Using the Online Interactive Faculty Development Decision Guide and Toolkit to develop and enhance faculty development programs

Workshop Session 2

Session Materials

Brief Abstract

The Interactive Faculty Development Decision Guide (IFDG) is a research-based online tool designed to help stakeholders analyse their current faculty development initiatives. The presentation will provide attendees with step-by-step guidance on using this interactive tool to evaluate, design, develop, and implement changes to develop or enhance online course quality.


Dr. Linda S. Futch is the Interim Direction, Instructional Design, for the Center for Distributed Learning at the University of Central Florida. Her duties cover instructional design, technical support for online courses, and management of the course management system. Linda has been instrumental in guiding faculty development for online courses and developing systems to support faculty and students. She has developed curriculum and delivered instruction in business, high school, community college, and higher education. For her doctoral dissertation, Linda studied blended learning at a large metropolitan university and is currently studying the design of successful blended courses.

Additional Authors

Dr. Rohan Jowallah has worked in education for over twenty years and has international experience, having taught in the Caribbean, England and USA. His teaching experience includes teaching online, face-to-face and blended modes of course delivery. He has taught at various levels: elementary school; middle school; high school and university. Rohan Jowallah holds an Ed.D. in Language and Literacy in Education from the University of Sheffield in England; ME.d. in Special Needs and Inclusion Studies from The Open University in England; BSc in Psychology from The Open University in England; Graduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education from the University of Wolverhamptom in England and ASc in Secondary Education from Bethlehem Moravian College in Jamaica and a certificate in Social Work from The University of the West Indies School of Continuing Studies. Rohan has presented at several international conferences and has had several peer-reviewed publications. He also has a published book chapter and continues to develop work for publication. He has also been a reviewer of several international journals. Rohanís roles at UCF as an instructional designer includes assisting faculty as they transition into online teaching and learning. In addition, he has an active research agenda which focuses on online learning pedagogies, literacy and inclusion. He also works part-time as an adjunct for the University of Central Florida and The University of the West Indies Open Campus.

Extended Abstract

Are your faculty adequately prepared to teach online?  Does your institution provide sufficient resources to support both faculty and students? The Interactive Faculty Development Decision Guide (IFDG) is a research based online tool designed to help institutional leaders, administrators, instructional designers, faculty developers and other stakeholders analyze their current faculty development initiatives. The tool will provide feedback to users, which will help with construction and implementation of a successful professional development program for faculty teaching online.

Well trained and supported faculty are more likely to develop engaging courses that lead to student success. A key factor for student success in higher education is faculty development (Schmid et. al 2016, and Hamilton 2017). In one case study at Cuyahoga Community College, it was noted that the institution was able to connect student success to faculty development (Pegman, 2015).  Unfortunately, many Institutions often struggle to develop effective learning experiences due to limited resources or the deployment of sound pedagogical approaches for staff development (The Oxford Group 2013 and Murray 2016). In addition, many online programs have failed as a result of problems with faculty development  program design or the implementation of such programs (Rovai & Downey, 2010). Research indicates, faculty who teach in online or blended learning environments need a wide range of skills and possess varying needs, comfort levels, and beliefs in order to influence students’ academic success. Therefore, institutions must provide support and training in order to develop quality online or blended programs. Also, the training must be aligned with the institution’s contextual needs and be relevant to faculty professional needs.  

Central to this presentation is the “Interactive Faculty Development Decision Guide” (IFDG), an open source, online tool -  This tool was developed by conducting an in-depth literature review and the study of several faculty development models at the national and international levels (Jowallah 2016).  IFDG was developed to aid institutional leaders, administrators, instructional designers, faculty staff developer and other stakeholders in their analysis and construction of a successful professional development program for faculty teaching online. Furthermore IFDG is an open source evaluative tool that provides immediate, customized feedback and resources for training and support (Futch, et al., 2016). Users will review statements prompting them to consider their institution’s current program and needs. Users will select the appropriate statements and will receive feedback designed to address their responses. At the end of this presentation participants should be able to:

  • Conduct a review of their institution’s faculty development needs using a SWOT analysis.

  • Articulate the correlation between faculty development and student success.

  • Identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) to their faculty development program

  • Identify resources to enable the transformation of their faculty development program.

  • Identify potential pathways for enhancing faculty development at home institution using.\

  • Articulate how the Interactive Faculty Decision Guide should be used to evaluate faculty development programs.  

  • Give various recourses for the development or enhancement of their faculty development programs.

  • Articulate the fundamental principles used to design the “Interactive Faculty Development Decision Guide”.

Session Activities and Engagement Strategies

This presentation is designed to maximise the participation of attendees. Subsequently, various engagement strategies will be employed. These engagements strategies include discussions, collaborative work, a SWOT analysis activity, a peer-reviewed activity, and interactive questions. The presentation will guide participants to:

  • Use the “Interactive Faculty Development Decision Guide” to evaluate their institutional staff developmental needs.

  • Complete a SWOT (Strength Weakness Opportunities and Threats) analysis activity.

  • Work collaboratively in groups to discuss their SWOT and explore practices in other institutions.

  • Use the information from the SWOT to develop a possible structure for scaling and implementing, developing or enhancing faculty development within their organisation.

  • Create and share with the group an action plan that can be used to initiate or improve faculty training within the next six months.

  • Discuss with group members strategies for developing or enhancing their faculty development program.

Recourses for attendees

  • SWOT Analysis Template

  • Interactive Guide Information Access

  • Faculty Development Planning Sheet


Futch L., Barrett-Greenly, T., and Jowallah, R. 2016. Interactive Faculty Development Decision Guide (IFDDG): A Tool to Support the Design and Implementation of an Effective Training Program for Online Instructors.  Florida Distance Learning Association Conference. Florida Annual Online. Altamonte Springs, FL.

PEGMAN, A. (2015). Cuyahoga Community College Ties Student Success to Faculty Training Activities. Community College Week, 27(25), 82.

Jowallah, R., Futch L., Barrett-Greenly, T., and Bennett, L. (2016). Quality Transformation Model for Faculty Development: a new theoretical and empirical model for developing online faculty. Annual Online Learning Consortium International Conference. Orlando, FL.

Murray, T. A. (2016). Original Article: Pedagogy and Academic Success in Prelicensure Nursing Education. Journal Of Professional Nursing, 32(Supplement), S24-S29. doi:10.1016/j.profnurs.2016.02.001

Rovai, A. P., & Downey, J. R. (2010). Why some distance education programs fail while others succeed in a global environment. The Internet and Higher Education, 13(3), 141–147.

Schmid, M. E., Gillian-Daniel, D. L., Kraemer, S., & Kueppers, M. (2016). Promoting Student Academic Achievement Through Faculty Development about Inclusive Teaching. Change,  

The Oxford Group (2013). Blended Learning-Current Use, Challenges and Best Practice. Report. Great Neck, NY: The Oxford Group.