Leading A Collaborative Effort: Providing Effective Training and Support for Online Adjunct Instructors

Main Article Content

Victoria L. Lowell Marisa E. Exter

Abstract

This article describes the design and development of a set of interventions for the training and support of adjunct instructors in a rapidly growing online graduate program at a large, Midwestern research university. These interventions were designed to improve teaching preparation and assistance provided to our adjuncts. During this effort, the online program administrator collaborated with the staff from a higher education partner (Wiley), full-time faculty, and experienced adjuncts to determine what interventions were necessary. The stakeholders were also involved to varying degrees in the design, development, and implementation of the interventions. The interventions include: modifications to the general instructor orientation; check-ins for newly hired adjuncts; creation of course expectation guides; formalization of course orientation; opportunities for adjuncts to collaborate; a mentorship program for inexperienced adjuncts; monitoring and formative feedback for individual adjuncts; the creation of an executive committee and addition of a staff member; and a formative evaluation process to evaluate adjunct training and support. The goal of these changes was to improve the performance and satisfaction of adjuncts, leading to retention of talented online instructors and higher overall student satisfaction. This article addresses the unique design considerations made during the selection of training methods and support services and the related performance measures.

Article Details

How to Cite
Lowell, V., & Exter, M. (2017). Leading A Collaborative Effort: Providing Effective Training and Support for Online Adjunct Instructors. International Journal of Designs for Learning, 8(2). https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.14434/ijdl.v8i2.21160
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Articles
Author Biographies

Victoria L. Lowell, Purdue University

Victoria Lowell is an Assistant Professor of Learning Design and Technology and the Convener of the Online Master’s in Learning Design and Technology program at Purdue University. Her research interests include leadership for online programs and online learning, instructor self-efficacy, and collaborative leadership.

Marisa E. Exter, Purdue University

Marisa Exter is an Assistant Professor of Learning Design and Technology at Purdue University. Her research interests include design and technology education, professional practice in design and technology fields, and program level supports within higher education programs.