Alleviating Faculty Resistance to Online Learning by Addressing Quality, Support, and Incentive Concerns

Concurrent Session 8

Brief Abstract

Online learning initiatives and faculty development programs have resulted in an increasing number of courses and degree programs being delivered online. To facilitate this growth in online courses, the Office of Online Learning and Center for Teaching and Learning, at the co-presenters' middle-sized public liberal arts institution, have teamed together to address faculty concerns about quality, support, and incentives for developing or enhancing online courses. This effort has led to 612 sections of online courses being offered in 2017 with 20.26% of said courses earning an institutional quality assurance certification as well as internal grant funding for course development or redesign. 

Sponsored By


Currently I hold the position at Coastal Carolina University as the Instructional Designer for Online Learning. As a Coastal Carolina Alum, it is my passion to maintain a career at the university. I truly enjoy working on campus and working with faculty members to ensure high quality online course development. Instructional Technology is my background. I hold a Master's in IT and am currently working on a Ed.S. degree in IT as well with the intentions on receiving my Ph.D in the near future.

Additional Authors

Matthew is an Instructional Technologist with the Center for Teaching Excellence to Advance Learning (CeTEAL) at Coastal Carolina University (CCU). He holds an Education Specialist (Ed.S.) degree in Instructional Technology from CCU where he also earned a Master of Arts in Teaching and Bachelor of Arts in History, Summa Cum Laude. In addition, Matthew is a nationally certified Quality Matters (QM) Peer Reviewer for Online and Hybrid Courses in various categories. He is also a certified Microsoft Innovative Educator, Influencer, and Trainer. Matthew is expecting conferral of a graduate certificate in online teaching and training in August 2018. Matthew remains active in his field by presenting at conferences, serving on national conference peer-review committees (ex: American Educational Research Association), and by serving as a conference board member (ex: Association Supporting Computer Users in Education). At CeTEAL, he provides faculty development training and consultation regarding online course design, instructional design, Microsoft Education products, Moodle, and the integration of educational technology into face-to-face and online courses. Matthew has a passion for helping faculty develop courses that they are proud of while meeting institutional and national quality assurance standards. He particularly enjoys aiding faculty in the transition of courses from face-to-face to online. Matthew's research interests are online course design, instructional design, the development of instructor presence in online courses, faculty development, and adult learning theory. Matthew serves as an EdTech consultant with various surrounding schools and welcomes new partnerships.

Extended Abstract

In this discovery session, we will demonstrate how a medium sized, public, liberal arts institution addresses faculty concerns regarding quality, support, and incentives for the development and/or enhancement of online courses. This effort was made through a collaboration of the Office of Online Learning and the Center for Teaching and Learning. Session participants will engage in an interactive segmented focused discussion as they are provided an infographic, and corresponding digital presentation.  

Faculty who have concerns regarding the quality of online courses are encouraged to go through the incentive program that aligns with the Quality Assurance Inventory (QAI) rubric that consists of best practice teaching and learning expectations for both hybrid and online courses. This rubric provides faculty with measures by which they may evaluate their course design, student assessments, and other areas of their online and hybrid courses, with the goal of developing the best course possible for students.  

Faculty are encouraged to take part in certificate granting faculty development programs/institutes led by the Center for Teaching and Learning and the Office of Online Learning to address any support concerns. Such programs are:  

  • Distance Learning Institute  

  • Distance Learning Boot Camp  

  • The Online Course Design Coach program  

  • Online Learning faculty development sessions  

  • One-on-One faculty consultations  

Faculty's earned online learning certificates are often used in promotion and tenure files, in addition to serving as evidence of a faculty member's dedication to their professional development. Needs assessment data regarding the areas of distance learning in which faculty feel they need the most support will further be shared within this presentation, as well.  

The Office of Online Learning and the Center for Teaching and Learning takes multiple steps to address faculty incentive concerns. The Office of Online Learning provides funding opportunities to faculty who are teaching online to encourage the development of high quality courses and programs for students. The grants are designed to meet the needs and objectives of their courses, the University’s Strategic Plan, and the best needs of the individual courses and programs. Those awarded the grant have met or exceeded Quality Matters and Quality Assurance Inventory standards. On average, 3-5 faculty from each cohort are publicly recognized, via awards and showcases, for designing exemplary courses that exceed standards set forth by the university's quality assurance tool used for online course evaluations. 

This discovery session is designed to provide participants with a specific set of takeaways for immediate use within their own institutions to encourage faculty adoption of best practice tactics. These takeways include: 

  1. Handout identifying the key components of the quality assurance tool used by the presenting institution. 

  1. Handouts regarding various faculty development programs/institutes that address faculty support concerns.  

  1. Handouts explaining the range of online course grants that address faculty incentive concerns and encourage faculty interest and participation. 


Engagement strategies used in this session: infographic handout, structured interactive questioning, corresponding digital presentation