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Research Report

Engaging Faculty in Online Education

Rightsizing Incentives and Optimizing Support

June 11, 2010 , By Carla Hickman, Vice President, Research

Key Insights

Getting sufficient numbers of faculty both willing and prepared to teach online is one of the greatest challenges institutions face in advancing online education goals. Many institutions are finding they have exhausted the pool of faculty most open to online education; expanding online offerings now requires recruiting skeptics who declined earlier invitations to teach online.

Institutions are generally struggling with questions related to structuring these new investments. Administrators are asking how new support resources are best organized and delivered, how much should be invested, and what sources of revenue are available to seed growth.

This study examines key lessons for structuring ownership and budget models to create a sound foundation for the institution’s online ambitions. We then focus in detail on four aspects of rightsizing faculty incentives and optimizing faculty support: training faculty in online pedagogy and course design, resourcing online course development, structuring faculty compensation, and safeguarding course quality.

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