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AN EXAMINIATION OF COMPETENCIES, ROLES, AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT NEEDS OF COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTANCE EDUCATORS WHO TEACH MATHEMATICS

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Date Issued:
2006
Abstract/Description:
This study describes the perceptions of both distance education administrators and faculty who teach mathematics online in a Florida community college setting with regard to the relative importance of core competencies and roles in teaching online courses and the need for professional development that is supportive of these competencies and roles. The perceptions of administrators and online faculty for level of importance indicated for core competencies and skill area needs for faculty development when teaching an online course were examined. Results of these perceptions by group were re-examined in relation to gender, age, ethnicity, years of community college teaching experience, and years of online community college teaching experience. The Survey of Competencies for Teaching an Online Course, a 23-item instrument designed by the researcher, was mailed to 28 distance education administrators with membership to the Florida Distance Learning Consortium (FDLC) and 100 faculty teaching mathematics or statistics online during spring term 2006. Twenty administrators and fifty-two online faculty returned surveys, for a usable response rate of 71% and 52%, respectively. Results from the study suggested: (a) distance education administrators and online faculty ascribed a similar level of importance to core competencies and roles for teaching an online course; (b) providing grades and feedback, facilitating online activities to support learning, and creation of online assignments and tasks were perceived to be the most important competencies and roles for online instruction; (c) distance education administrators and online faculty ascribe varying levels of importance to skill areas needed for faculty development to support a fully Web-based course; (d) knowledge of distance education instructional techniques and planning and instructional design skills were perceived to be the most important skill area need to target for faculty development; and (e) neither gender nor age had any bearing on distance education administrator and online faculty perceptions of the need for faculty development to support online instruction. The results further indicate that although the perceived importance of core competencies and roles for teaching online were similar for distance education administrators and online faculty, the levels of importance for each competency and role varied within each group based upon gender, age, ethnicity, years of community college teaching experience, and years of online community college teaching experience. For example, male faculty, more so than female faculty, viewed greater relevance for production of new and relevant knowledge as competency. Distance education administrators between the ages of 30 and 40, more so than administrators between 49 and 55 years old, consider facilitating to understand course content a high priority competency. Recommendations for further study included conducting a parallel study by varying the faculty subject area, the institution type, geographic location, or level of accreditation. Further research is also suggested to examine ethnic minority representation within distance learning. For this study, the distance education administrator sample was just above 5%, and it was only 10% among the online faculty as it relates to ethnic minorities. Further research is needed to analyze the factors contributing to overall under-representation of ethnic minorities, particularly African-Americans.
Title: AN EXAMINIATION OF COMPETENCIES, ROLES, AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT NEEDS OF COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTANCE EDUCATORS WHO TEACH MATHEMATICS.
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Name(s): Williams, Falecia, Author
Kaplan, Jeffrey, Committee Chair
University of Central Florida, Degree Grantor
Type of Resource: text
Date Issued: 2006
Publisher: University of Central Florida
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: This study describes the perceptions of both distance education administrators and faculty who teach mathematics online in a Florida community college setting with regard to the relative importance of core competencies and roles in teaching online courses and the need for professional development that is supportive of these competencies and roles. The perceptions of administrators and online faculty for level of importance indicated for core competencies and skill area needs for faculty development when teaching an online course were examined. Results of these perceptions by group were re-examined in relation to gender, age, ethnicity, years of community college teaching experience, and years of online community college teaching experience. The Survey of Competencies for Teaching an Online Course, a 23-item instrument designed by the researcher, was mailed to 28 distance education administrators with membership to the Florida Distance Learning Consortium (FDLC) and 100 faculty teaching mathematics or statistics online during spring term 2006. Twenty administrators and fifty-two online faculty returned surveys, for a usable response rate of 71% and 52%, respectively. Results from the study suggested: (a) distance education administrators and online faculty ascribed a similar level of importance to core competencies and roles for teaching an online course; (b) providing grades and feedback, facilitating online activities to support learning, and creation of online assignments and tasks were perceived to be the most important competencies and roles for online instruction; (c) distance education administrators and online faculty ascribe varying levels of importance to skill areas needed for faculty development to support a fully Web-based course; (d) knowledge of distance education instructional techniques and planning and instructional design skills were perceived to be the most important skill area need to target for faculty development; and (e) neither gender nor age had any bearing on distance education administrator and online faculty perceptions of the need for faculty development to support online instruction. The results further indicate that although the perceived importance of core competencies and roles for teaching online were similar for distance education administrators and online faculty, the levels of importance for each competency and role varied within each group based upon gender, age, ethnicity, years of community college teaching experience, and years of online community college teaching experience. For example, male faculty, more so than female faculty, viewed greater relevance for production of new and relevant knowledge as competency. Distance education administrators between the ages of 30 and 40, more so than administrators between 49 and 55 years old, consider facilitating to understand course content a high priority competency. Recommendations for further study included conducting a parallel study by varying the faculty subject area, the institution type, geographic location, or level of accreditation. Further research is also suggested to examine ethnic minority representation within distance learning. For this study, the distance education administrator sample was just above 5%, and it was only 10% among the online faculty as it relates to ethnic minorities. Further research is needed to analyze the factors contributing to overall under-representation of ethnic minorities, particularly African-Americans.
Identifier: CFE0001066 (IID), ucf:46806 (fedora)
Note(s): 2006-05-01
Ed.D.
Education, Department of Educational Studies
Doctorate
This record was generated from author submitted information.
Subject(s): Competencies for Distance Education
Community College
Faculty Development
Mathematics Education
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/ucf/fd/CFE0001066
Restrictions on Access: public
Host Institution: UCF

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