Date of Award

2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership

Department

Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Kimberly A. Johnson

Abstract

In fall 2012, St. Catherine University changed the name of its Weekend and Evening College (WEC) to the Evening/Weekend/Online (E/W/O) Program. The change was to better reflect the flexibility and convenience the blending of face-to-face with online instruction afforded students. In spring 2015, registered nurses were invited to apply to St. Catherine University’s first fully online Bachelor’s degree in the RN-BS Degree Completion Program. These changes increased the demand to adapt courses previously taught face-to-face or hybrid to a fully online format. Given that all E/W/O Program courses must be hybrid, and many RN-BS students require fully online courses, it is imperative that St. Catherine University provides faculty with the tools, training, and support systems to both effectively teach online and adequately address adult learners’ expectations. To address these needs, the University’s Academic Technology team developed a multitude of training and professional development opportunities. However, there are currently no requirements for faculty to participate. This action research project examined research in best practices for online course design, and studied the resources in place at St. Catherine University that support faculty developing an online course. Through self-participation in a faculty training course in online course design, and conducting interviews with three exemplary online instructors at St. Catherine University, the current strengths and weaknesses of the university’s training program were assessed. In addition, recommendations were identified that can further support faculty in providing high-quality hybrid and online teaching and learning.

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