POLICIES AND PROCEDURES THAT MAY HINDER MORALE, MOTIVATION, AND ENGAGEMENT
For institutions with a strong reliance on campus-based full-time faculty, there are likely several policies and procedures that may hinder morale, motivation, and engagement for remote faculty that must be addressed including; technology and equipment, faculty and student expectations, time and geography, and training and performance management.
It’s not about us, it’s about our students.” That statement truly puts things into perspective. In many ways, in fact, this statement can be used as a litmus test in identifying what we do, why we do it, and how we do it. It can be applied in arguably every scenario related to teaching, and it also fits in the conversation of teaching in the online modality. At the end of the day, everything we do is for our students. As such, remote faculty must be supported so to remove any obstacles that may hinder morale, motivation, and engagement to ensure that student needs are met and learning outcomes achieved.
The success of many institutions of higher learning have become contingent on enrollment and revenue from online programs (Haugen & Metcalf, 2018). While the history and identity of the academic institution is rooted in the traditional ground campus, the online modality can help to ensure the financial viability of the university and meet the education needs of students who are not near a physical campus. The reality is that online instruction is here to stay, and, as a result; institutions who previously relied on a traditional, campus-based model must now explore how to refresh and retool their policies and procedures to better meet the needs of this unique modality.
As institutions consider expanding their online footprint, administrators must reflectively identify, consider, and address how to effectively attract, develop, and retain talented, committed, and engaged faculty who share the institutions mission, vision, and values, and find fulfillment in educating future graduates from a distance. For institutions with a strong reliance on campus-based full-time faculty, there are likely several policies and procedures that may hinder morale, motivation, and engagement for remote faculty that will be addressed in this session:
- Technology and Equipment – Develop strategies that provide online faculty with appropriate learning tools to deliver high-quality education via the online modality.
- Faculty, and Student Expectations – Create a comprehensive set of policies and procedures designed to outline student and faculty expectations and requirements in the online classroom.
- Barriers to Time and Geography – Integrate tools, resources, and policies that set remote faculty up for success.
- Training and Performance Management – Support faculty through coaching, mentoring, and best practices.
As institutions strive to meet the demand of today’s student, and expand their footprint in the online modality, it is important to also listen to the needs and concerns of remote faculty. Asking faculty about their perceptions will be key to understanding their satisfaction and needs related to barriers of teaching online (Luongo, 2018). When aspects of remote work are not fully considered by institutions, faculty working remotely are often left feeling out of the loop and alienated wondering why they (and their feedback) are not considered.
Institutions vary in size and experience in the online modality. As a result, solutions that ensure that policies and procedures are inclusive of both campus based and remote workers are not one size fits all. Several suggestions have been identified in this presentation related to technology and equipment, faculty and student expectations, barriers to time and geography, and training and performance management as they relate to remote workers. In addition to presenation, administrators who attend this session will have the opportunity to collaborate, and brainstorm potential related opportunities, challenges and solutions that they can then return to campus and devise a comprehensive approach to ensure policies and procedures are inclusive of both campus-based and remote workers.