has implications for faculty role and changing pedagogies. This descriptive study investigated experiences of nursing faculty teaching web-based courses. Participants were drawn from eight nursing schools in the United States and Canada. Nineteen faculty discussed perceptions of teaching online in small-group teleconference interviews. Major categories identified were: faculty role issues, redesigning/rethinking courses, handling communications, developing partnerships, managing time, and dealing with technology. The core category was: redesigning pedagogies and rethinking faculty role for online teaching. Dimensional analysis was used to develop a matrix telling the story of the experience within the perspectives of antecedent conditions, context, strategies, and consequences. Results indicated that support systems, technology partnerships, and policies should be in place before redesign. The context of redesign was evident in moving from "on stage" to a virtual environment. Strategies used to redesign courses included collaboration, rethinking communications, and faculty development. Consequences had positive and negative outcomes with respect to their impact on faculty role, teaching approaches, and student/faculty relationships.

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