Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communication


Date of this Version

Spring 2000


Published in Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, Volume III, Number II, Spring 2000. Published by State University of West Georgia, Distance Education Center.


Faculty survey. Two-hundred seven faculty teaching academic courses and 30 administrators in two colleges in a mid-west university were surveyed to study the type of education, assistance, and support faculty feel they need to develop educational materials for distance delivery. One-fourth of these teaching faculty had taught via distance and another two-fifths (40%) expect to teach via distance within three to five years.

Findings. Overall faculty feel it is very important to obtain further education about, assistance with, or support for (a) developing interaction, (b) developing instructional materials, and (c) applying selected technologies. They also feel it is very important to have assistance with ‘marketing a course.’ Personal incentives, such as increase in pay, were comparatively not as important as support issues.

Challenges. These findings identify a number of challenges for higher education as the system integrates more and more distance education into course delivery. Although institutions need to support all faculty, they need to specifically target faculty with less than 10 years of teaching experience and provide education, assistance, or support:

• for learning experiences that support an interactive learning environment
• in designing and improving instructional materials, especially in mixing technologies.
• on marketing courses.
• for obtaining assistants or facilitators.
• in evaluating the delivery process and the student outcomes.
• on using technical processes to the greatest advantage.
• for connections for peer support.
• in adjusting duties to accommodate course development.