The Role of the Academic Department in Online Faculty Development

All Audiences
Session Description
Online faculty and staff who are geographically separated typically feel isolated. (Dolan, 2011; Fouche, 2006; Ng, 2006) A study by Dolan indicated that these faculty members would like increased interaction with administration, more appreciation of their contributions to the university, and professional development opportunities. (Dolan, 2011) Accordingly, presenters explore how the academic department can support online adjunct faculty to improve morale, faculty and student retention, and teaching skills. Mentoring adjunct faculty, recognizing their work, creating professional development resources for their use, and best practices in using technology will be discussed. Both asynchronous and synchronous methodology will be broached. Professional development resources include guidelines on academic issues such as creating syllabi and rubrics and also how to improve teaching skills such as critical thinking. Participants will benefit from the presentation by learning about a variety of ways that universities can offer help to and appreciate geographically separated faculty. Participants may apply knowledge learned by making suggestions to academic departments dealing with these issues.
Dolan, V. (2011). The isolation of online adjunct faculty and its impact on their performance. The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 12(2) retrieved from:
Fouche, I. (2006). A multi-island situation without the ocean: tutors’ perceptions about working in isolation from colleagues. The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning 7(2) retrieved from:
Ng, C. (2006). Academics telecommuting in open and distance universities: Issues, challenges, and opportunities. The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning 7(2) retrieved from

The presentation will be accompanied by PowerPoint slides. Audience participation will be highly encouraged through polling and discussions in the text messaging area. Audience members will be offered the opportunity to connect with each other for mentoring and offered the opportunity to share personal knowledge and information about practices at their own universities. Questions for thought and interaction will be asked of the audience at various points in the presentation.

Cathy Taylor, Park University, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA
Cathy TaylorCathy Taylor, JD, is an Associate Professor at Park University. Her undergraduate work was in English Literature from Wesleyan College, and her JD is from the University of Georgia.
Jutta Pegues, Park University, Ohio, USA
Bio coming soon!
Henry Roehrich, Park University, North Dakota, USA
Henry RoehrichDr. Henry Roehrich is an Assistant Professor of Marketing and Management at Park University. He also serves as an Online Instructor Evaluator for Park Distance Learning. Dr. Roehrich has developed and instructed courses in management, marketing, retailing, international business, entrepreneurship and economics. The courses that he has developed and delivered as an instructor include online delivery, classroom delivery and blended courses. He has twenty years of management experience and seven years of administrative experience in higher education. He received his Ph.D. from the University of North Dakota and an MSA from Central Michigan University.
Michael Becraft, Park University, Georgia, USA
Michael BecraftDr. Michael Becraft serves as assistant dean for the Park University School of Business and is an assistant professor of management with a primary location of El Paso / Fort Bliss, Texas. Prior to joining Park, Becraft worked in both industry and higher education with roles such as developing standardized tests, serving as a corporate trainer, leading a multinational support team and academic work as both a faculty member and senior administrator. He was previously the assistant vice president for academic affairs at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee.

Becraft has held a teaching license in secondary social sciences and holds certifications from the Federal Emegency Management Agency/Emergency Management Institute in disaster and emergency management. His recent presentations cover a range of timely topics, including business ethics, emergency management, internationalization, global microlending, managerial economics, and student ethical development. He recently completed a biography of Bill Gates, to be released this summer.

Becraft holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from St. Mary’s College of Maryland, a Master of Arts degree in financial economics for public policy from The American University, Washington, D.C., and a Doctor of Management from the University of Maryland University College.

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3 Responses to The Role of the Academic Department in Online Faculty Development

  1. Cathy Taylor April 21, 2014 at 5:30 am #

    Welcome everyone! We are looking forward to our presentation later this week. I would like to note that Dr. Michael Becraft, my co-presenter, is located in Texas instead of Georgia.

    Please feel free to post your comments here — especially if you are hoping to find a mentor at TCC or if you want to share about how your academic department supports online faculty development.

  2. April 22, 2014 at 4:01 am #

    Hello Cathy and all,

    I look forward to your presentation!


  3. Cathy Taylor April 23, 2014 at 5:31 am #

    Thanks so much, Marthann! I’m looking forward to your presentation later today (Wednesday). 🙂

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